Poverty-Environment Action builds on the deep experience of the UNDP–UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI). Over the past decade, PEI has pioneered integrated approaches to mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages in national development planning and implementation processes—first in support of national efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and now as a model for implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs—along with the other landmark global agreements of 2015 including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change—bring economic and social development, environment and climate concerns together in a comprehensive and integrated agenda for change. However, environmental sustainability continues to lag behind and is often siloed in national efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda. As environmental degradation and the impacts of climate change continue to worsen across the globe, with the poorest segment of the population bearing the burden of their adverse impact, the case for poverty-environment mainstreaming is as strong as ever.
By building on PEI’s legacy, Poverty-Environment Action is uniquely placed to ensure that the environmental dimension is not left behind when addressing poverty. Leveraging broader 2030 Agenda and SDG implementation processes provides new entry points not only to mainstream environmental sustainability and related climate concerns for poverty eradication, but also to gradually shift government priorities and resource allocation towards addressing these issues. Further, it provides opportunities to improve the quality of private sector investments to support poverty-environment objectives. This represents the new focus of Poverty-Environment Action—aligning finance and investment with poverty, environment and climate objectives to accelerate SDG implementation.
Poverty-Environment Action will implement this new focus by operating at country, regional and global levels through a two-pronged strategy of deepening and broadening support to countries on poverty-environment and climate mainstreaming. These two complementary tracks will:
- Deepen mainstreaming efforts to integrate environmental sustainability and climate objectives for poverty eradication into development planning, budgeting and monitoring systems and—in line with the new focus of Poverty-Environment Action—into public and private finance and investment
- Broaden the dissemination and use of the programme’s substantial body of country-level experience in the application of integrated poverty-environment mainstreaming approaches and tools through stepped-up efforts in knowledge management and sharing—including through targeted technical assistance to selected countries, South-South knowledge transfer and cooperation, and proactive engagement with key global and regional actors supporting national SDG implementation and acceleration processes
Poverty-Environment Action’s two-pronged strategy will be complemented by a renewed focus on strengthening strategic partnerships and improving coordination with other development actors, especially at the country level.
The Poverty-Environment Action focus and strategy will encompass the following areas:
- Planning, Budgeting and Monitoring
- Legal, Regulatory and Fiscal Reform
- Public Finance and Investment
- Innovative Approaches and Tools
Poverty-Environment Action will be aligned with ongoing reform of the UN Development System—adding value by ensuring that the environmental dimension is not left behind and providing a practical example of how to implement UN reform at the country and regional levels in the context of the SDGs.