Guidance Note on Integrating Environment linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Processes

28 May 2015

The contribution of environment and natural resources (ENR) to the wealth of nations and to human well-being, particularly in low-income countries, plays a vital role in promoting pro-poor economic growth. However, the continued degradation of ENR poses a critical challenge to countries in achieving their national development goals. Governments need to invest in more sustainable ENR use that contributes to achieving poverty reduction and other development goals. This requires that poverty-environment mainstreaming efforts assess and measure the links between ENR use and poverty, demonstrate how more sustainable use of ENR can help reduce poverty, and identify and implement actions to improve ENR sustainability such that it contributes to the reduction of poverty and the achievement of related development goals, such as food security.
This note provides development practitioners and policy-makers with guidance to meet these three requirements. This guidance is based on the experience of the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) which supports programme countries to quantify identified ENR poverty links in terms of the impact on poverty and to identify policy options to accelerate poverty reduction through the more sustainable use of ENR. PEI also supports governments in designing and implementing sustainable ENR objectives, policies, programmes and projects that contribute to poverty reduction.
Section 1 introduces the concept and measurement of poverty and its multidimensional nature. The links between ENR and poverty are discussed in section 2, including traversal issues such as climate change and gender. Section 3 elaborates on a programmatic approach for improved inclusion of poverty elements in poverty-environment mainstreaming which is based on the successful experience of PEI to date. Methodologies and tools to assess ENR-poverty linkages, and integrate and operationalize environment-linked poverty reduction concerns into policies, plans, programmes and projects are discussed in section 4. This is followed by guidance on supporting the use of poverty-environment indicators in section 5. The guidance note concludes with a brief discussion on identifying priority policy and programme ENR sustainability interventions for reducing poverty.

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