PEI & PEP Publications

Poverty-environment mainstreaming involves establishing the links between poverty and environment – including climate change – and identifying the policies and programmes to bring about better pro-poor environmental management. It weaves the poverty-environment nexus into national development planning processes and their products, such as Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, the Sustainable Development Goals and growth strategies. It It is targeted at influencing national plans, budget processes, sector strategies, local level implementation and investments, reflecting the need to integrate the valuable contribution of environmental management to improved livelihoods, increased economic security and income opportunities for the poor.

The Poverty-Environment Initiative captures generic lessons learnt and best practices in concrete guidance and other publications. The following Poverty-Environment Initiative and Poverty Environment Partnership publications are recommended as references for integration of poverty-environment into planning, budgeting and programmes.

Poverty-Environment Initiative Publications

  • Published Date: 31 August 2017

    This report captures Poverty-Environment Initiative's 2016 achievements, as we gather the fruits of a more than decade-long effort to sow environmental sustainability into the field of development. It graphically highlights the work of the joint UNDP–UN Environment global programme to improve climate resilience of the poorest and to effectively implement pro-poor environment practices and a just transition to a green economy, and presents the kernel of a more effective means to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   

    Blossom Time - The UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative 2016 Popular Report.pdf


  • Published Date: 12 July 2017

    Articulando la Política Social y Ambiental para el Desarrollo Sostenible

    Esta publicación identifica puntos de entrada para integrar la sostenibilidad ambiental y objetivos de protección social. Su objetivo es contribuir a una mejora de las herramientas de políticas, brindando ejemplos prácticos de enfoques integrados para la implementación de la Agenda 2030 en América Latina y el Caribe, enfocándose en el nexo entre pobreza y ambiente.  El documento presenta cuatro ejemplos específicos de la región: el Programa Bolsa Verde de Brasil, Alianza Manos al Agua de Colombia, el Sistema Único de Beneficiarios de República Dominicana, y el Proyecto Estrategico de Seguridad Alimentaria de México. El documento resalta ejemplos concretos de herramientas y modelos existentes en América Latina y el Caribe que generan impactos positivos combinados en la reducción de pobreza, la protección social y la sostenibilidad ambiental.

    articulando ES 1107.pdf


  • Published Date: 12 July 2017

    This publication identifies entry points to integrate environmental sustainability and social protection goals. It aims to contribute to the improvement of policy tools by providing practical examples of an integrated approach to the implementation of Agenda 2030 in Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on the poverty-environment nexus. The potential policy tools that could serve this purpose include conditional cash transfers systems; multidimensional poverty measurement; payments for ecosystem services; and food security and nutrition programmes. The paper presents four specific examples from the region: the “Bolsa Verde” Programme in Brazil, Hands for Water Alliance in Colombia, Dominican Republic´s Single Beneficiary System, and the Strategic Project for Food Security in Mexico. The paper highlights concrete examples of existing tools and models in Latin America and the Caribbean that generate combined positive impacts on poverty reduction, social protection and environmental sustainability.  

    articulando EN 1107.pdf


  • Published Date: 05 July 2017

    The theme of the Poverty-Environment Initiative annual report in 2015 was seeds of change, highlighting the Initiative’s role in integration and mainstreaming of poverty eradication and sustainable development. For 2016 – the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – we detail the rich blossoming of our integrated approach, as it is serving to mainstream the poverty-environment nexus into countries’ national development strategies, local development plans and budget resource allocations. This technical annual report highlights the work of the joint UNDP–UN Environment global programme in 23 countries to improve climate resilience of the poorest and to effectively implement pro-poor environment practices and a just transition to a green economy as our contribution to the achievement of the new development paradigm.

    PEI 2016 annual progress report.pdf


  • Published Date: 14 June 2017

    Livelihoods, poverty reduction efforts and economic growth in Africa are highly dependent on the quality and availability of natural resources, and are thus extremely vulnerable to degradation of those resources and to climate change. Development efforts hence need to equally embrace economic, social and environmental sustainability as emphasized in the recently adopted ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ as well as ‘Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want’. Several countries have made notable progress since 2005 through their partnership with the Poverty-Environment Initiative of UNDP and UN Environment. The work that African governments and the Initiative have done together offers many lessons on how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa 2063 goals within national contexts. The examples provided in this publication illustrate how policymakers, government staff and development practitioners can start putting in place what the former UN Secretary General called “a practical twenty-first century development model that connects the dots among the key issues of our time: poverty reduction; job generation; inequality; climate change; environmental stress; water energy and food security.”

    Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa (low resolution) Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa (high resolution)


  • Published Date: 24 May 2016

    In 2015, the Poverty-Environment Initiative  focused technical and financial support in 24 countries, and provided technical advisory services to another two as well as to a range of UN and non-UN development partners. The Global Programme is also engaging with countries on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a transition towards an inclusive green economy.  This report presents highlights of our 2015 achievements, as we begin to harvest the fruits of a decade's efforts of integration and mainstreaming environment and climate for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

    For the interactive version of the report, please click Seeds of Change

    seeds of change-static-web.pdf


  • Published Date: 15 December 2015

    Renewable, clean energy and gender equality are preconditions for sustainable development and for tackling climate change. Women’s knowledge, empowerment and collective action are central to finding and building more environmentally sustainable pathways to manage our environment; to adapt to climate change; and to secure access to sustainable energy.

    Gender, environment and climate change are cross-cutting issues that need to be addressed simultaneously to achieve sustainable development goals and to address existing inequalities. Although positive changes are emerging, several challenges remain to integrating gender issues more comprehensively into climate and energy policies in Africa, and to linking such policies more closely to programming and budgeting to ensure implementation of those activities.

    Recognizing this challange the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) and UN Women have collected their experiences in a new draft working paper 'Empowering Women for Sustainable Energy Solutions to address Climate Change.' The Working Paper draws on the experiences of both organizations and aims to present potential solutions to the implementation challenge of gender-sensitive environment and climate change policies and development programming.

    Empowering Women for Sustainable Energy Solutions to Address Climate Change


  • Published Date: 30 November 2015

    This Handbook is designed as guidance for policymakers and practitioners to mainstream pro-poor environment and climate concerns into planning, budgeting and monitoring. Mainstreaming is achieved by putting poverty-environment issues at the heart of government—in other words, by taking these issues into mainstream economic decision-making processes, particularly the national and subnational planning and budgeting processes led by ministries of finance, planning and local government,and supported by ministries of environment. It is available in English, French and Spanish.

    Over the last 10 years, the Poverty-Environment Initiative, a joint programme of the United Nations Development Programme and UN Environment, has successfully supported the integration and implementation of pro-poor, environmental sustainability objectives into national,subnational and sectoral development policies, plans and budgets to contribute to poverty alleviation and an inclusive, green economy. The Handbook provides guidance and concrete examples from PEI experience in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as from other initiatives.

    Full report (English, low resolution) Full report (English, high resolution) Executive Summary 1. About the Handbook 2. Importance of Mainstreaming Poverty-Environment Concerns 3. The Political Economy of Mainstreaming 4. Mainstreaming into National Planning Processes 5. Mainstreaming in Budgeting Processes 6. Mainstreaming into Sector Strategies and Subnational Plans and Budgets 7. Mainstreaming into National Monitoring Processes 8. Managing Private Investment in Nature Resources 9. Lessons Learned Annexes Supplement: Guidance Note on Integrating Environment linked Poverty Concerns into Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring Process UNDP_UNEP_ PEI_Handbook_French UNDP_-UNEP_PEI_Handbook_-_ Spanish


  • Published Date: 28 October 2015

    Sustaining Resources, Improving Lives highlights the work of the joint UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative in 2014. The Annual Progress Report 2014 features the achievements of the Initiative in each of the major areas of work: coordination across government institutions; cross-sector economic, social and environmental assessments to inform national, local and sectoral policy and planning; supporting fiscal reform; promoting gender equality and social inclusion; South-South cooperation and partnerships; and support to put in place building blocks for implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report includes figures, infographics and maps.

    PEI Annual Progress Report 2014


  • Published Date: 15 October 2015

    Women form a large proportion of agricultural labor force in sub-saharan Africa and thus play a vital role in ensuring family nutrition and food security. A new study measuring the economic costs of the gender gap in agricultural productivity in three African countries — Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda — provides further evidence that reducing the gender gap translates into significant poverty reduction and improved nutritional outcomes. The report provides a unique quantification of the costs in terms of lost growth opportunities and an estimate of what societies, economies and communities would gain were the gender gaps in agriculture to be addressed. The report also provides guidance as to the factors that must be targeted in order to close the gender gap by improving opportunities for women farmers. It concludes with a set of general policy recommendations of how women’s empowerment, agriculture productivity and economic growth can be addressed in an integrated manner and thereby contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level.

