The new book Steps Toward Green presents research across six countries in East and Southeast Asia to provide guidance to national policy makers in how to make seemingly conflicting land use priorities mutually beneficial.
Academics and civil society often refer to the ‘enabling environment’ needed to solve some of the seemingly intractable issues around agricultural production and environmental conservation. However, this term is difficult to define. Steps Towards Green, at its core, is an attempt to demystify and look constructively at the roles of national and local government in agro-commodity production through the lens of six case studies that provide a broad range of practical experiences.
The study makes clear that there are a suite of options available to policymakers that choose to proactively respond to the environmental footprint of agriculture, and that building the capacity of national and local officials to understand and choose these roles strategically is critical to better governance and outcomes in the sector. Finding the right mix of defining policy objectives, regulating natural resources, enabling voluntary action, funding environmental practices, and advocating for action is key–at all levels and coordinated between ministries.
Moving further, the case studies make the case that it is only when civil society, the private sector, academic institutions and government work together that real progress can be made. Building capacity and empowering of multi-stakeholder initiatives like Thailand’s Tambon Administrative Organizations are a step towards generating buy-in and better aligning policy priorities across sectors and levels of government. We hope that this study can help inform the discussion around these issues, and provide some lessons to policymakers in the region and beyond on the range of options they have to mitigate the environmental impacts of agro-commodity production.
Now available for download:
Greening Commodity Agriculture
This policy brief summarizes some of the key points drawn from the book’s analysis of developments in agricultural growth and environmental stewardship in land use.
Steps Toward Green: Insights from Six Commodity Landscapes
Take a quick look at the findings and lessons learned in the analysis of commodity landscapes across China, Viet Nam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Steps Toward Green, Policy Responses to the Environmental Footprint of Commodity Agriculture in East and Southeast Asia
Delve deeper into the research with this description and download of the full text.