Improved Environment
Fighting poverty through improved environment

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-level efforts to mainstream poverty-environment linkages into national development plans and processes, from policy making to budgeting, implementation and monitoring.

With both financial and technical support, UNDP and UNEP assist 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 works with key government partners to raise awareness, influence policy making and strengthen the mainstreaming of poverty-environment into budget processes, sector programmes and sub-national planning. The overall aim is to bring about lasting institutional change and to catalyze key actors to increase investments in pro-poor environmental and natural resource management.

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, Latin America and the Caribbean;
  3. operates through a global Facility, four regional teams and through UN country teams.

The Regional Support Programmes offer: (i) guidance on strategic planning and information about poverty-environmental mainstreaming issues in the region; (ii) define a set of priority services, including trainings and knowledge management services for countries in the region; (iii) allocate funds for country programmes and (iv) provide advisory services and support for the regional communities.

The Poverty and Environment Initiative in Europe

The initiative was formally launched in December 2008 with an inception workshop in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. As a result of the inception event, two countries in Central Asia (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) were selected for full-fledged country programming, while Armenia and Albania were selected for the technical assistance component. Phase 1 (2010-2013) of the programme in these countries has been completed and Phase 2 (2014-2017) has now been launched. By the end of 2017 the following results are expected to be achieved:

  • Poverty-Environment (PE) approaches and tools for integrated development policies, plans and coordination mechanisms are applied.
  • Cross-sectoral budget and expenditure frameworks and coordination mechanisms as well as environment-economic accounting systems are institutionalised.
  • Pro-poor environmental outcomes are integrated into regional institutions and sustainable development processes.

Based in Geneva (Switzerland) and Bratislava (Slovak Republic), the regional PEI team manages the PEI Europe & CIS Programme; provides support to governments and UNDP country offices to facilitate PEI implementation; and promotes the sharing of knowledge and lessons learnt from the different countries in the programme.