YANGON, MYANMAR (April 2022) — The Environmental Goods and Services (EGS) initiative, which underpins the PEA’s strategy for support for green business development, is making strides with helping communities tackle local challenges through Technical Assistance (TA) focused on improving capacities and access to EGS markets mainly in energy and agri-food sectors.
This marks nearly one year since PEA redirected its support from one focused on the government to communities and through TAs that have been designed to promote EGS and provide integrated solutions that are relevant, responsive and timely. The redesigned strategy is part of UNDP’s overall commitment to meet local needs and directly support community-led solutions.
“Making green recovery work for Myanmar at a time of political crisis and COVID-19 pandemic is both difficult and essential,” said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Mr. Adnan Cheema. “It is difficult because challenges are linked to EGS readiness, health, access to resources and safety. It is essential so that the assistance can yield more valuable benefits in terms of social and environmental, as well as profits.”
For example, the TA on energy will deliver clean electricity and cooking solutions to people who are deprived of them. These include unelectrified households, women and returning migrants in Magway region. Although modest in scale, with an estimated 350 household beneficiaries during the first phase, this TA demonstrates high impact potential because of its innovative business model. Beneficiaries are expected to receive in-kind technology solutions such as solar home systems and clean cookstoves contingent on performance-based metrics linked to an iterative repayment scheme process and, have the opportunity to profit from it through a training of trainers’ scheme.
Providing people access to both clean electricity and cooking solutions, and opportunity to be clean energy entrepreneurs through trainings, and connecting them with suppliers of green technology is critical in achieving SDG 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The EGS initiative was originally designed to support the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration and the Environmental Conservation Department directly to foster a conducive business environment for EGS and participation of private sector in it — through green business development— during times of pandemic and normal situations. The assistance is meant to improve the policy framework supporting EGS, as well as the capacity of the government through evidence-based research (identification of successful green business cases locally, strategic entry points and enablers), technical advisory and stakeholders engagement activities for effective crafting of green policy tools and market-based incentives. The initiative shifts focus to communities as part of UNDP’s broader programmatic shift towards interventions that directly benefits communities.
“Focusing on a set of EGS issues at the community level but with clear links to broader green business development will help ensure that communities are better equipped in their role as both providers and users of EGS,” explained Mr. Cheema. With better access to EGS markets established, the tailored support for Myanmar can help lay the groundwork for promoting EGS as a long-term strategy for green economy and recovery transition.
The PEA project is being implemented in Myanmar under UNDP’s Governance for Resilience and Sustainability Project (GRSP) with support from the Governments of Austria, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and the European Union.