UN Environment - Sharing Experience and Knowledge for a Sustainable Belt and Road

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China’s Belt and Road Initiative strives to foster economic development and inter-regional connectivity in more than 60 countries. It is expected to involve an investment of trillions of dollars focussing on five key areas of cooperation: infrastructure, trade, policy, finance and people. While the initiative presents an excellent opportunity for countries to help transform their economies in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the potential failure of governments to implement sustainable development policies may prevent the investments from contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Belt and Road countries. Current challenges include the lack of institutional capacity and commitment, weak regulatory frameworks and a lack of knowledge and data to inform and support sustainable policy.

Against this backdrop, this project aims to increase Belt and Road stakeholders’ awareness and understanding of the sustainable development opportunities and challenges associated with Belt and Road investments, and policy conditions required to enable and address them. This outcome will be achieved through knowledge, data collection and sharing, as well as capacity building.

More specifically, the project Sharing Experience and Knowledge for a Sustainable Belt and Road will support the opportunities for sustainable development associated with Belt and Road investments through three main outputs:

1.    Collection and dissemination of case studies from Belt and Road projects, as well as other case studies that may be applicable to Belt and Road development, including both best practices and lessons learned

2.    Assessment of the feasibility and potential for data interchange and knowledge management to provide Belt and Road stakeholders with access to accurate, credible, and policy-neutral scientific data and information

3.    Capacity building seminars targeted to policymakers from Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia, which will also provide a forum for dialogue between the Belt and Road stakeholders

The first capacity building seminar within the framework of this project was held on October 8-12 at the International Training Centre of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Turin. Two further seminars are scheduled to take place in 2019 and in 2020.

Sharing Experience and Knowledge for a Sustainable Belt and Road is established under the framework of UN Environment - China Trust Fund, funded by the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE). 

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Rowan Palmer
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