MESSAGE FROM THE CO-DIRECTORS
It’s ‘Blossom Time’ as Poverty-Environment Initiative prepares the way for the launch of Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals
By Anne Juepner and Isabell Kempf
The joint UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative has been building its legacy through continued engagement, outreach and capacity development activities with our country-level, regional and global partners.
All four regions of the Initiative have accelerated implementation of the mainstreaming of poverty-environment this year and produced exciting new knowledge products which have drawn upon the valuable lessons learned during their more than 10-years of experience working in their countries.
Early in the year, the inclusive growth session, Migration, environmental sustainability and action for inclusive green growth, co-organized by Poverty-Environment Initiative during the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference, held from 27 to 28 March 2017 in Berlin, ignited new thinking on the relevance of poverty-environment mainstreaming to the debates over human rights and migration.
Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa: Country lessons from applying integrated approaches (UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative, June 2017) was released during the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, held from 12 to 16 June 2017 in Libreville, Gabon. The report was later featured during the Nexus Dialogue 2: Poverty and Environment in the Sustainable Development Goals, held during the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, 10 to 19 July 2017, in New York, in partnership with the UN Environment Management Group.
From our Latin America and Caribbean team, a major study, Articulating Social and Environmental Policy for Sustainable Development: Practical options in Latin America and the Caribbean (Inciativa de Podreza y Medio Ambiente, July 2017), provides practical examples of an integrated approach to the implementation of Agenda 2030 in Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on the poverty-environment nexus.
Our colleagues from Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States issued Building an inclusive and climate-resilient future: An integrated approach to pro-poor sustainable development (UNDP–UN Environment Initiative Tajikistan, October 2017), as a useful resource for practitioners and policymakers alike, based on lessons learned.
Our 2015 Handbook, Mainstreaming Environment and Climate for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development, is now available in Arabic and Russian translations, as well as in an online interactive platform, joining the English, French and Spanish versions released earlier. The Russian publication and new web-based Interactive Handbook formed the backbone of the training on budgeting for sustainability, held during the Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States Regional Experts Meeting in Istanbul last October.
The Poverty-Environment Initiative Asia Pacific team released in November The Poverty-Environment Accounting Framework: Application to Inform Public Investments in Environment, Climate Change and Poverty. The publication drew upon the knowledge shared at the regional Results and Lessons Learned Workshop: Public and Private Investments for Achieving the SDGs, held in November 2016 in Bangkok. It presented key outcomes of the Initiative, including on how to successfully engage core development ministries and agencies to internalize environmental and social sustainability issues in their planning, budgeting and decision-making.
In addition, Poverty-Environment Initiative and the UN Environment Ecosystems Division joined SwedBio/Stockholm Resilience Centre and the nongovernmental organizations Natural Justice and the International Development Law Organisation in hosting a peer-to-peer learning forum, Tools and strategies for implementing a human rights-based approach to the environment with a focus on bio-diversity, held last November in Nairobi.
Seeking to ‘Leave No One Behind’, the Initiative has also worked this year in support of the Equity dimension of the sixth edition of the Global Environment Outlook, the flagship environmental assessment report of UN Environment. The Outlook is due to be released in early 2019.
In 2018, UNDP and UN Environment will jointly launch a new 4-year project, Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals (2018-2022). The new project will build upon and serve as the successor to the Poverty-Environment Initiative, which has been extended to September 2018 as a flagship of UNDP and UN Environment.
Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals aims to mobilize governments of least developed countries to create coherent policies and increased quality investments in poverty eradication which improve environmental sustainability and address climate change. The emphasis on guiding quality investments marks a new departure for poverty-environment mainstreaming, as we highlighted in Blossom Time, our popular version of the Poverty-Environment Initiative Annual Progress Report 2016, released in August 2017.
The Poverty-Environment Initiative acknowledges with gratitude the support of the Governments of the European Union, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and looks forward to working with them and new partners in implementing Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals.
It truly is ‘Blossom Time’ for the Poverty-Environment Initiative.
Tegegnework Gettu, Associate Administrator of UNDP, and Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, shake hands at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, 5 December 2017.
UN Leaders Welcome Renewed Partnership to Implement the Sustainable Developing Goals through Pro-Poor Environmental Action
As the world committed to a pollution-free planet at the close of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, UN leadership welcomed the continued partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals through pro-poor environmental initiatives to benefit the poor and vulnerable communities in the developing world.
In 2018, UNDP and UN Environment will jointly launch a new 4-year project, Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals (2018-2022). The project will build upon and serve as the successor to the Poverty-Environment Initiative, which has been a flagship programme of UNDP and UN Environment since 2007.
In the view of UNDP and UN Environment, Poverty-Environment Initiative is a proven and effective partnership offering existing experience, networks and tools to expedite country capacity development support to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
Through continued collaboration between the two agencies, Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals, will serve as a UNDP–UN Environment delivery mechanism for equitable and pro-poor sustainable development in Least Developed Countries.
The handshake between Tegegnework Gettu, Associate Administrator of UNDP, and Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment (pictured above), took place during the United Nations Environment Assembly, attended by over 4,000 heads of state, ministers, business leaders, UN officials, civil society representatives, activists and celebrities gathered at the summit in Nairobi, held from 4 to 6 December 2017.
Green Economy Advocates Call for Combating Environmental Degradation Driving Distress Migration
Environmental change and environmental degradation – desertification, deforestation, land degradation, climate change and water scarcity – are fundamentally redrawing the map of our world. Never in history has the need to safeguard natural resources and the environment been more strongly demonstrated than now, when climate distress and conflicts - often sparked by competition for scare natural resources – have been so acute, and driven millions to seek shelter in safe havens.
Facing the intertwined challenges posed by migration and environmental sustainability, Poverty-Environment Initiative co-organized the session, Migration, environmental sustainability and action for inclusive green growth: Addressing the drivers of migration through sustainable development, climate resilience and inclusive growth, at the Second Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference, held in Berlin, Germany on 27 and 28 March 2017.
This interactive dialogue highlighted successful policies and programmes that have already started to transform economies in ways that open opportunities to the poor and marginalized communities most at risk from climate, disaster and conflict-induced stress.
