Policy Briefs

A 3-page summary of EEPSEA research reports.

The Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines are one of the world's grat cultural and environmental treasures and they have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. However the terraces are threatened by a number of significant challenges. These include tourist pressure, a declining water supply and a…
Sea erosion is currently affecting many coastal areas in the Philippines. Natural factors such as wind and waves are to blame, as are human activities such as coral reef destruction. The scale and impact of this problem are both expected to become more widespread due to climate change and sea…
Many scientists think that a rise in sea levels caused by global warming will be one of the key future environmental challenges facing many low-lying coastal regions. In Indonesia, there is considerable concern about the impact this problem will have on large areas of reclaimed coastal swampland in South Kalimantan.…
This study was conducted to determine the production trade-off between two land use options. In the first option - total protection from logging (TP) - water is used for hydroelectric power(HEP)generation and in a water regulatory dam to support continuous treated water production downstream. The other option - reduced impact…
Throughout the world, the benefits of large dams are being called into question. Most notably, the World Commission on Dams has highlighted the social, environmental and economic problems that such schemes can bring. New research from Vietnam has added more fuel to this debate and shown how the environmental costs…
This study concludes that without an integrated management plan for the area, environmental degradation will continue, possibly leading to collapse of the resource. The study involved in-depth socio-economic surveys of households living within the mangrove areas, surveys of shrimp farms and extensive consultations with provincial officials. Data were analysed using…
This research investigates which land use system would provide the most economic and environmental benefits to farmers of upland grassland areas in the Philippines.  It analyses a number of different land-use systems and focuses on the benefits that tree-based systems can bring. It also investigates the main reasons why farmers…
The way in which timber companies pay to use forests can have a profound effect on sustainable forest management. A well-designed pricing policy can help ensure the efficient utilization of forest resources, a long-term sustainable harvest and minimum ecological and environmental damage. Highlighting this, a new report shows that Peninsular…
Attempts to save the world's remaining tropical rainforests often focus on conserving specific protected areas or prohibiting the harvesting of rare species. This study from Malaysia focuses on another approach - improving the efficiency and effectiveness of logging companies. The researchers found a Catch-22 situation in which an increase in…
This study provides data on the logistics, scope and economics of the illegal trade in wildlife in Vietnam.  It analyses the main reasons for the rapid growth in this trade and highlights key failures in the country's attempts to control it. The study recommends that the government should strengthen the…
This study compares the economic benefits of using forest land in Ratanakiri for the traditional collection of non-timber forest products by ethnic communities, with the benefits of commercial timber harvesting.  The main conclusions of the study are that non-timber forest products (NTFP) are worth a lot, much more than previously…
The rapid growth and urbanisation of the Philippines' National Capital Region (NCR) has resulted in increasing demand for water. Migration has compounded the problem. Today, NCR is faced with growing needs which have outpaced the capacity of the water agency ¡ Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS) ¡ to expand…
Water supply is a key issue across Southeast Asia, and nowhere more so than in the Philippines, where widespread water shortages and pollution have made it a central policy issue. Two studies in Manila have recently played important roles in the development of this policy. The first looked at the…
According to this study, demand for swimming, fishing and boating could provide an economic rationale for the clean-up of one of China's most famous lakes.  The study looked at how demand for water-based recreation at East Lake, Wuhan, would change if the level of pollution in the lake's waters improved.…
Water pollution is one of China's most pressing environmental issues, but a recent economic study in Yunnan province has found that in certain cases market forces can be harnessed to effectively drive river clean-up.  The study looked at the feasibility of allowing industries along the heavily-polluted upper Nanpan River, Yunnan…
This research investigates the effectiveness of different management regimes in the marine protected areas (MPAs) around the coast of the Philippines. It assesses how the MPAs are performing, from both an environmental and a social perspective, and finds out what constitute the key features of a successful management scheme. It…
This report makes suggestions for controlling the excessive abstraction of groundwater in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.  It finds strong evidence that the area's aquifers are being overexploited. It also finds a strong willingness to pay for water supply among the area's businesses. It advises that a tradable permit system for…
Tourism has helped fuel much of Thailand's rapid growth in recent years. Yet the country is in danger of killing the goose that lays this golden egg. Lack of regulation, coupled with inappropriate development, has meant that many of the country's most important tourist sites are in danger of being…
As Southeast Asia industrializes, the need for innovative ways to get rid of waste has increased. A new report from the Philippines shows how a factory waste that been polluting the country's rivers can be turned into a valuable resource that can help farmers improve their productivity. The study investigated…
The destruction of mangrove forests for commercial gain is one of the most pressing environmental problems facing Southeast Asia.  This study has shown that it makes better economic sense to conserve this vital resource than to destroy it. The study looked at the Surat Thani Province of southern Thailand, where…
In many countries, environmental management is hampered by lack of resources and expertise. This study has field-tested an analytical tool that offers a relatively simple and cost-effective way forward. The study looked at two coastal areas in Thailand. It investigated whether the value judgments of local stakeholders could be used…
Pollution is recognized as one of the biggest environmental challenges facing China as the country pushes to modernize and develop its economy. Many major waterways are in unhealthy condition and air pollution now affects almost all of the country's main cities. Some of this impacts on the rest of the…
In Thailand, more than 80 forest reserves have been declared national parks - about 13% of the country's land area. Besides serving a vital conservation role, these parks provide valuable recreational and educational opportunities for Thais and foreign tourists. Unfortunately, many Thai parks are under threat due to encroachment by…
In March 1996, the Philippines experienced one of its most serious industrial pollution accidents. The incident involved the Marcopper Mining Corporation which has been carrying out open- pit copper mining since the 1970s. When the company finished one of its operations in Marinduque, it plugged the old pit with concrete…
The purpose of the study is to assess the impact of tariff reductions on imported potatoes on farmers, consumers and the environment. Potato cultivation employs about 25,000 farmers in Sri Lanka, so has received substantial government support over the last decade. It would be significantly affected by tariff reductions proposed…
Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia