Capacity Development for Environmental Sustainability

 Photo: UNDP

Capacity development for environmental sustainability emerged as a central theme in the Earth Summit’s Agenda 21 in 1992, reiterated at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, and an integral part of the Millennium Development Goals. In 1999, the GEF and its implementing agencies recognized that achieving environmental sustainability required a more targeted focus on capacity development. Notwithstanding the successes and achievements, achieving environmental sustainability remains an elusive goal. And yet, with the support of the numerous development partners, UNDP has been helping countries follow a clear path towards this end.

Our Approach

Capacity development for environmental sustainability is a process that involves: a) shifting societal attitudes, norms, and behaviours to pursue development that is environmentally sound with enduring outcomes; b) modifying and improving the mandates, roles, and functions of organizations; and c) strengthening individuals’ capabilities.

The outcomes of this process focus on developing the foundational capacities needed to achieve environmentally sound and sustainable development. For example, functional management information systems that allow for the production of key information that will be used to make the best possible decisions. Other outcomes include effective and strategic policy coordination, sustainable resource mobilization, and on-going adaptive management for cost-effective programme and project delivery.

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