H.E. Nestor Batio Bassiere, Minister of the Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change of Burkina Faso, chaired the event.
Poverty Environment Partnership 22nd Meeting, Tarrytown, New York, 19-22 June 2017.
Investing in Natural Capital for an Inclusive Green and Blue Economy to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement
The Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement have brought into sharp focus poverty reduction and climate change. Central to addressing both poverty elimination and climate change, yet receiving much less attention, is the role of natural capital. Investing in sustainable management and conservation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems is the key to the transition to an inclusive green and blue economy.
Natural capital accounting and the “data revolution” have a major role to play in attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals Life on land (SDG 15) and Life in the water (SDG 14).
The Poverty Environment Partnership, a global network of institutions established in 2002, met on the theme Investing in Natural Capital for an Inclusive Green and Blue Economy to implement the SDGs and Paris Climate Agreement, in Tarrytown, New York, from 19 to 22 June 2017.
The Poverty Environment Partnership's 22nd Meeting was attended by 62 participants representing 41 organizations from 12 countries. The Poverty-Environment Initiative was represented by its co-directors, Anne Juepner and Isabell Kempf, and Alex Forbes, Programme Officer, Poverty-Environment Facility and Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa.
The meeting addressed three dimensions of investing in natural capital: strengthening mainstreaming and institutions for natural capital; supporting and scaling local ecosystem-based solutions; and learning how to finance natural capital investment.
The Partnership highlighted the need for systematic assessments methods for measuring investment quality and accountability on environment, social and financial returns from public and private investments. While public and private actors increasingly understand the importance of natural capital in their operations and value chains, more needs to be done to address the limitations of the current financial system that contribute to the degradation of natural capital and inequality. The participants called for policy and regulatory reforms to support local action through promoting local green enterprises, as well as financing through environmental finance options.
The Poverty Environment Partnership established a Working Group on Mainstreaming and Institutions to further develop the institutional diagnostics tool prepared by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and contribute to the elaboration of the Poverty-Environment Initiative’s Compendium on Poverty-Environment-Climate Mainstreaming Tools, Experiences and Results.
Nexus Dialogue 2: Poverty and Environment in the Sustainable Development Goals, High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, 13-19 July 2017.
Integrating the poverty-environment nexus into development for poverty elimination
The unique contribution of the Poverty-Environment Initiative to achieving sustainable development was highlighted at the Nexus Dialogue 2: Poverty and Environment in the Sustainable Development Goals, held during the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, on 13-14 July and 19 July 2017, in New York. The event was organized by the United Nations Environment Management Group, in cooperation with the joint UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative.
The Nexus Dialogue 2 consisted of three interlinked segments: the Technical and Policy segments, How a Nexus approach enables effective partnerships, synergy and implementation at country level (13-14 July), and the High Level Political Forum side event, Poverty reduction through sustaining environmental and natural resources: Integrating the poverty-environment nexus into development for poverty elimination (19 July).
The Nexus Dialogue Technical segment was facilitated by Isabell Kempf, who together with Nik Sekhran, Director of Sustainable Development, UNDP, presented the new project, Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals, and shared relevant lessons from the Initiative’s decade-long experience promoting integrated approaches to achieving sustainable development in least developed countries and countries with emerging economies in the developing world.
“The Poverty-Environment Initiative represents the sole programme among multilaterals / bi-laterals providing systematic experience and evidence on the application of an integrated approach to poverty-environment mainstreaming in support of Sustainable Development Goals. It addresses how a greater policy focus on the poverty-environment-development nexus can secure multiple social, environment, and economic benefits for inclusive green growth,” said Ms Kempf.
During the Technical Segment, Poverty-Environment Initiative countries illustrated poverty-environment mainstreaming and their links to Sustainable Development Goals in practice.
Mr. Rasmane Ouédraogo, Coordinator of UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative, Burkina Faso, spoke on using the Poverty-Environment Nexus as part of an integrated approach for Sustainable Development Goals implementation in Burkina Faso.
Keila Gramajo, Advisor/Sub-secretary of Public Policy with SEGEPLAN, Government of Guatemala.
Ms Keila Gramajo, Advisor/Sub-secretary of Public Policy with the President’s Planning and Programming Secretariat (SEGEPLAN), Government of Guatemala, addressed formulating the National Development Plan and landing the Sustainable Development Goals at local level in Guatemala through land management and social inclusion.
Michael Stanley-Jones, Programme Management Officer, Poverty-Environment Facility, shared the Initiative’s experience of mainstreaming gender into Malawi’s National Agricultural Policy 2016 and work undertaken jointly with UN Women and The World Bank on The Cost of the Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.
The Policy segment, held on 14 July, addressed challenges and opportunities for enhancing environment and poverty nexus partnerships as well as issues that require strategic planning by the UN system, including through the work of the Environment Management Group. The session was chaired by Mr. Elliot Harris, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General of UN Environment, and Director of the Secretariat of the Environment Management Group.
Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of UN Environment and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, opened the High Level side event, on 19 July. Among its key findings:
- Marginalized communities are at risk from climate, disaster, and conflict-induced stress. Specifically when land, coastal areas, and water sources are degraded, many poorer populations struggle to survive. In order to preserve these natural resources and support the development of resilient communities, support is required from all levels of government and industry.
- Government participation in funding, policy, and resources is crucial to address the poverty-environment nexus. Efforts by related organizations to address this nexus issue need to support state and national plans, and vice versa.
- Alongside these efforts from governments and organizations, having industries and individual companies become involved in the process will contribute to the overall success in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Companies that commit to improving the sustainability of their operations and establish clear deadlines influences other companies to do the same.
- Approaching the poverty-environment nexus requires an integrated approach involving many stakeholders in order to eradicate poverty at the international, national, and local level.
The Nexus Dialogue 2 on Poverty and Environment Technical, Policy and High Level segments were live streamed and recorded on the Environment Management Group YouTube channel.
