PEI Africa holds Regional Meeting to discuss the implementation challenge
In Africa, the joint UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) has since 2005 supported nine country-led efforts to mainstream poverty and environment (P-E) linkages into national and sub-national development planning, from policymaking to budgeting, implementation and monitoring. At the end of the PEI Africa Scale-Up phase (December 2013) P-E related objectives and targets had been successfully included in 15 national policies and subnational development plans in all nine countries as well as in 22 sectoral policies and plans in eight countries. A further six countries reported an increase in public resource allocation to P-E mainstreaming activities.
In 2014 PEI Africa is launching the next phase support for poverty-environment mainstreaming with an enhanced focus on poverty, gender and the influencing of budgets and sectors. To kick-start this phase PEI Africa organized a regional meeting in Nairobi from 19-21 February 2014. The main objective of the meeting was to share experiences and lessons learned from the previous phase and establish a common understanding of how to support and deliver P-E mainstreaming in the Africa region for the period 2014 to 2017.
In her welcoming remarks, Ms. Matilde Mordt, Officer in Charge, UNDP Environment and Energy Group, highlighted that ‘PEI is a model; not only for the two organizations that are partnering in the initiative, but also for other partners, including countries outside PEI and donors. The work you are carrying out at the country level is in many cases showing a way for others…PEI is leading the way in how to address the challenges faced today, developing tools and methodologies that can be replicated beyond the programme itself.’
Mr. Desta Mebratu, Deputy Regional Director, UN Environment-Regional Office Africa, highlighted how the experiences of PEI Africa in connecting poverty and environment issues are providing important lessons learned for developing the post 2015 development agenda. Mr. Mebratu further emphasized that in the next phase of PEI, it will be important to strengthen the synergies between PEI and other initiatives such as the Green Economy as well as broadening the partnership between UN Environment and UNDP.
With participants representing government and UNDP offices from Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania as well as global and regional UNDP and UN Environment officials, the meeting provided an excellent opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned of the PEI scale-up phase and how to best meet the implementation challenge in the next phase 2014-2017. Some of the topics covered during the meeting were: Economic tools and approaches; Natural wealth valuation and national systems of accounts; Poverty, gender and equity; Tracking changes, using outputs and sustaining impacts; and strengthening programme synergies.
At the meeting each PEI country team presented a country action plan of how to better tackle the implementation challenge in their country context building on the discussions and recommendations of the meeting as well as lessons learned from the past.