The government has endorsed the National Green Growth Strategy with policymakers believing the state intervention will help to maintain strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith signed a decree on the strategy last week, marking a significant milestone in the national development approach, which seeks to deliver environmentally friendly, sustainable and socially inclusive growth.
The details of the strategy were not immediately available to the media but, based on earlier reports, the National Economic Research Institute and Ministry of Planning and Investment played a key role in drafting this long-term strategic plan.
The World Bank, Global Green Growth Institute and other development partners provided financial and technical support to the two state agencies in developing the strategy, believing this policy guideline will help Laos to shape its development programme in a more sustainable way.
According to information from the World Bank obtained by Vientiane Times, the government views the green growth concept as being in line with its strategic priorities under the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan.
The plan stresses the need to utilise the nation’s natural resources more efficiently while taking a development path that is more resilient to risks such as climate change, and protecting people’s health.
The World Bank, which has provided Laos with credit of US$36 million to help develop and implement the green growth strategy from now until 2030, describes green growth as providing new opportunities for the Lao people to achieve better living conditions.
Through the implementation of this strategy, Laos will be able to create more jobs in industries that depend on environmental quality, such as ecotourism and the production of green agricultural products, according to the Bank.
Green development will also help Laos reduce exposure to air and water pollution, benefitting the health of adults and children alike.
According to the Bank, this approach has several priorities: reducing risks to prudent economic management; integrating the principles of ‘green growth’, environmental protection and resilience into development planning; and promoting sector-specific transformative initiatives.
To address risks to the economy, the policy aims to strengthen fiscal sustainability and financial sector stability.
The programme’s goals include establishing a system of national parks, ending the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides, and strengthening the control of illegal logging.
The government is aware of the need to restructure its economic base and recently unveiled a new vision for the transformation of the economy from natural resource-based to knowledge-based by 2025.
By Times Reporters