Poverty reduction through sustaining environmental and natural resources: Integrating the poverty-environment nexus into development for poverty elimination, High Level Political Forum Side Event
Enabling new partnerships - implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at the poverty-environment nexus at country level (Technical Segment)
Part 2; Part 3; Part 4
Enabling new partnerships- implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at the poverty-environment nexus at country level (Policy Segment)
The Nexus Dialogue 2 was further supported by the Government of Switzerland, UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative, Imperial College London, Stockholm Environment Institute, and the University of Geneva.
For further information about the Environment Management Group Nexus Dialogue series, see https://unemg.org/emg-nexus-dialogues/dialogue-2
Vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate change is highest for least developed countries.
Equity dimensions inform the Sixth Global Environment Outlook
The drivers and pressures of environmental degradation are not evenly distributed across society. Nor are the benefits and risks of exposure to, and impacts of, environmental change equitably shared by present and future generations.
The Sustainable Development Goals hold out the promise to ensure that no one will be left behind as we strive to implement the 2030 Agenda. The inability to account for equity issues lead to policy failure on environmental issues which endanger achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Globally, approximately 702 million people live in extreme poverty on less than US$1.90 per day. Most poor people today live in middle-income countries, but in 10 years poverty will become more concentrated in the more fragile least developed countries facing conflict and climate stress. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 41% of the population – 389 million people – lived in extreme poverty in 2013, leaving them vulnerable to economic downturns and other external shocks.
It has long been understood that developing countries are likely to suffer most from the negative impacts of climate change, due to the economic importance of climate-sensitive sectors (e.g., agriculture and fisheries) for these countries, and to their limited human, institutional, and financial capacity to respond to the direct and indirect effects of climate change. The vulnerability is highest for least developed countries in the tropical and subtropical areas.
While the distribution of poverty remains daunting, new drivers of deprivation have emerged in the present century. Environmental change and environmental degradation – desertification, deforestation, land degradation, climate change and water scarcity – are fundamentally redrawing the map of our world.
The costs of inaction on climate and other environmental issues often fall especially hard upon those directly dependent on natural resources and nature’s contribution to humanity. Approximately 70 percent of the world’s poor depend on natural resources for all or part of their livelihoods. Ecosystem services and other non-market goods make up between 50 and 90 percent of the total source of livelihoods among poor rural and forest-dwelling households worldwide—the so-called “GDP of the poor”.
Environmental degradation reinforces existing inequities, which in turn become further drivers of degradation, such as the loss of biodiversity, increasing levels of pollution or land degradation. Failing to account for the equity dimension can perpetrate a vicious inequality–environmental degradation circle.
The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) assessments, and their consultative and collaborative processes, have worked to bridge the gap between science and policy by turning the best available scientific knowledge into information relevant for decision makers. Equity dimensions now need to be incorporated in the GEO. Attention to equity in policy making enhances the prospects for environmental effectiveness by ensuring that trade-offs are minimized, conflicts are pre-empted and prosperity is promoted.
The Equity dimensions team authors Leisa Perch, a policy specialist with the World Centre for Sustainable Development based in Barbados, and Sándor Fülöp, the Former Parliamentary Commissioner for future generations in Hungary, supported by Joeri Scholtens, a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Geography, are working to weave the equity dimension into the Global Environment Outlook.
The Sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) will go beyond previous editions of the Outlook by incorporating an equity perspective, one that recognizes that planetary health and human health are intimately interwoven.
We wish to thank Professor Joyeeta Gupta and Dr. Joeri Scholtens, of the University of Amsterdam, and Isabell Kempf, of the Poverty-Environment Initiative, for their contributions to this article.
POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE AFRICA
Malawi launches Poverty Report showing opportunities to reduce poverty and gain return on investments in environment
Malawi is a land-locked country in Africa with a large rural population that is mainly dependent on agriculture. The well-being of Malawians and the country’s economy thus depend on the well-being of the country’s natural resources including good nutrient soils for agriculture, healthy fisheries and forestry ecosystems. Unfortunately, population pressure, poverty and climatic variations are increasing the pressure on cultivable land and accentuating the degradation of these natural resources.
A new study, Overcoming Poverty in Malawi through Sustainable Environment and Natural Resource Management, by the Poverty-Environment Initiative and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Planning finalized in December 2016 and officially launched in Lilongwe on 15 June 2017 quantifies the poverty-environment connections in Malawi and identifies sustainable pathways for poverty reduction and economic growth.
The study finds that among rural and peri-urban households, 18% of incomes come from natural resource products, such as charcoal, fuel wood, honey and mushroom, and another 17% of incomes are derived from agricultural produce. This means that healthy environments and natural resources are essential for household incomes as well as people’s well-being.
The poverty-environment nexus also has bearings at the national or macroeconomic level. For example, the study finds that a one percent increase (US$300,000) in public investments for sustainable environmental and natural resource management would increase the annual gross domestic product (GDP) by US$17 million. That is a significant return on investment that makes both environmental, social and economic sense.
On the other hand, a one percent reduction in forest cover alone translates to a loss in income of nearly US$24 million per year. This is crucial as Malawi currently has the highest deforestation rate in southern Africa. Moreover, solid fuels (fuel wood and charcoal) meet 98.7% of the total energy needs for local populations. Concerted efforts to reduce deforestation rates and promote alternative green sources of energy are needed.
The study calls for a more integrated approach to environmental, poverty and economic development in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In light of the findings it recommends increased investments in environmental and natural resource sustainability to achieve poverty, food security, economic as well as sustainability goals.
Ben Botolo, Secretary to the Treasury of the Government of Malawi, said that the study has “come at an opportune time, when the country is developing the successor strategy to the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy and that the report will inform its formulation.” He emphasized the need to “recognise that the future landscape of poverty reduction and development requires environmental protection and climate change mitigation as its foundation”.
Ms. Claire Medina, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP, said “from the findings of the study it is clear that Malawi can significantly reduce poverty and the vulnerability of people to food insecurity by increasing budgeting and public expenditures to the most important sectors of the economy including the environment and natural resources”.
