The World Bank & the Environment: Environment Matters & the by World Bank

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Strategic partnerships with groups such as the IUCN, WWF and private sector organizations like the World Business Council for Sustainable Development are becoming central to doing business, and are already having high payoffs (see page 40). Operational partnerships with UN organizations are also growing, especially with UNDP, UNEP, FAO and with the Secretariats of the global environmental conventions. An important example this year has been the launch of the Global Water Partnership in August 1996.

The Bank has helped Asia meet these challenges on three fronts this past year: pollution and resource management investments; institutional strengthening through capacity building; and policy analysis, dialogue, and reform, in industrial pollu- Page 13 tion control and energy and water resource pricing. The Environmental Project Portfolio This last fiscal year, Bank-supported environmental projects in the two Asia Regions grew from 45 to 53 (in addition to 8 GEF and 15 MP projects) in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

To upgrade institutional capacity, a National Environmental Office, Park Management Agency and Soil Conservation Agency had to be created and existing ministries had to be reinforced, delaying on-the-ground implementation; as a result, fewer micro-projects than anticipated have been completed. EPII will continue to strengthen activities already launched but will shift its focus toward field activities by reallocating funds. Specifically, environmental and biodiversity conservation components will be complemented by funding for agricultural and other income generating activities that also aim to improve natural resource management at the local level.

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