Green growth is a critical concept for South Asian countries as they need to deliver growth to reduce poverty and support growing populations. While the countries operate in different political and economic contexts, all are sensitive to the potential negative social and environmental impacts of economic growth. The increase in policies addressing these themes suggest that there is a shared understanding that growth needs to be decoupled from natural resource degradation in order to achieve sustainable economic development. There is also an understanding of the economic potential of emerging green sectors. However, green growth is generally not well defined as a concept, and the evidence base for policy formulation also remains weak in the South Asia region.
This report sets out the findings for the project ‘Scoping Green Growth Challenges and Opportunities in South Asia’. The objectives of the study were to assess the following:
- The relevance and effectiveness of green growth initiatives in South Asia;
- The current status of regional and national green growth strategies;
- Compatibility with traditional and emerging country growth models;
- Evidence on what works and what does not, and the knowledge gap;
- The challenges and opportunities that green growth poses for poverty reduction in the region; and
- The key institutions carrying out research on green growth in the region.
The research was carried out in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan through a blend of desk review of interventions and evidence base, national-level policy screening, and validation of findings via stakeholder interviews with key policy-makers, donors, researchers and academics. A final review was undertaken to cross-reference the findings between the various research streams.
The report is structured as follows:
- Section 2 reviews definitions of green growth and sets out green growth activities;
- Section 3 explores the status of green growth initiatives in the South Asia region;
- Section 4 provides an overview of the evidence for green growth benefits, costs and trade-offs;
- Section 5 summarises best practice lessons from outside South Asia;
- Section 6 outlines questions for further research and highlights major research institutions;
- Annex A contains the list of stakeholders consulted and strategies, policies and laws reviewed.
- Annex B gives the thematic questions for the research
- Annex C is the template used for policy screening
- Annex D provides detailed analysis on each country
- Annex E is a summary of the main green growth-related policies.
Oxford Policy Management. Scoping Green Growth Challenges and Opportunities in South Asia. Final Report. Oxford Policy Management Limited, Oxford, UK (2014) viii + 76 pp.