Rubaya Green Village generates net benefits of US$21 million and reduces poverty by almost 1%
Like many other children from the village, 15 year-old Sandrine, would regularly accompany her mother to collect fire wood and water for the household, an activity traditionally undertaken by women and children. Walking long distances down the steep slopes for up to three hours at a time carrying wood or containers for collecting water meant that that little time was left in the day for anything else. Due to this arduous undertaking, Sandrine’s mother laments, many children in the village could no longer attend school. Over-cultivation of land, inadequate soil conservation and deforestation from firewood collection caused fertile soil to be washed away during heavy rains resulting in lower agricultural productivity and food security.
Things were quite bleak for the people and the environment.
However, since 2010, the rural village of Rubaya, nestled among the hills of northern Rwanda, has been quietly leading a sustainable development revolution. In partnership with the Rwanda’s Environment Management Authority (REMA), and a range of other ministries, including Local Government, Infrastructure and Agriculture and under the leadership of the local women’s-led cooperative the Poverty-Environment Initiative, have supported the adoption of a range of environmentally sustainable approaches and technologies making Rubaya the country’s first ‘Green Village’.
Terracing and tree planting has reduced soil erosion and deforestation which improved agricultural productivity, plus reduced flooding, siltation and water pollution from fertilizer run-off. The new biogas plants have provided Rubaya with a clean source of energy, reducing smoke related health problems from open fires and dependency on firewood, thereby reducing rates of deforestation. Rainwater harvested and stored in reservoirs and underground tanks is used for crop irrigation and household consumption. With these resources now available close at hand, women and children now have more time to engage in other productive activities.
The ‘Green Village’ initiative has improved the lives and livelihoods of community residents, particularly women.
Ms. Muhawenimana Solange, the leader of the cooperative, observed that since the beginning of the ‘green village’ project “we are getting more crops, yields have increased and we live in better houses”.
Ms. Solange recalls that previously “the poor people were the poorest among the poor but if you see them now, they look better off. Living conditions are better. Now we have biogas, a school, a health centre and water. We have solved all of these problems”.
A cost-benefit analysis of the project, Assessment of the Economic, Social and Environment Benefits of the Rubaya Green Village in Gicumbi District, Rwanda (2017) has shown that the green village project is very cost-effective. The village cost about US$636,000 to construct and costs about US$22,000 per year to run. Using conservative figures, the project demonstrates an internal rate of return of 5.8 percent, 7.7 percent and 8.9 percent over 15, 20 and 30 years, respectively.
The study also estimated the benefits of investing in an additional 30 villages of 100 households each – a total of 3,000 beneficiaries, which would cost about US$48 million. It is estimated this would generate net benefits of about US$21million at a 6 percent discount rate over 30 years, generate further indirect economic benefits equivalent to 0.8 percent of GDP and lead to a 0.71 percent decrease in the extreme poverty rate of 16.3 percent (in 2015).
Excited by what Rubaya’s green village has demonstrated, the Environment Authority has worked with the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and other government partners to promote the replication of green villages and green practices. Since 2016, all 30 district development plans in Rwanda have included the setting up of at least one green village.
As of 31 December 2016, there were seven green villages countrywide. Indicators and a monitoring and evaluation framework to track implementation and impact have been put in place and the level of progress on implementation will form a part of the district mayors’ performance contracts.
Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa Report Connects Poverty-Environment Dots at Green Ministerial Dialogue
Livelihoods, poverty reduction efforts and economic growth in Africa are highly dependent on the quality and availability of natural resources, and are thus extremely vulnerable to degradation of those resources and to climate change. Development efforts hence need to equally embrace economic, social and environmental sustainability as emphasized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want.
Many countries in Africa have already made important gains towards breaking down the silos among sectors, stakeholders, hierarchies and disciplines – by fostering more coordinated and integrated approaches to development policymaking, planning, monitoring, budgeting and implementation. Several countries have made notable progress since 2005 through their partnership with the Poverty-Environment Initiative of UNDP and UN Environment.
The work that African governments and the Initiative have done together offers many lessons on how to achieve real-world sustainable development and also the pieces of the puzzle that must be put in place to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa 2063 goals within national contexts.
Through examples provided in the new publication – Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa: Country lessons from applying integrated approaches – we illustrate how policymakers, government staff and development practitioners can start putting in place what the former UN Secretary General called: “a practical twenty-first century development model that connects the dots among the key issues of our time: poverty reduction; job generation; inequality; climate change; environmental stress; water energy and food security.”
Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa: Country lessons from applying integrated approaches was released at the Sixteenth Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) held from 12 to 16 June 2017 in Libreville, Gabon, under the theme Investing in Innovative Environmental Solutions to accelerate implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 in Africa. The report was officially launched by Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director and Regional Representative, Africa Office, UN Environment, during the SWITCH Africa Green Ministerial Dialogue: Enabling Green Business Development in Africa.
Fifty participants from government ministers, civil society and African entrepreneurs attended the launch event. The dialogue and the launch event featured the Ministers of Environment from Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda, as well as Mr. Bernard Crabbe from the European Union.
In her remarks for the launch, Ms. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director of the UN Environment Africa Office, highlighted how the work of the Poverty-Environment Initiative in Africa have been groundbreaking in terms of fostering better collaboration between ministries of environment and ministries of finance and economic and social players a crucial aspect for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
Malawi takes an integrated approach to food security, environmental sustainability and poverty reduction
Sustainable agriculture is a key to unlocking Malawi’s economic development and poverty reduction efforts. The agriculture sector accounts for 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 17% of household incomes comes from agriculture produce, according to a new study, Overcoming Poverty in Malawi through Sustainable Environment and Natural Resource Management: Identifying Policy Options to Accelerate Poverty Reduction, issued by the UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Malawi in association with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Management Consortium (ANARMAC).
The study points out that agricultural productivity is significantly below potential yields due to reduced soil fertility and soil erosion driven by unsustainable and changing land use practices as well as climate change.
In Malawi, the average soil loss rate is 29 tonnes per hectare per year. A separate study by Poverty-Environment Initiative and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has estimated that soil loss reduces the country’s agricultural productivity by 6%.
Reducing soil erosion and recovering agriculture yields would have lifted nearly 2 million people out of poverty in the decade between 2005 and 2015
If soil erosion was significantly reduced and lost agriculture yields recovered, approximately 1.88 million people would have been lifted out of poverty between 2005 and 2015.
