Report of the First Phase Strategic Research
Environmental Governance Project

Business Report
Report of the First Phase Strategic Research
Environmental Governance Project

The main purpose of the Environmental Governance Project of IGES was to address and analyse major issues of environmental governance and to make concrete policy recommendations relevant to the Asian region. Several national and sub-regional environmental governance systems were to be selected and examined in a cross-sectoral and comparative manner.
Thus, a major component of the research project involved case studies of national environmental governance systems in a number of selected countries of Asia. Another major component was a comparative analysis of existing or emerging programmes and mechanisms for international environmental cooperation in Asia, particularly at the sub-regional level.
Research activities have been carried out in accordance with the objectives, targets, methodologies and a three-year work programme as set out in the research plan endorsed by the IGES Board of Directors and Board of Trustees in June 1998 at the official inauguration of IGES activities. The necessary analytical frameworks for comparative studies were elaborated on by a resource person and by the project leader himself.
In addition, a few other sub-components of the Environmental Governance Project were developed during a mid-course review of the work programme, such as a case study of environmental management policies and practices of Japanese private companies, and another one involving a preliminary literature survey and a case study of Thailand concerning the relationship between the processes of globalization of economy and environmental governance.
Despite some serious problems with staffing and project management that placed very severe constraints on remaining project staff, all research activities made slow but steady progress, eventually producing the outputs originally expected, together with new insights and conclusions in respective fields of research, including a number of policy recommendations.
Given the limited human and financial resources available within IGES, the project achieved its original objectives relatively well and in good time in accordance with the original research programme and work (implementation) plans. Admittedly, the modest results obtained are satisfactory as a product of the first phase of development and application of both the methodologies and tools for analyzing a complex, crosscutting issue like environmental governance, and for elaborating policy guidelines and recommendations.

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