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Review and Outlook on Greener ODA Programs

Author LIM, So-Young Date 2012.12.24 Issue No 545


The need to adjust South Korea’s ODA (official development assistance) programs to become more environmentally-friendly is becoming crucial.


- The initiative constitutes part of South Korea’s efforts to improve its ODA programs in quantity and quality, such as joining the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD and hosting the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan.


Unlike most other OECD member states, South Korea’s aid targets a limited range of areas. For example, 32% of South Korea’s aid is funneled into programs related to transportation and roads.


- In general, the programs do not consider the environmental ramifications thereof. Therefore, there is ample room for adjusting them in a more environmentally-friendly way.


It is necessary to devise strategic and integrated policy programs tailored for that purpose in order to successfully complete the current policy drive of South Korea, which is to turn its ODA programs more environmentally-friendly.  


- As part of the effort, the South Korean government plans to turn at least 30% of its ODA programs green by 2020.


- South Korea might face opposition from the global community when it approaches the issue from an industrial point of view. Therefore, it is necessary to set forth measures addressing the fundamental issue of how to make ODA programs greener.


To effectively achieve the goal, focus should be placed on the following objectives:


- To enhance recipient countries’ capacity to pursue green programs and induce their active roles, in consideration of their circumstances;


- To pursue the green initiative without being limited to certain sectors;


- To devise supporting methods for the areas not as green compared toadvanced countries, such as transportation, energy, agriculture and industry; and


- To promote sustainable green strategies and export-oriented industries, considering the environment from the inception of a program.