Agricultural productivity is also below potential yields due to gender-based inequalities between women and men as well as between the young and the old in access to and control of productive and financial resources. Young farmers have been found to be up to 3% less productive than their older counterparts.
If the gender gap in agriculture productivity would be closed 238,000 people could be lifted out of poverty, crop production increase by 7.3% and GDP by 100 million every year, according to a report, The Cost of the Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda, issued in 2015 by UN Women, Poverty-Environment Initiative and The World Bank.
Linking the Sustainable Development Goals
The findings from the studies by the Poverty-Environment Initiative and its partners clearly demonstrate that to achieve food security (Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2)) by increasing agricultural productivity sustainable ecosystems and natural resource management (SDG 15), gender equality (SDG 5) is essential. It also highlights that an inclusive and sustainable agriculture is the key to achieve poverty reduction (SDG 1) and economic growth (SDG 8). A changing climate means that there is a shrinking window of opportunity for action, and it is imperative that climate smart approaches (SDG 13) to agriculture helps close the poverty and gender gap and promote societal resilience to shocks.
H.E. Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza, Malawi's Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, said “I see [The Cost of the Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda] report as a strong tool to use to inform policy and strategies that can enhance productivity in Malawi. It is also an important tool for us as a ministry to begin to translate the Sustainable Development Goals, and more specifically Goal 1, on eradicating extreme poverty for all people.”
Poverty-Environment Initiative display at the Gender booth, United Nations Environment Assembly, Nairobi, 4-6 December 2017.
South-South Cooperation promotes environmentally-friendly packaging, employment for women’s cooperatives
The use and poor waste management of non-biodegradable plastic bags is a major concern across the African continent. Several African countries, supported by the UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative, have banned the use and production of thin plastic bags as a way of controlling plastic pollution and maintaining a clean environment.
In 2008, Rwanda became one of the first African countries to put in place a complete ban on thin plastic bags as part of its Vision 2020: Sustainability and Climate Action Plan 2017-2020.
Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa partnered with the government in Kigali to train 110 female street vendors on how to set up co-operatives that can access funds from the government's National Environment and Climate Change Fund (FONERWA), enabling the women to produce alternative, environmentally-friendly packaging that they can sell to their customers.
In 2011, Poverty-Environment Initiative facilitated South-South cooperation between Malawi, Rwanda and Mozambique. During this event, the Government of Rwanda shared their experiences on banning of plastic bags and introduction of sustainable substitutes created by women’s community organizations.
Inspired by the visit and Rwanda’s success in banning thin plastic bags, the Government of Malawi banned the use, sale, production, exploration and importation of plastic bags of less than 60 microns in 2015.
In 2016, Mozambique banned the production, import or sale of plastic bags that are less than 30 microns, and obliged shops to charge for thicker bags rather than giving them away for free.
To end plastic bag pollution, help the poor find biodegradable substitutes.
POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE IN ASIA PACIFIC
Asia-Pacific Region shares lessons for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through public and private investments
The Poverty-Environment Initiative Regional Results and Lessons Learned Workshop: Public and Private Investments for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, held in Bangkok from 22 to 23 November 2017, brought together over 50 participants from governments, development partners, private sector and think tanks from countries in the Asia and Pacific region to shared lessons for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Since 2008, the UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative has worked in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Thailand to integrate pro-poor environmental and climate change priorities into core development planning and budgeting processes.
2017 marks the final full year of Poverty-Environment Initiative’s current phase.
The regional workshop was organized to provide the opportunity for countries to share Initiative results and lessons learned, and develop innovative ways and partnerships to ensure sustainability of the results for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The workshop also included sessions on the One Belt, One Road Initiative, under the common theme of public and private investments for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the region.
Expert Training on Strengthening Environmental Statistics Convenes in Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, working in collaboration with the Poverty-Environment Initiative, the General Economics Division and The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, convened an expert group training workshop on strengthening capacity to gather and analyse environmental statistics, in Dhaka, from 15 to 17 May 2017. The meeting was attended by 50 participants from across 28 different ministries and government agencies.
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, in collaboration with the General Economics Division, Planning Commission, has developed the Bangladesh Environmental Statistics Framework 2016-2030. The Framework is a comprehensive strategic action plan, guideline and authentic platform for collecting, analyzing, reporting and disseminating environment statistics based on national priorities and focused on Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, Accelerating Growth, Empowering Every Citizen: Bangladesh Seventh Five Year Plan (Fiscal Year 2016-Fiscal Year 2020) and others successive plans of the Government of Bangladesh.
Officials had the opportunity to assess the current availability of sectoral data, develop a work plan for the Bureau of Statistics to work with sectors and discuss the development of a training module to pilot Poverty-Environment Accounts and Experimental Ecosystem Accounts under the Bangladesh Environmental Statistics Framework.
Poverty-Environment Accounts and Experimental Ecosystem Accounts form the main strategic goals of the Framework. It aims to link environmental and climate vulnerability data to poverty data and facilitate the use of poverty-environment linked resilient indicators to monitor specific plans, budgets and policies.
Measuring the links between Poverty and Environment in Asia-Pacific
Over the last 10 years, Poverty-Environment Initiative has been working in the Asia-Pacific region to promote sustainable development for achieving poverty eradication and environmental conservation. The Poverty-Environment Initiative-supported countries have made a notable progress in integrating pro-poor environmental priorities into the national, sectoral and sub-national development planning and budgeting processes.
Yet many of the countries in the region have been experiencing challenges in measuring and accounting for the nexus between poverty and environment in an empirical and systematic manner.
Existing frameworks such as the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, while quantifying the links between the environment and socio-economic well-being, still contain gaps. In order to address this and build on existing knowledge, Poverty-Environment Initiative Asia-Pacific is developing and piloting the application of the Poverty-Environment Accounting Framework.
The Poverty-Environment Accounting Framework is an adaptation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting that can be used to generate information that responds to specific poverty-environment-nexus indicators. Integrated data will help better demonstrate the causal relationships between environment and poverty and further help in quantifying, monitoring and reporting on these relationships to inform policymaking and investment decisions.