    The Cost of the Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity Costing The Gender Gap Brief Costing The Gender Gap Poster


  • Published Date: 23 October 2014

    The PEI Stories of Change from Asia-Pacific is a booklet capturing the PEI Asia-Pacific experiences of various stakeholders ranging from the government to vulnerable groups in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, and Thailand. The booklet includes the chapters: Building the future we want: Glimpses of the post-2015 global development agenda; Snapshot: Challenges in Asia and the Pacific; Bangladesh: Systems for channeling climate funds to local governments set up; Bhutan: Insurance scheme secures families from damages caused by human-wildlife conflict; Indonesia: Indonesian government pioneers budget system to track climate change-related expenses; Lao PDR: Environmental and Social Impact Assessments set to promote quality investments in Lao PDR; Mongolia: Mongolia’s development vision turns the spotlight on mining reforms; Myanmar: Setting the foundation to attract quality investments; Nepal: Greening Nepal’s future: Environmentally friendly local governance and green roads; Philippines: Revenues from natural resources help communities lead better lives; and Thailand: Maize standards set the way for sustainable farming in Thailand.

    Warning: large file size 9.38 MB

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    Stories of Change from Asia Pacific
  • Published Date: 22 June 2014

    During 2013, the UNDP-UNEP PEI built on the results of previous years in strengthening institutions through P-E mainstreaming. The PEI 2013 Annual Progress Report highlights the main achievements in 2013 reflecting a deepening of the ownership in PEI-supported countries. Such ownership is demonstrated by the increasing number of countries that are integrating P-E objectives into sector plans, policies, and monitoring and evaluation systems. This in turn has resulted in growing investments in and budget allocations for P-E objectives and climate change adaptation. The PEI efforts in 2013 reflect a growing recognition among partner countries that the P-E nexus remains a foundational element of greening economies.

    UNDP-UNEP PEI Annual Progress Report 2013
  • Published Date: 20 June 2014

    The PEI Stories of Change from Africa is a small booklet capturing the PEI Africa experiences of various stakeholders ranging from the government to vulnerable groups in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda. The booklet includes the chapters; Nine African countries lead the way towards an inclusive green economy; Rwanda greening policies and villages for poverty reduction; Burkina Faso championing the need to invest in sustainable development; Mozambique poverty and environment cuts across sectoral boundaries; and Malawi changes course after analysing the real costs and benefits of policy choices.


    Stories of Change from Africa - English Expériences du changement en Afrique - French
  • Published Date: 20 June 2014

    The PEI Brochure provides an overview of the work of PEI, key programme achievements and the future direction of the programme.  The PEI scale-up phase 2008-2012 demonstrated significant economic, social and environmental results from integrating poverty and environmental linkages in development policy, planning and budget processes. To strengthen and consolidate the PEI partnership to effectively address increasing demand from developing countries, UNDP and UNEP propose a next phase of PEI (2013-2017) that will focus on meeting the implementation challenge of poverty-environment mainstreaming and achieving positive pro-poor and environmental outcomes in programme countries. 

    PEI Brochure-web-2013.pdf
  • Published Date: 07 November 2013

    The past year was a critical one for the UNDP-UNEP PEI as the global network drew upon the results and lessons of the 2008–2012 scale-up phase to plot a way forward over the next five years to sustain and capitalize on the momentum gained in over 20 countries. The PEI Annual Progress Report 2012 provides evidence of progress made by a number of countries across four regions in advancing their plans and policies for pro-poor growth and environmental sustainability, thereby laying the foundation for inclusive greener economies. It also highlights how PEI serves as a sturdy framework for putting Rio+20 outcomes into practice. In 2012, PEI successfully supported countries in transforming their institutions, as is documented throughout this progress report.

  • Published Date: 24 June 2013

    The PEI Stories of Change is a small booklet capturing the PEI experiences of various stakeholders ranging from the government to vulnerable groups in Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Malawi, Tajikistan and Uruguay. The booklet includes the chapters; Bangladesh pioneers new ‘climate change accounts’ to reveal the real cost of adaptation; Lao PDR new rulebook for foreign investment in natural resources boosts local benefits; Malawi changes course after analysing the real costs and benefits of policy choices; Tajikistan overhauls their whole planning process with the ‘triple bottom line’; Sharing the waste, sharing the wealth: Uruguay uses the law to catalyse the transition to an inclusive green economy; and the global story the architects of change.

    PEI Stories of Change - English PEI Stories of Change - Spanish PEI Stories of Change - Russian PEI Stories of Change - French
  • Published Date: 01 June 2012

    The 2010 evaluation of UNDP Contribution to Environmental Management for Poverty Reduction: The Poverty-Environment Nexus recommended that UNDP should learn from the lessons of the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) as it represents good practice and serves as a model of how UNDP, in partnership with other UN agencies, can integrate poverty and environmental priorities at the country level. The paper synthesizes lessons learned from the PEI approach and its focus on the institutional framework for planning, budgeting and reporting through working with key coordinating ministries. The lessons show that although development contexts and institutional structures vary, there are certain principles that help make institutions more capable to drive change towards more socially and environmentally inclusive outcomes. (

  • Published Date: 01 October 2011

    The Annual Progress Report 2010 covers the contineous impact that PEI country programmes have had over the past several years and the progress made in expanding, operationalising and implementing the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative. The Report 2010 presents an overview of progress made at country, regional and global level, details the collaboration between the two host organizations on poverty-environment mainstreaming, looks at opportunities and challenges and reflects the increased focus on good practices and improvements on monitoring and evaluation.

