First Batch of BIMP-EAGA Projects Approved for Korean Funding

A project to help cacao farmers in Mindanao and a study on renewable energy certificates will be implemented with the support of the BIMP-EAGA–Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (BKCF).

On 17 June, the 2nd ROK-BIMP-EAGA Senior Officials’ Meeting approved this first batch of projects for BKCF funding in the areas of climate change and renewable energy, which are in high demand in BIMP-EAGA countries. The subregion is pursuing a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, adopting measures that include climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

The video conference was co-chaired by Eui-hae Cecilia Chung, Director-General for ASEAN and Southeast Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK), and Zunika Binti Mohamed, Deputy Director-General of the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia.

The Korean government established the BKCF in 2021 to help promote inclusive and balanced growth in Southeast Asia and contribute to ASEAN Connectivity. The cooperation fund supports BIMP-EAGA’s Vision 2025, particularly in three priority areas: connectivity, environment, and tourism. It provides grants for programs or projects of BIMP-EAGA or its member countries. The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), a treaty-based international, inter-governmental organization in Seoul, serves as a depositary of the BKCF and manages the fund.

BIMP-EAGA is a cooperation initiative established in 1994 by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines to spur development in remote and less developed areas, which are strategically close to each other.

At the meeting, Chung said the Korean government is committed to enhance its relations with ASEAN and to lay a strong foundation for its cooperation with BIMP-EAGA. ROK is increasing its contribution to the BKCF to $3 million this year from $1 million in 2021.

The senior officials agreed to identify and promote diverse projects in the three priority areas for BCKF funding.

GGGI provides the following information on the approved projects.

The Developing Land Management Options for Diverse Cacao-based System in Mindanao project was proposed by the University of Southern Mindanao, a state university in Cotabato province. It will help smallholder cacao farmers become climate-resilient and sustainable by providing technologies and building capacity for producing high-quality cacao beans. It will look at nature-based solutions and ways to improve water and soil management.

Mindanao is a major cacao producer in the Philippines. Local brands have bagged international awards for the quality of their products.

The Renewable Energy Certificate Potential in the Areas of BIMP project was proposed by the ASEAN Centre for Energy, an intergovernmental organization based in Jakarta. It will study the market potential of tradeable renewable energy certificates in increasing clean energy investments. It will look at the function of renewable energy certificate registries in relation to the national electricity market rules. The project will develop a conceptual framework for a renewable energy certificate system.

BIMP-EAGA is rich in renewable energy resources, including natural gas, hydropower, solar, bio-mass, wind, and geothermal energy.


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