This pilot Poverty-Environment Accounting Framework was presented at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Sub-Regional Workshop on Environmental Statistics for ASEAN Countries, held on 4 November 2017. National Statistics Officers from key countries that work with Poverty-Environment Initiative, including Lao People's Democratic Republic, Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines attended the workshop, as well as Cambodia, Malaysia, and Timor-Leste (East Timor), were introduced to both the Framework as well as Poverty-Environment Initiative’s approach to mainstreaming poverty-environment and climate into planning and budgeting processes.
The Poverty-Environment Accounting Framework was also presented at the Expert Group Training Workshop on the Situation Analysis of Environmental Statistics for Developing [the] Bangladesh Environmental Statistics Framework 2016-2030, held by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics on 6 November 2017 in Dhaka.
The Poverty-Environment Initiative is supporting the Statistics Bureau and the Planning Commission to better link poverty data to environment, climate and disaster data to inform poverty reduction policies and programmes by applying the Poverty Environment Accounting Framework. This will directly inform the intersectoral monitoring framework of the Sustainable Development Goals and Bangladesh’s Seventh Five Year Plan.
Mr. Rafiq-ul-Islam, Deputy Director, Environment, Climate Change and. Disaster Statistics, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, said “The Poverty Accounting Framework is very relevant to Bangladesh right now. In November, we held an Expert Group Meeting that was attended by 65 participants from 28 different ministries. Thanks to the UNDP and UN Environment, the [Poverty Environment Accounting Framework] is important for Environmental Statistics Framework for Bangladesh as well as for collecting data for policy making for the [Sustainable Development Goals] and to meet the targets of the Seventh Five Year Plan.”
Financing for the Sustainable Development Goals: Role of fiscal reforms, revenue management and sovereign wealth funds in the extractives sector examined
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will require the mobilization of all available sources of financing (domestic, international, public and private). Among the financing options available, strengthening domestic resource mobilization (SDG Target 17.1) will be particularly important as it can create fiscal space for sustainable budget expenditures, improve the effectiveness of public spending, reduce aid dependency, leverage private investment and improve governance among others. The mobilization and effective use of domestic public resources is one of the core areas for action in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.
Fiscal reforms and other complementary measures in the extractives sector can help generate additional public revenues while reducing some of the negative environmental and social impacts from extractive activities. If these financial resources are effectively channeled through for example a well-governed sovereign wealth/natural resource fund, they can be invested to support delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals and other long-term objectives (e.g., to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons, tap into burgeoning sectors such as clean technology, renewable energy and low-carbon transport) without compromising financial returns.
The Green Fiscal Policy Network (UN Environment, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Monetary Fund), in collaboration with the UNDP–UN Environment Poverty Environment Initiative Asia Pacific convened a regional workshop from 7 to 8 December 2016 in Bangkok. The workshop explored how to mobilize and effectively use revenues from the extractives industry while addressing negative environmental and social impacts through fiscal reforms and strategically designed fiscal frameworks and sovereign wealth funds/natural resource funds to support delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The workshop took place in the framework of discussions to mobilize financing to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and will build on discussions at the South-South Exchange and Training Workshop on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development, organized jointly by the UNDP Regional Office and UNDP–UN Enviornment Poverty Environment Initiative in Bangkok from 6 to 9 October 2015.
Poverty-Environment Initiative country representatives from Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Philippines and Mongolia shared their experiences on issues such as the role of local governments in benefit sharing, prioritizing community development and assessing impacts of the sector on local livelihoods.
The Lao PDR Investment Compliance Database shares investment data across ministerial departments as an effective way to understand overall compliance with financial, social and environmental obligations.
What is Lao People's Democratic Republic Investment Compliance Database and how does it help to manage investments for environmental and social sustainability?
During 2015, the key economic sectors of mining, agriculture and electricity generation accounted for 14.49 per cent, 36.76 per cent and 44.78 per cent of Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) respectively, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Foreign and Domestic Direct Investments. However, this natural resource approach to economic development comes with considerable hidden costs not captured in GDP, such as water and air pollution, loss of ecosystems, and services such as water regulation, soil fertility – all of which adversely affect livelihoods.
The UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative has been supporting the Ministry of Planning and Investment to manage an investment compliance database that seeks to improve the monitoring of compliance of investors, to ensure that environmental and social safeguards are in place.
The Investment Compliance Database is a streamlined, integrated system for the regulation of investments from the application stage until project closure. The database captures essential data pertaining to licensing, taxes, duties, Memoranda of Understanding, concession agreement information, data on environmental and social obligations and other related information crucial to management and monitoring the quality of investments.
Much of the data stems from information obtained during the initial investment approving procedures, which differentiates between concessions of agricultural activities in connection with land, mines and electricity. Mining concessions include mineral processing activities, excavation of stones, sand, exploration of oils and gas. Electricity concessions span from those below 15 megawatts (MW) to above 15 MW. Agricultural concessions include growing crops, rearing livestock and developing plantations, among other activities.
Established in the Investment Promotion Department of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the database can now be linked to share investment data across ministerial departments as an effective way to understand overall compliance against financial, social and environmental obligations. Departments are now able to access the necessary information for compliance monitoring and enforcement of regulations. As a result of this, it is expected that information for monitoring and reporting will also be largely consistent.
An updated Investment Compliance Database was set up in 2015. As of August 2016, the total number of investment projects approved by the Investment Promotion Department was 1,955 projects of which 1,110 investment projects had been recorded into the database.
This web-based database can be found at: http://220.127.116.11/investment/login.php
POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE EUROPE AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES
Regional meeting on opportunities for inclusive greener economies in Central Asia shares lessons learned from Poverty-Environment Initiative
The Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (ECIS) Regional Experts Meeting, Opportunities for Inclusive Greener Economies in Central Asia, was organized by the Poverty-Environment Initiative Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States Regional Programme in Istanbul, Turkey, from 24 to 26 October 2017. Fourteen representatives of the Governments of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan drawn from ministries of finance and planning, and national environmental, information or statistical agencies, and the Ecological Commission of the Parliament of Tajikistan and the Center for Strategic Research under the President of Tajikistan, were joined by the Poverty-Environment Initiative directors and managers at the event.
