Mekong subregion countries discuss green growth

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Representatives from the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) convened for a two-day meeting in Hanoi  to discuss ways to make the region more prosperous and equitable through a green economy.

The meeting that began on Thursday was held by the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment under Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, with support from the Asian Development Bank, the British government, United Nations Environment Program, WWF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The meeting is focused on the role of natural capital in the Mekong Subregion. It is expected that the meeting will put forward a proposed "Roadmap to Rio" that will present a comprehensive green growth/green economy vision for the Greater Mekong Subregion at the Rio+20 conference in Brazil next June.

"Investing in the Greater Mekong's ecological infrastructure has the potential to offer an excellent rate of return," said Dr. Geoffrey Blate, WWF Greater Mekong's senior advisor on landscape conservation. "By investing in biodiversity conservation and the maintenance of natural capital, the Greater Mekong Subregion can expand options for economic growth, protect society from natural hazards and ensure long-term sustainability in the face of global environmental change including climate change."

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