Environmental Governance for Sustainable Natural Resource Management Programme

 Photo: UNDP Sierra Leone

Growth of extractive industries, and mining in particular, can bring vital resources to finance social and economic development. To manage the environmental impact of these industries, however, is one of the most critical challenges many resource-dependent countries are facing. This is often due to weak capacities of environmental protection agencies, ministries of environment, and of States more broadly, to protect the environment while advancing social progress and accelerating durable growth.

Failure to govern natural resources and prevent environmental degradation can have profound negative impacts on long term economic development and human rights, including the right to life, adequate food, water, housing and self-determination. It can also lead to the denial of social, legal and economic protection in particular for vulnerable groups and women and men living in poverty.

More effective governance and public policy reforms are therefore needed to ensure that the management of natural resources translates into poverty reduction and equitable sustainable development. This requires strengthening the environmental, gender, human rights and rule of law dimensions of public administration and protecting procedural rights that can be used by individuals, communities, and civil society to influence and evaluate state activities that may have an adverse impact on the environment and livelihoods. These include the right to information, participation and access to justice in line with Principle 10 and the UNEP Bali Guidelines.

This Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida) funded global programme responds to the challenges many developing countries face in implementing sound environmental policies and integrating environmental and social concerns into broader sustainable development policy making. Rooted in UNDP’s Strategy for Supporting Sustainable and Equitable Management of the Extractive Sector, it aims to strengthen the environmental, gender, human rights, and rule of law dimensions of public administration covering large-scale mining sectors.

The programme brings together a partnership between the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), UNDP, and public agencies in several countries including Colombia, Kenya, Mongolia and Mozambique, building on complementary environmental management and extractive projects in these countries. It provides a range of linked capacity building activities at the national, regional, and global level, with a focus on south-south learning, knowledge sharing, and strengthened communities of practitioners and decision-makers.

The programme welcomes and prioritizes activities that strengthen partnerships at all levels with governments, private sector, civil society, UNEP, UNWOMEN, UNITAR, the World Bank and other IFIs, and leading advocacy, research and civil society groups. These partnerships are advanced through a technical Advisory Board and close collaboration on the design and implementation of activities including with the  Inter-Governmental Forum, and the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment and Human Rights and an environmental governance community of practice on GOXI.

For more information on the SEPA-UNDP Programme, including opportunities for collaboration, please contact:





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