The Experts Meeting aimed to establish a regional dialogue with a distinct focus on poverty-environment nexus to handover the results and tools of the Poverty-Environment Initiative programme. It sought to develop capacity on poverty-environment mainstreaming and share achievements and lessons learned from the Poverty-Environment Initiative Phase II in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It further served as well as a regional platform to take stock on the Initiative’s experience and explore opportunities to refine poverty-environment niche in support of Sustainable Development Goals road maps and inclusive green economy.
George Bouma, Team Leader, Sustainable Development Team, UNDP Regional Hub in Istanbul, highlighted opportunities to apply lessons learned from the Initiative to promote implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Isabell Kempf, Co-director, Poverty-Environment Initiative, UN Environment, and Anne Juepner, Director, Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification, and Co-director, Poverty-Environment Initiative, UNDP, presented the new project Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals (2018-22). The project, which will focus on eight Least Developed Countries in Africa and Asia Pacific, will continue to provide knowledge products and experience to other regions through South-South exchange and knowledge sharing. Mses. Kempf and Juepner welcomed efforts by the UNDP Regional Hub in Istanbul to mobilize resources for continuation of selected activities supporting ongoing mainstreaming of poverty-environment and climate objectives in the Central Asian sub-region.
Michael Stanley-Jones, Programme Management Officer, Poverty-Environment Initiative, delivered a tutorial on Mainstreaming into Budgeting Processes, Sector Strategies and Subnational Plans and Budgets, drawing from the Initiative’s 2015 Handbook, Mainstreaming Environment and Climate for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development. Stanley-Jones introduced the Interactive Handbook and Compendium of Poverty-Environment-Climate Mainstreaming Tools, Experiences and Results, which is currently under development by the Initiative and its partners.
BIOFIN make the business case for biodiversity investments.
The Poverty-Environment Facility team also met with representatives of the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) to further explore partnerships under Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals.
In Tajikistan, women are a driving force of the new, more equitable and sustainable model of growth.
Women’s role in adapting to climate change challenged by massive out-migration of men from rural Tajikistan
Poverty is the worst pollution in the face of climate change, and even more when your voice is not heard.
Tajikistan’s mountains and the terrains are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the world; however, the 93% mountain cover of the territory makes the country physically vulnerable to climate change and the least able to adapt. The changing weather patterns have triggered a chain reaction putting the agricultural sector under large stress, affecting the 70% of the rural population dependent on farming for their livelihoods.
Women have very limited capacity to cope with or recover from weather related losses induced by climate change. And, this might pose an additional risk to affect natural capital and agricultural productivity. Thus, there is a need to strengthen the knowledge of current and potential implications of climate change and environmental degradation to inform gender responsive strategies.
Along with having two jobs of feeding the family and making an income of the land, women are still restricted by patriarchal social-culture practices even when being left to head the farm due to massive male out-migration. This culture limits women´s capacity to better adapt to changing environment, because it restricts women’s rights to: land ownership; access to natural resources; participation in decision-making; education; and lack of access to markets, capital and technology.
In Tajikistan the majority of farmers are women, yet they only own 8% of the farms, which can have an impact on the way natural capital is exploited. That’s why it is important not to victimize women due to their vulnerabilities, but see women as actors of change possessing knowledge and skills critical in finding solutions to environmental challenges. Women are a driving force of the new, more equitable and sustainable model of growth. Their holistic way of farming and alternatives for land use is a turn towards sustainable farming, and their position as family caretakers of natural and household resources position them to contribute and adjust more easily towards the changing environmental realities and the strategies adapted. Gender equality is a driver of sustainable environmental development that can help to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative is working to raise awareness of the linkages between gender-environment-poverty by integrating pro-poor and pro-environmental objectives for green growth in national and sub-national development planning. The Initiative aims for sustainability in resources, reduction in poverty and equity for marginalized groups including women. Since 2010, Poverty-Environment Initiative has been working together with the Tajik Government and has so far successfully launched projects and enterprises supported by regional trust funds; and also, green micro-loans, giving Tajik women an active role in the local economy and a chance to strive for a better livelihood.
These synergies between gender equality, economic development and environmental sustainability should not be forgotten in order to strengthen women´s access to economic opportunities, green jobs, eco-friendly technologies and services; and thus, supporting women´s resilience in the face of disaster and climate change adaption.
Decades of ecological mismanagement has left the 7% of Kyrgyzstan's arable land strained, making eradicating poverty a challenge.
Kyrgyzstan transitions to green economy to benefit the poor, improve natural resource management
Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked country where the mountains cover over 65% of the territory, has been called the Switzerland of Asia. Independence from the Soviet rule and the transition from the former command economy to a free market economy in the 1990's had severely disrupted agriculture and increased rural poverty, which today comprises three-quarters of the country’s poor. The Agricultural sector, which produces abundant cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat, remains the backbone of the economy that is slowly recovering.
Poverty, however, persists.
Poverty is highly concentrated with 30% of the population living under the national poverty rate. The poor of necessity rely on natural resources to feed themselves and thrive, placing an increasing burden on the land. Decades of ecological mismanagement has left the 7% of arable land strained due to inefficient use and pollution of water resources, land degradation and improper agricultural practices. An estimated 60% of Kyrgyzstan´s land is affected by topsoil loss mainly because of man´s impact of excessive logging for fuel wood and house building, also weed plugging of remote pastures.
Eradicating poverty, therefore, remains a challenge. While the Millennium Development Goals helped to lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty globally, the Sustainable Development Goals aim to keep them out of poverty. To reduce poverty, development needs to be both socially and environmentally sustainable.
The Sustainable Development Goals represent the priorities for the economy and catalyze what markets should be delivering for people and societies. The introduction of a "green economy" is leading a new trajectory of sustainable development to ensure the balanced approach to its three components: the economic, environment and social.
Green economy is an important tool for achieving Kyrgyzstan’s sustainable development. The initiative of “green” is based on three main principles: highlighting natural ecosystem services, providing “green” jobs and policies to people, and achieving sustainable development through market mechanisms. Green economy creates jobs and generates incomes for the most vulnerable and gives them an opportunity to take an active role in local economic activities.
