South Asia and the ‘Green Economy’?

A partner of the South Asia Economic Summit (SAES) initiative and host of the 3rd SAES, Nepal’s SAWTEE (South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment) recently concluded a ground breaking regional consultation on the idea of a ‘South Asian Green Economy’. The sessions sought to identify research agendas on green economy in the region and create a network of like-minded individuals and institutions to work further on this new and important theme.

As we have posted on this blog earlier, issues of climate change and coping with it are critical themes for South Asia’s future.

SAWTEE’s website noted that at the consultation,

“The participants expressed the view that although South Asia is the least contributor to climate change in the world, it is one of the regions most affected by it. A gradual transition towards a green economy would be to South Asia’s advantage in terms of, among other things, addressing the region’s high level of poverty and high vulnerability to climate change.

We found the presentation by Arabinda Mishra (TERI, India) and Minhaj Mahmud (BIDS, Bangladesh) particularly useful in learning more about the concept of a ‘green economy’ and its applicability in South Asia.

The 6th SAES being held in Colombo in September will have a full session dedicated to environmental challenges facing South Asia, among the ‘big four themes’ of the Summit. One of the parallel sessions will in fact be on the topic of ‘Towards a Green Growth Path’.

This year, the Summit itself is embodying a strong sustainability focus by becoming the first conference in Sri Lanka to go ‘Carbon Neutral’.

To know more about SAWTEE’s recent event on the green economy and view some of the presentations, visit –

The Head of the Environmental Economics Policy Unit of IPS, Dr. Athula Senaratna and Research Economist, Chatura Rodrigo, participated at this consultation in Kathmandu.