Chapter 6: Mainstreaming into Sector Strategies and Subnational Plans and Budgets

Table of Contents

Introduction Multimedia
Key concepts


Topics Results
Key messages Activity
Takeaways Further reading



This chapter examines an approach for incorporating pro-poor, gender-responsive environmental measures in sector strategies; it also discusses mainstreaming at the subnational level, including ecosystem-based approaches and experiences.


Key concepts

  • National development policies and plans are implemented through sector strategies and their respective budgets.

  • Sector policies, plans and strategies should include sector-specific poverty-environment objectives and allocate the necessary budgets to these objectives.

  • Engagement in sector planning and budgeting processes is vital and time consuming; to ensure best results, priority environment and natural resource sectors should be chosen and focused upon.

  • Poverty and social impact analysis and strategic environmental assessment are among the leading analytical tools can be used to determine the anticipated or actual outputs and outcomes of the sector strategy to intended beneficiaries in terms of poverty reduction, livelihoods and gender, and on the environment and ecosystems.

  • Public expenditure management, revenues and regulation are three main instruments which local administrations may apply to interface with pro-poor environmental sustainability and climate issues

  • Public expenditure management covers planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and reporting.

  • Quantifying the poverty-environment connections and identifying sustainable pathways for poverty reduction and economic growth can demonstrate how healthy environments and natural resources are essential for household incomes as well as people’s well-being.


Topics covered in this chapter

  • Sector strategies

  • Sub-national plans

  • Local government

  • Public expenditure management

  • Fiscal revenues

  • Local regulation

  • Ecosystem-based approaches

    • provisioning services

    • regulating services

    • cultural services

    • supporting services

  • National Adaptation Plans

  • State of the environment reports

Key messages

  • Targeted economic evidence will be needed to justify the inclusion of poverty-environment objectives in sector plans and budgets.

  • Mechanisms for coordinating sector planning processes with national planning processes may need to be strengthened.

  • To sustain poverty-environment impacts, political will and appropriate institutional mechanisms need to be in place to enable integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

  • Gaining an understanding of the interactions between sectors and biodiversity and ecosystem services, and communicating this information to stakeholders and decision-makers, is essential to successful mainstreaming.



Did you know?

  • A one percent increase (US$ 300,000) in public investments for sustainable environmental and natural resource management would increase the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of Malawi by US$ 17 million – a significant return on investment that makes environmental, social and economic sense.

  • A cost-benefit analysis of the Rwandan Green Village project (2017) has shown that the village cost about US$ 636,000 to construct and costs about US$ 22,000 per year to run. Using conservative figures, the project demonstrates an internal rate of return of 5.8 percent, 7.7 percent and 8.9 percent over 15, 20 and 30 years, respectively.

  • The benefits of investing in an additional 30 villages of 100 households each – a total of 3,000 beneficiaries, which would cost about US$48 million, generate net benefits of about US$ 21million (at a 6 percent discount rate) over 30 years, generate further indirect economic benefits equivalent to 0.8 percent of GDP and lead to a 0.71 percent decrease in the extreme poverty rate of 16.3 percent (in 2015).







  • Poverty and social impact analysis

  • Strategic environmental assessment

  • National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

  • Integrated ecosystem assessment

  •  Economic valuation of ecosystem services



Poverty and Social Impact Analysis of Botswana’s Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development. Box 6.1.

State of the Environment Reporting and Data Inform District Planning in Malawi. Box 6.3.

Environmentally Friendly Local Governance and Green Roads in Nepal. Box 6.4.

Integrating Gender Equality into Subnational Planning Results in Livelihood Improvements from Green Jobs in Tajikistan. Box 6.5.

Up-Scaling a Community-Level Programme in Rwanda. Box 6.6.

Examples of Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Informing Subnational Planning. Box 6.7.


Activity: Mainstreaming into Sector Strategies and Subnational Plans and Budgets

Discuss in a small group:

  1. To what extent do sector strategies integrate poverty-environment objectives?

  2. What particular sector strategies could generate poverty reduction and environment sustainability benefits if pro-poor environment, gender and climate issues are included?

  3. How strong is the level of the intra- and intersectoral coordination mechanisms that are in place?

  4. What sector strategies or initiatives could benefit from being subjected to strategic environmental assessment or poverty and social impact analysis?

  5. Identify at least one environment sector strategy (e.g. National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, National Adaptation Plan, green economy strategies) that is available to inform and influence other key sectors (e.g. agriculture).

  6. To what extent is local government integrating poverty and environment objectives into local planning, budgeting, fiscal and monitoring systems?

  7. To what extent is local government integrating poverty, environment and climate objectives into local-level infrastructure expenditure?

  8. What examples exist of local-level environmental and climate adaptation initiatives (e.g. by community-based or non-governmental organizations) generating economic, social and environmental benefits worthy of replication that can inform local government planning and budgeting?

  9. Are there local government planning processes which can benefit from integrated ecosystem assessments?

  10. Have clear, policy-relevant questions to inform management of ecosystems to sustain economic and social benefits been defined to guide the integrated ecosystem assessments?

  11. Have integrated ecosystem assessments informed scenario analysis of different policy options for consideration by decision-makers?


Further reading

A User’s Guide to Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (2003). The World Bank.

An Overview of Public Expenditure Management (2001). The World Bank Group.

Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: A Manual for Assessment Practitioners (Ash 2010). Island Press.

Mainstreaming biodiversity and development. Guidance from African experience 2012-17 (2017). IIEDUNEP-​WCMC.

National Adaptation Plans. Technical guidelines for the national adaptation plan process (2012). United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Public Expenditure Management (2004). Asian Development Bank.

Reducing poverty through macro-level investments in environmental sustainability (2016). UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative.

Research Co-operation between Developed and Developing Countries in the Area of Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity (2014). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Sector Policies Response to Climate Change in Malawi: A Comprehensive Gap Analysis (2011). Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, National Climate Change Programme, Government of Malawi.


Published Date: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017