World Bank-Supported Event Encourages Youth to Consider Green South Asia

World Bank24 December 2012: Supported by the World Bank, the 9th annual South Asia Economic Students Meet (SAESM), held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 18-22 December 2012, provided a cross-cultural platform for future Asian leaders to exchange innovative ideas on environmental challenges. Under the theme "Towards a Green South Asia," the goal was to engage youth from rising South Asian economies on environmental solutions, while encouraging regional cooperation.

In order to cope with challenging environmental problems such as pollution and growing traffic in high-density population areas, the World-Bank sponsored a writing competition to encourage the exchange of multiple visions of green growth in South Asian cities. Students from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, students gave presentations, participated in expert-led discussions and an interactive competition on a range of sustainable development topics concerning South Asia.

According to the participants, the vision of green South Asian cities should include, among others: tactical and professionalized urbanization planning aiming to incorporate both modern technologies and community input; government support for behavioral changes such as tax incentives to save energy and promote research and development; social forestry incentives to encourage planting of trees as well as urban agriculture; and the reinforcement of hydroelectric power development.

The winning contributions will be posted on the World Bank's "End Poverty in South Asia" Blog. [Opening World Bank press release] [Concluding World Bank press release] [World Bank Energy Poverty in South Asia Blog]