The challenge for GMS member countries is to pursue economic development without creating additional burdens on natural ecosystems, thus preserving biodiversity and the quality of rural and urban life. The conservation of those resources is dependent on the capacity and commitment of GMS governments to collaborate regionally to improve the management of shared resources while pursuing economic growth.
Several drivers of change are now emerging in the GMS that generate opportunities for the agriculture sector to further economic growth in the region. Such development needs to be based on agriculture that is resilient to climate change, food and agricultural industries producing hygienic food, and value chains for food and agricultural products operating through a modernized trade system. Furthermore, access to markets in developed countries is characterized by sensitivity to the growing demand for ecologically friendly food and agricultural products that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The current priority key areas for the GMS WGA under CASP II are:
- Food safety and regional IT food traceability system
- Cross-border supply chain of eco-friendly products and paperless trade
- Harmonization of biosafety standards and regulatory systems
- Eco-labeling, and pro-poor certification system
- Climate change mitigation, adaptation, and carbon financing in agriculture
- Efficient utilization of biomass for bioenergy and food security
- Small-scale biofuel in integrated system
- Flood and drought management
- Transboundary animal disease control and invasive species