A Long-term Perspective on Environment and Development in the Asia-Pacific Region
3.3 Eco-Policy Linkage
It is forecast that the Asia-Pacific region will suffer considerable damage from global environmental problems, but at the same time, it is also this region that holds the key to solving these problems. Countries in the region also face domestic environmental problems including air and water pollution. However, for many of the developing countries in Asia, tackling global environmental problems is of the utmost difficulty. These nations must in a short time, simultaneously address the policy issues that Japan experienced sequentially over about four decades before it became involved in global environmental issues, such as overcoming pollution, protecting natural areas, and working to create pleasant urban environments. Moreover, many of these developing countries cannot hope for full-fledged pollution control measures because of economic limitations, weak institutional administrations, restrictions on availability of information, inability to use market mechanisms, and other restraining factors.
3.3.2 Policy concept
Because of the close connections between the solutions to global and domestic environmental problems, the need to address these all at once actually provides developing countries with an excellent opportunity to surmount their environmental problems. Moreover, it is also an opportunity to integrate their global and domestic environmental policies. This requires integrating the domestic environmental policies of developing nations into international cooperative arrangements aimed at solving global environmental issues.
If developed and developing countries could cooperate on global environmental problems, both would be able to substantially reduce their costs. For example, if Japan were to stabilize the level of carbon dioxide emissions at 1990 levels, and were China to stabilize at a target 50 percent above 1990 emission levels, the joint action between the two nations would lead to savings of about US$10 billion US by the beginning of the next century, compared to the case where no cooperative measures were enacted. The framework for international joint implementation will no doubt continue to develop, and it will be necessary to immediately take advantage of this framework in implementing the domestic environmental policies of developing countries.
For example, if international initiatives aimed at controlling carbon dioxide emissions were innovative linked with measures taken by developing nations to cut emissions of SO2 and NOx, it would be possible to reduce those nations' costs for environmental protection, which would in turn assist their own policy implementation. Japanese experience (Figure III-3-1) shows that nearly half of the contribution to previous reductions of SO2 emissions was from "energy efficiency improvement". This is also the most effective way to reduce carbon dioxide production.
There are also possibilities for international environmental cooperation at the local government and NGO levels, including the transfer of technologies to preserve the environment, fostering environmental businesses in developing nations, and other kinds of international cooperation aimed at surmounting environmental problems. It is possible to link these international frameworks to developing countries' environmental policies.
Creating ways to integrate environmental measures in developing countries at both the regional and global levels provides advantages for not only the developing, but also for developed countries. It also greatly expedites the implementation of both global and regional policies. A program of "Eco-Policy linkage" is proposed here.
This program is a set of strategies that link the domestic and local environmental policies of developing countries to global, regional and subregional environmental policies, thereby implementing those countries' domestic and local environmental policies while also efficiently advancing global, regional and subregional environmental policies. The procedure is as follows:
(1) In addition to preparing frameworks to integrate global, regional and subregional environmental protection policies and activities, developing countries obtain a policy analysis tool for simultaneously attaining those policies' objectives.
(2) The developed and developing countries propose international frameworks by which they can assist the developing countries' global environmental measures and also realize benefits themselves.
(3) The developed countries provide the benefit of their own experience to developing countries' domestic environmental protection measures not only on the countries' level, but also on the local government and local community citizen level, and through the private sector.
(4) Additionally, there can also be an expansion of the range of policy integration of developing countries to other developing countries, and efforts made to implement more efficient environmental policies.
The Eco-Policy Linkage concept is closely related to the Eco-Partnership concept. Figure III-3-2 shows the relationship and difference between the two concepts. The Eco-Policy Linkage is intra-national linkage of environmental policies while the Eco-Partnership is inter-national linkage of these policies. That is, the Eco-Policy Linkage aims to integrate a country's policies for domestic and local environmental issues with those for global, regional and subregional issues, while the Eco-Partnership aims to link certain countries' policies to other countries' policies. However, the Eco-Policy Linkage would be promoted by the Eco- Partnership, because one country's policies for global, regional and subregional issues could be effectively promoted by the Eco-Partnership policies, and so their policies for domestic and local environmental issues would naturally be encouraged by means of the Eco-Policy Linkage strategies.
There will be many possibilities to link domestic and local policy fields into global, regional and subregional policy fields as shown in Figure III-3-3. These linkage can be classified into several policy packages, which are the five specific proposals as follows:
Air Pollution Prevention Linked Strategy (AIRS)
This strategy would seek to link developing country policies for controlling emissions of SO2, NOx, and other substances, to international policies for arresting global warming and acid deposition, thereby instituting a new air pollution prevention strategy in developing countries. In doing so, this strategy uses joint implementation programs with developed nations to reduce carbon dioxide production and tackle acid deposition. Moreover, it would identify the optimum strategies for the developing countries, comprehensively taking into account local air pollution control measures, prevention of acid deposition damage, prevention of global warming, and the cooling effect of aerosols.
Natural Resource Recovery Linked Strategy (NATS)
This would link developing countries' policies for forest management and reforestation, soil recovery and increasing food production, into international policies for recovering natural resources and arresting global warming, thereby instituting a new strategy for sustainable development in the developing countries. In doing so, this strategy would incorporate joint implementation programs with the developed countries to reduce carbon dioxide, and develop forest resources. Also, it would identify the optimum strategies for developing countries that comprehensively take into account the conservation and development of forest resources, prevention of soil degradation and prevention of global warming.
Recycling Promotion Linked Strategy (RECS)
This strategy would link developed countries' policies for promoting recycling to international policies for resource development, instituting a new recycling strategy in the developed countries. In doing so, this strategy would incorporate projects for building recycling networks that transcend national boundaries, stimulate recycling businesses in developed countries, economically revitalize smaller industries in depopulated areas of developing countries as well as at the national level, and enhance the global conservation of resources.
Biodiversity Protection Linked Strategy (BIOS)
This would link developing countries' policies for protecting biodiversity and the natural environment to regional and subregional programs to promote eco- tourism, thereby, encouraging a new protection strategy of natural environment in the developing countries. In doing so, this strategy would establish a new tourism sub-sector which could support the protection of biodiversity while at the same time providing economic return to the owners of natural areas such as rainforests and jungles. The Japan National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation (JANCPEC) has already started the Pacific Eco-Tourism and Investment Prospect Project, and has been actively involved in a case study in Fiji.
Water Pollution Prevention Linked Strategy (WATS)
This strategy would link developed and developing countries' policies for water quality control in rivers and adjacent seas to regional and subregional policies for preventing water pollution in the high seas, thereby encouraging domestic and local activities for water quality management. This strategy would incorporate a project for building networks of water quality management that provide for the stimulation of technology transfer and corroborative activities in the region or subregion, and encourage local activities to prevent water pollution.
RETURN TO Table of Contents