Environment-related sustainable development goals have shown the least progress across Asia-Pacific countries. In tandem, regional reports, civil society and the news call attention to the increased vulnerability and marginality of specific groups of people in society – such as those exposed to climate change, migrant workers, or those affected by air pollution. More understanding is needed regarding the engagement of marginal and vulnerable groups who lie at the frontiers of environmental change. While poverty, vulnerability and environmental degradation are highly correlated, the knowledge base around their engagement, beyond participatory field research, remains limited.
The objectives of this report are to identify the factors that lead to impactful engagement of vulnerable groups around environmental issues, to highlight some successful cases of engaging these groups from the region and to present recommendations for moving forward on participation in environmental decision-making in Asia and the Pacific, at both policy and practice levels.
The report is delivered under a joint initiative by ESCAP and the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, under a project of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. It draws on discussions from the regional workshop “Empowering People for a Sustainable Future” held on 25-26 March 2019, in Bangkok , a review of literature and an analysis of 112 initiatives from the Asia-Pacific region. The report contributes to the knowledge and evidence base of the impact of increased participation and engagement on enhanced environmental outcomes.