Environmental sustainability is key to long-term growth.
BIMP-EAGA has biologically rich and diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, abundant water resources, and a high potential for renewable energy.
The subregion is home to ecologically important areas. The Heart of Borneo, which straddles Indonesia, Malaysia, and parts of Brunei, is the largest contiguous forest area remaining in Southeast Asia. The Sulu–Sulawesi Seas is a highly biodiverse, globally significant biogeographic unit in the heart of the Coral Triangle—the center of the world’s highest concentration of marine biodiversity.
BIMP-EAGA however faces natural and human-induced environmental threats, such as unsustainable practices in agriculture, industry, manufacturing, and services. It also needs to deal with changing land use patterns due to rapid urbanization and a growing population; unregulated illegal fishing; illegal conversion of forest lands into plantations; and lack of capacity, especially among smallholder farmers, to effectively mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
The subregion’s environment sector strategy uses sustainable management approaches to economic development. These include promoting ecotourism, sustainable and climate-resilient farming and fishing practices, and clean and green production technology.
The environment strategy includes the following measures:
- Adapt to and mitigate the adverse impact of climate change. Climate change affects the sustainability of natural resources and the livelihood of farming, fishing, and ecotourism communities. BIMP-EAGA will assist rural communities in adopting best practices in sustainable farming, fishing, and ecotourism activities.
- Promote clean and green technologies. BIMP-EAGA will collaborate with research organizations, academe, and businesses to identify clean and green technologies that industries can adopt. It will also pursue sustainable urban development under the BIMP EAGA Green Cities Initiative.
- Manage natural resources and ecosystems sustainably. BIMP-EAGA will look into land use planning, water management, biodiversity conservation, and the sustainability of industries to better manage resources. It will also partner with local governments and communities, the private sector, and the academe in coming up with green programs, including payment schemes for environmental or ecosystem services.
- Promote public awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability. Build the capacity of stakeholders in dealing with climate change, natural resource depletion, and unsustainable industry practices and their impacts.