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Capacity Building

Underlying the need for new policies, tools and approaches, is the essential element of human capacity. Investments into human resources will play a critical role in the region's environmental progress, especially in decentralized situations.

Many of the World Bank's investment projects include components for environmental capacity building and institutional development. If designed and implemented well, such capacity building can enhance the sustainability of projects, and contribute to long-term institutional development. However, it is difficult to support the development of policy and institutional capacity systematically through all projects.

Another area of capacity support is the World Bank Institutional Development Fund (IDF), which was set up to address institutional capacity issues directly. Some examples of IDF work in the EAP region are given below:

The lack of reliable information for decision and policy-making is a real constraint as the collection and use of environmental information is very scattered, and information gathering between government agencies is limited. IDF support was provided between 2000 and 2003 in order to improve the effectiveness, of use and sharing, of environmental information in Vietnam. This work included the development of an environmental management strategy, capacity strengthening of the National Environment Agency, and piloting of new pollution control measures.

China’s accession to the WTO required considerable efforts to improve the transparency and effectiveness of government regulatory procedures of all kinds. IDF support enabled the Chinese State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to benefit from international experience and build knowledge and capacity to meet new standards. Activities included, i) a review of existing laws and regulations for consistency with the provision of the WTO, ii) revision of existing and development of new EA guidelines to strengthen environmental assessment, monitoring and enforcement, and iii) dissemination of revised regulations, guidelines and policies.

This country faces many Environmental and Natural Resource Management (NRM) challenges, including resource exploitation, air pollution, water pollution and scarcity, solid and hazardous waste disposal, and desertification. In order to address these challenges and achieve sustainable development the government needs to establish sound environmental legislation, an efficient institutional framework, and a reliable and accessible knowledge base. IDF support was used to build this capacity at national and local levels by
a)  Assessing institutional needs for environmental and Natural Resource Management,
b)  Reviewing existing standards and strengthening EIA and monitoring capacitates, and
c)  Development of a strategic plan to implement and manage environmental and NRM policies.

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