Environment in times of crisis: Asia and donors after the 1997 financial crisis
Author: Peter Dauvergne
This report examines the environmental implications of the Asian financial crisis in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, paying particular attention to the implications of these findings for Official Development Assistance (ODA) donors. It covers the period from mid-1997 until early 1999, concentrating on environmental changes related to forestry, fisheries, mining, agriculture, water and air pollution, and conservation. It examines the implications for natural resource management, large infrastructure and development projects, corporate activities, state environment budgets and services, and implementation.
General observations are that the crisis contributed to important shifts in the underlying processes behind environmental change as well as the relative environmental costs for different groups. Some areas and groups are experiencing greater environmental hardships, while others are experiencing fewer, at least in the immediate term. Urban and rural poor are especially vulnerable and so far have absorbed a disproportionate amount of the environmental costs of the crisis.
The conclusions, implications for aid projects, and recommendations to help donors more effectively address environmental issues in the post-crisis period are divided into necessarily broad categories: stability and cycles of decline; industrial output and the environment; currency devaluations, commodity exports and the environment; donor support for environmental projects; support for monitoring, enforcement; market/community incentives; and further research.