UNDP-UNEP PEI Showcases “Stories of Change”

March 2013: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) has published "Stories of Change" for 2013, which is a booklet that showcases best practices and lessons learned from environmental mainstreaming in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), Malawi, Bangladesh, Tajikistan and Uruguay.

These case studies examine how national and local institutional processes can promote poverty reduction and growth while addressing environmental protection.

Bangladesh launched a Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review to track national and local spending on adaptation strategies, such as disaster management, irrigation programmes and flood protection systems, to evaluate the efficiency of adaptation strategies across 37 government departments. The review underscored the Government's high expenditure on climate change adaptation, which amounts to US$1 billion annually.

In Lao PDR, PEI collaborated with the Government to develop a rulebook that aims to improve foreign direct investment (FDI) quality by tightening conditions and developing new contracts for agricultural agreements that require foreign countries to promote environmental standards, job creation and poverty alleviation. PEI has also worked with local planners to implement a monitoring framework to assess the economic, environmental and social impacts of investments.

Following a PEI economic analysis in the fishery, forestry, soil and wildlife sectors, which revealed that unsustainable natural resource use amounts to 5.3% of Malawi's annual GDP, the Government shifted its national development strategy to take advantage of the economic benefits of environmental-friendly policy choices. This decision also increases community and ecosystem resilience to climate change and promotes sustainable livelihoods.

In Tajikistan, the Government has integrated poverty-environment concerns into its development planning to support green enterprises in poor communities, illustrating how a poverty-environment approach can drive enterprise while supporting livelihoods and restoring ecosystems.

Uruguay has implemented a new wastewater law that recognizes waste recyclers, giving them social protection rights and stable salaries. This law helped increase recognition of informal workers' roles in the waste cycle and to catalyze the transition to an inclusive green economy.

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) prepared the report on behalf of the UNDP-UNEP PEI based on stakeholder interviews and the literature. [UNDP-UNEP PEI Publications Webpage[PEI Website] [Publication: Stories of Change, 2013]