UNDP and UN Environment are working to help Kyrgyzstan build its capacity to integrate environmental considerations into development plans and strategies, including sustainable use of natural resources, and to ensure that natural wealth is used to improve people´s lives.
Green villages work to reverse ecosystem degradation and create green job opportunities
Increases in national income depend, among other initiatives, on the continued productivity of Kyrgyzstan´s pastures; hence, reversing their deterioration. Inclusive growth relies on eco-efficiency.
In UNDP´s “Green village” initiative in Ugut and Ak-Muz villages of Naryn oblast practical “Do it yourself” trainings and “green” agricultural technologies were provided to local communities, enabling 1,400 residents to raise greenhouse crops and produce fresh vegetables year-round. The initiative further oversaw installation of solar water heating systems and energy-efficient LED streetlights.
In this fashion, Kyrgyzstan has demonstrated its potential to use alternative energy sources and thrive in the transition to “green” economic growth of resource-effectiveness and low-carbon development, which will complement economic, social and environmental policies.
With the joint UNDP–UN Environment Poverty Environment Initiative, the Kyrgyz Republic have been steered to a path of better natural resource use, poverty reduction, promotion of environmental sustainability and addressing the intertwined challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals.
POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Articulating social and environmental policy for sustainable development: Practical options in Latin America and the Caribbean
The first meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development was held from 26 to 28 April 2017 at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico in Mexico City.
This multi-stakeholder forum brought together Latin American and Caribbean governments members of the forum, members of parliament, the United Nations system, financial institutions and development banks, regional and subregional integration organizations, civil society, the private sector and academia.
On the occasion of the Forum, the UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Programme launched a new report Articulating social and environmental policy for sustainable development: Practical options in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report presents cases of integration and complementarity between public policies on social protection and environmental sustainability.
Ensuring environmental sustainability as the basis of a prosperous future poses a challenge to humanity, which will have to find alternative ways to "leave no one behind" without undermining the natural basis of well-being and livelihoods. The examples presented in the report show that there are already policies and tools that can generate simultaneous positive impacts in terms of poverty reduction and environmental sustainability, and provide us with a series of indications for progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Gregoria Cruz, Recicla vida waste recycler (photo by Sally Jabiel / PNUD Perú).
Development that is born from waste
A force of female recyclers that today, far from the dumps, advocates for proper solid waste management of Peru
By PNUD Perú in Medio Ambiente (30 June 2017)
Gregoria Cruz does not collect the garbage, she recycles. Today, many women, just like Gregoria, have abandoned the dumps in Arequipa to become promoters of a recycling culture and thus show that there are also opportunities for sustainable development in waste.
Today at age 49, Gregoria works as a formal recycler in Recicla Vida, one of the associations strengthened by the Poverty-Environment Initiative in Peru. And it is not just a politically correct definition. It was from this experience of UNDP, UN Environment, UN Volunteers, the Ministry of the Environment and the Provincial Municipality of Arequipa that her work, and that of other female recyclers, has changed completely.
Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa: Country lessons from applying integrated approaches
Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa (Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa, June 2017)
Annual Progress Report 2016
Annual Progress Report 2016 (UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative, July 2017)
Articulating Social and Environmental Policy for Sustainable Development: Practical options in Latin America and the Caribbean
Articulating Social and Environmental Policy for Sustainable Development (UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean, July 2017)
Blossom Time: The UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative 2016 Annual Report
Blossom Time (UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative, August 2017)
Building an inclusive and climate-resilient future: An integrated approach to pro-poor sustainable development
Building an inclusive and climate-resilient future (UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Tajikistan, August 2017)
Poverty-Environment Accounting Framework: Application to Inform Public Investments in Environment, Climate Change and Poverty
Poverty-Environment Accounting Framework (UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Asia Pacific, November 2017)
Gender, Energy and Policy: A Review of Energy in East and Southern Africa
Gender, Energy and Policy (UN Women and UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative, December 2017)
Leave No One Behind: The Goals Must Change
Civicus, Project Everyone and Development Initiatives supported by UK Aid
Screening and Monitoring Investments for Sustainable Development (Laotian, English subtitles)
UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Asia Pacific
The power of pro-poor investments in agriculture (Burmese, English subtitles)
UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Asia Pacific
Vulnerability to Climate Hazards Index in Dominican Republic (Spanish)
UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean
Poverty–Environment–Gender in Peru
UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean
Consumo Responsible (Spanish)
UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean
UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean
UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean
UNDP‒UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean
Seon-Mi Choi, Regional Advisor/Manager of the Poverty-Environment Initiative Asia-Pacific programme, will join United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific as Regional Advisor on Environment and Climate Change in Bangkok from January 2018.
Alex Forbes, a long-time Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa Programme Officer who jointly served with the Poverty-Environment Facility, will join the UN Environment Ecosystem Division Climate Change Adaptation Unit, in Nairobi, as of January 2018.
We are grateful to Seon-mi and Alex for their many fine contributions to the Poverty-Environment Initiative. Congratulation to both on the new and exciting appointments.
Jacinta Okwaro joined Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa as a Programme Management Officer/Gender Specialist in Nairobi in October 2017. Formerly, Jacinta was with the East and Southern Africa Regional Office of UN Women, where she focused on engaging citizens in natural resource governance specifically in the Extractive Industries Sector in the region.
Victoria Luque Panadero, Programme Management Officer, Poverty-Environment Initiative, returns to the Poverty-Environment Facility in Nairobi full-time to lead Donor Relations and Resource Mobilization as of 1 January 2018. She will also serve as the Initiative’s focal point on Partnerships.
Moa Westman, Regional Advisor with Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa, gave birth to a baby girl, Wilma, on 12 October 2017. Moa is currently on maternity leave.
The UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative is currently funded by the Governments of the European Union, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Poverty-Environment Initiative would like to thank the donors for their support to the programme.
© 2017 UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative. Cover photo by Neil Palmer (CIAT). All rights reserved.
Edited by Michael Stanley-Jones. Please send your contributions to Michael Stanley-Jones (michael.stanley¬firstname.lastname@example.org).
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