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Asia-Pacific Green Jobs Network Meeting

12th e-discussion, 31 May 2021
  1. Welcome by Dr Cristina Martinez – ILO

  2. On Focus: Green Jobs in the Employment Intensive Investment Programme in the Asia-Pacific region (EIIP) presentation by Mr Bas Athmer – Sr Specialist on Employment-Intensive Investment, ILO

    • The EIIP program (started in 1982) produces comprehensive guidelines on important areas such as equal opportunity, needs assessments, capacity development for contractors and government as well as communities both within urban and rural areas, and OSH.
    • EIIP on green jobs and green works:
      1. Green jobs is defined as the development and maintenance of infrastructure, ecosystems and community assets that have positive environmental impacts.
      2. The program employs the use of local resource-based (LRB) methods that provide benefits on employment (wages and number), productivity (10-30% cost efficiency), and provide environment impact. Example of applications in the programme are vegetable agroforestry, small scale water harvesting (useful for farmers), gully control, natural vegetative strips, climate proofing of rural roads in Timor-Leste, lined gravity irrigation, integrated agriculture aquaculture, river training work (useful for river banks erosion prevention), water supply.
      3. Since the 1980s and 1990s, the programme has been working on issues across the region such as:
        • Sudan: water supply works programmes to provide drinking water for people of rural areas in Sudan and build a water reservoir to collect water for irrigation canals.
        • Indonesia: several programmes to support the labor-intensive program, post disaster recovery, and policy advice to the government, and capacity building for the use of LRB, and support for REDD+ in degraded peatland in Kalimantan including the projects to rewetting the big lands, agroforestry, provided income generating for indigenous people and improved access to the local people.
        • Philippines: integrated rural accessibility planning and natural disaster related to erosion reduction project. At the moment we are working in project for drinking water supply in Mindanao. We provided project support with natural disaster through ILO’s EIIP.
        • Afghanistan: support for national emergency employment programme (NEEP) started in 2003. We helped them to design a large national programme, and provided problem management programme.
        • Nepal (1980s): deforestation causes lots of landslides and erosion in Nepal, and the government has a minimal budget to protect watershed areas, so the ILO helped to develop the guidelines for implementation.
        • Fiji: supported resettlement of coastal community (2013-2014) especially in the areas where effecting by floods and earthquake, we helped to implementing water supply projects.
        • Myanmar: ILO jobs for peace and resilience programme (2018 – 2020), implanted local fisheries, improved drinking water supply, skill training and solar power.
      4. What is included in ‘Green Works’? Some examples of LRB technologies developed during the program implementation: cold mix asphalt, bio engineering, climate proofing, river training works, and agricultural development by providing irrigation system to farmers in Laos, for example. These technologies were applied by adjusting to the local context and needs of each area and taking into consideration the environmental impact.
      5. EIIP also works at policy level such as the development for Rural roads master plan for Timor Leste.
    • What should be the future directions of EIIP (challenges and opportunities)?
      • Opportunities: There are several MoUs and collaborations, such as with UNEP, that provides a good opportunity to work with the program.
      • Challenges: the ILO has put a lot of work and resources on the green jobs and green climate, but progress remains slow and capacity needs to be increased.
  3. Open discussion
    1. Ms Panuda Boonpala: How can we promote stronger EIIP for COVID-19 response and recovery?
      1. Answer from Bas: it is indeed important to provide support for the COVID-19 program. The EIIP should engage and advocate for governments and donors to use the approaches from the recovery program in the short- and long-term development period. This has been done in Philippines and Timor-Leste by mainstreaming or repurposing the current program to address COVID-19 affected communities. The MOL also asked our programme to target people who lost their jobs. To ensure the stronger impact of the EIIP, more lobbing of the government and donors are required
    2. Ms Syed Atikul Alam: How can ILO help to ensure pure drinking water employment for the people who lived in the coastal area where salinity is the key challenge of the water sources, including surface water?
      1. Answer from Bas: in the Philippines there is this similar program to desalinate the water to provide drinking water supply, however, due to COVID which prevents travel and makes it difficult to travel from islands to islands in the Philippines, the program was postponed. Other alternative could be to develop the roof system to harvest rain-water - the EIIP has developed several technical 3 studies on this.
    3. Joni Simpson: Is there a compilation of 'lessons learned' from EIIP in the region?
      1. It would be good to have the compilation of lesson learned from the EIIP since the awareness about the program is still limited within the organization and with so many lessons learned and experiences gathered by the program, it would be beneficial by the organization in the future.
      2. Additional comment from Mr Pamornrat Pringsulaka: some lessons learnt of DC projects can be extracted from ILO Evaluation Website at https://www.ilo.org/ievaldiscovery/#b52qipd
      3. Answer from Bas: It is a good idea to start documenting the case studies and lessons learned about the program more generally as well as for the COVID-19 Recovery program
    4. Mr Kelvin Sergeant
      1. The work of EIIP have been always impressive. As for the future, in terms of waste energy as well as the treatment for waste of Covid, is there any strategy based on EIIP about these 2 topics?
      2. Answer from Bas: This is not at the center of the program, but it could be channeled to PEPs (Public Employment Program) by looking into community as well as household levels, but currently there is still no current discussion about these two topics. Bas will reach to EIIP colleagues to see if there are current initiatives that can be aligned.
    5. Ms Sara Anderson: The experience in working together with Bas in the PNG was very memorable both for the work and the teamwork relation.
    6. Ms Ghette Pasqual:
      1. It is expected that Bas can spend time to be the advisor for the Green Jobs network since the EIIP had succeeded in many interventions throughout regions and it will be an important input for the network to promote the green jobs program.
      2. Answer from Bas: if there is this opportunity coming up, he will be open for the opportunity.
    7. Ms Akiko Sakamoto:
      1. Are there any particular types of EIIP activities/pattern that provides opportunity to integrate the skill components of the EIIP?
      2. Answer from Bas: It is indeed important to collaborate between the EIIP with the skill development. The opportunity can be explored in many areas such as in the local community development, enterprise component, and the work in region area.
    8. Mr Muzamil Shaikh: Within the textile sectors in Pakistan there is a technological capacity and energy resources gap, especially in the SMEs, which makes it more challenging to develop green jobs in Pakistan. Hopefully this can be explored next.
    9. Mr Julien Magnat:
      1. Is there any priority that we can elaborate further for the skills and employability based on the EIIP works?
      2. Answer from Bas: anything to improve watershed-based approach which directly related with access to water.
    10. Ms Michiko Miyamoto (CO Jakarta) as relayed by Ms Cristina Martinez: Thanks to Bas for his major contribution, especially in Indonesia and Timor Leste, where he was involved in project development from Aceh to Dili.
  4. Network issues: new announcements from Country offices
    The update from PAGE and IKI will be provided in the next GJ AP meeting.

Last sentence from Bas, “Anything to improve watershed is the key”

Next meeting: Wednesday 30 June 2021

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