Poverty-Environment Initiative

The Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a joint global UN-led programme that supports country-led efforts to mainstream poverty-environment linkages into national development planning and processes, from policymaking to budgeting, implementation and monitoring. The UNEP Division for Regional Cooperation through its Regional Offices and the UNEP Division for Policy Implemmentation (DEPI) are jointly managing the Initiative on behalf of UNEP.  With both financial and technical support, UNDP and UNEP assist government decision-makers and a wide range of other stakeholders to manage the environment in a way that improves livelihoods and leads to sustainable growth.

The Initiative:

  1. was formally launched in 2005 and significantly scaled-up in 2007 at the UNEP Governing Council meeting
  2. works in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean
  3. operates through a global Facility, four regional teams and the UN country teams

Regional Delivery:

Support to PEI country programmes is provided through the regional structures of UNDP and UNEP. UNDP Regional Centres and UNEP Regional Offices collaborate to deliver environmental mainstreaming support to countries under the banner of the PEI. The mainstreaming support programmes are aligned with country demand within each region.

The Regional Support Programmes:

  1. Offer guidance on strategic planning and information about poverty-environmental mainstreaming issues in the region;
  2. Define a set of priority services, including trainings and knowledge management services for countries in the region;
  3. Allocate funds for country programmes and provide advisory services, and support for the regional communities of practice;
  4. Ensure that UNDP and UNEP operate in a region and countries within a well-coordinated framework, rather than on an initiative-by-initiative or unit-by-unit basis. This includes working closely with the One UN initiative.

Africa PEI Regional Support Programme:

The PEI programme in Africa was formed by the merger of several country poverty-environment mainstreaming programmes initiated under the UNDP PEI, funded by the European Commission (EC) and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and several country programmes initiated by UNEP, with funding from the Governments of Belgium and Norway.  Since 2005, this regional programme has been managed jointly by UNDP and UNEP. The original 'PEI pilot phase' in Africa included Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. As with other regions, the PEI programme has been scaled up in Africa.  Three new PEI country programmes were launched in Botswana, Burkina Faso and Malawi in 2009/2010. In addition technical support is being provided for specific activities in Liberia. As of 2011, the UNDP-UNEP PEI Africa programme is active in nine countries: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania. The PEI country programme in Uganda came to an end in 2010.

Each PEI-supported country programme has been initiated to meet country-level demand and is tailored to specific national policy processes such as:

  • The development or revision of national planning processes such as PRSPs and national development plans and budgets.
  • Sector development policies strategies, such as agriculture, water, and other natural resources and sectors
  • Mainstreaming initiatives and policies to combat the effects of climate change

The regional PEI Africa programme holds regular annual meetings to share experiences, learn from each other and identify key lessons to assist future work. In November 2010, the PEI Africa regional programme held a four-day interactive Economic Forum that reviewed results and on-going programme work on economic assessment tools and methodologies. Participants discussed best practices and lessons learnt and developed proposals for a consistent future approach on economic assessments.

Related publications: PEI publications and PEI elibrary
Related website: PEI website - Africa regional support programme


For more information please contact :
David Smith
Manager, PEI Africa team

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Mainstreaming Poverty-Environment Linkages into Development Planning: A Handbook for Practitioners
[English] [Français] [Español] [Português] [Русский] [Vietnamese]

Making the economic case: A primer on the economic arguments for mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages into national development planning
[Engl., High resolution, Low resolution] [Français] [Español] [Português]

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