UN Poverty-Environment Initiative Deepens Efforts on Gender, Equality and Stakeholder Partnerships

UNDP UNEP12 June 2013: The UN Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) launched its 2013-2017 programme, announcing that its new phase will consolidate current programme achievements, further integrate gender and equality concerns, and strengthen stakeholder partnerships for the long-term mainstreaming of poverty-environment issues.

UNDP and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) jointly manage the PEI, which assists countries in managing the environment to improve livelihoods and create sustainable growth, especially supporting policymaking, budgeting, implementation and monitoring at national and sub-national levels. The initiative has worked with countries on issues such as climate change governance, building blocks for a green economy, ecosystems and human wellbeing, and chemicals and waste management.

In a press release, the host agencies said they would help ensure “that poverty reduction occupies a central place in the UN's drive for environmental sustainability, and vice versa.” They said that the new programme phase was responding to growing demand from countries to address poverty together with environmental and sustainability concerns. They noted that since 2008, the PEI has worked in almost 30 countries, and its next phase will likely include Albania, Indonesia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Peru and Paraguay.

A booklet describing the PEI experiences in Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Malawi, Tajikistan and Uruguay, 'PEI Stories of Change,' is available on the PEI website.

UNDP has also issued a discussion paper, 'What Drives Institutions to Adopt Integrated Development Approaches?' which describes lessons learned, including the need to link poverty-environment initiatives to high-priority economic issues, for example, in the agriculture and energy sectors. It puts forward several tools for integrating environmental concerns within the budget framework, such as expenditure reviews, and integrated ecosystem assessments. [UNEP press release] [UNPEI website] [Publication: PEI Stories of Change] [PEI discussion paper]