    Executive Summary PEI Annual Progress Report 2010_full report.pdf
  • Published Date: 01 October 2011

    This primer assembles current knowledge and illustrative case materials on the benefits of and enabling conditions for local ecosystem-based initiatives. It documents how nature-focused activities and enterprises originated and executed by local actors, can sustain ecosystems and improve the livelihoods and well-being of the rural poor. The primer is designed to help PEI practitioners and others engaged in the mainstreaming challenge communicate to policy makers the positive poverty and environmental outcomes that can result at the local level when environmental mainstreaming efforts at the national and sectoral levels succeed.

    Local Primer final low res.pdf
  • Published Date: 01 June 2011

    The year 2011 has been a critical one in accomplishing the transition from making the case for the integration of poverty-environment objectives into key development issues and actually making this integration happen. During this transition, there has been a level of maturity in PEI country programmes attributable to the combination of political, economic, environmental, institutional and social transformations supported by PEI and contributing to positive change. This report highlights many of the successes and some of the challenges faced this year in bringing about this change.

    Download Report
  • Published Date: 01 May 2011

    This guide provides practical, step-by-step guidance on how governments and other national actors can mainstream climate change adaptation into development planning as part of broader mainstreaming efforts. The guide draws on substantial experience and lessons learned by the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative in working with governments to integrate environmental management for pro-poor economic growth and development into national development planning and decision-making.

  • Published Date: 01 February 2011

    This primer seeks to provide practical advice on how host countries can manage FDI inflows to encourage pro-poor, environmentally sustainable development. It is aimed at public decision makers in developing countries dealing with FDI, particularly officials in investment boards, investment promotion agencies and relevant ministries. The focus is on FDI in the primary sector, including agriculture, forestry and extractive industries—an area of growing interest among international investors and a sector of high economic significance for many developing countries.

  • Published Date: 01 July 2010

    The PEI Annual Progress Report for 2009 has been produced by the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Facility based in Nairobi, as part of the process of keeping key PEI stakeholders informed of progress and achievements. The 2009 UNDP-UNEP Annual Progress report covers two main areas of achievement: the contineous impact that PEI country programmes have had over the past several years and second, the progress made in expanding, operationalising and implementing the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative.

  • Published Date: 01 February 2010

    This discussion note is based on findings of a PEI Asia regional thematic workshop on "Local Government's role in environment, natural resource management and climate change (2009)". It identifies ways in which local governments can address climate change, both at the policy level and on the ground and outlines approaches for national governments, development agencies and civil society institutions to improve the performance of local governments in addressing climate change. The note was produced jointly by PEI Asia-Pacific and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.

    Description Note
  • Published Date: 01 January 2010

    The UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative is continuously evaluating its support to countries and documenting lessons learned. Experience shows it that takes time and sustained effort to move poverty-environment concerns to the centre of development planning and action– but there are many stories of achievements. This brochure documents achievements at country level.

  • Published Date: 01 January 2010

    This primer provides guidance on mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages in national development planning and the potential role and importance of environmental law in this context. The primer is designed as a resource to help practitioners and government representatives to assess and, if appropriate, initiate legislative reform. The primer puts particular emphasis on laws governing the sustainable use and management of natural resources.

  • Published Date: 01 July 2009

    PEI Annual Progress Report for 2008 has been produced by the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Facility, based in Nairobi, as part of the process of keeping key PEI stakeholders - especially governments who provide financial support to PEI - informed of progress against intended results. The 2008 UNDP-UNEP Annual Progress report covers two main areas of achievement: first, the impact that PEI country programmes have had over the past several years against key targets; and second, the progress made in the expansion of the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative.

  • Published Date: 01 January 2009

    This handbook is designed to serve as a guide for champions and practitioners engaged in the task of mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages into national development planning. The handbook draws on a substantial body of experience at the country level and the many lessons learned by the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme in working with governments — especially ministries of planning, finance and environment — to support efforts to integrate the complex interrelationships between poverty reduction and improved environmental management into national planning and decision-making. Hard copies can be ordered through the Poverty Environment Facility.

    Vietnamese French English Spanish Portugese
  • Published Date: 01 January 2009

    A major element of the PEI country work is to assist in "making the case" for integrating environmental management by using the argument that better environmental management contributes to poverty reduction, pro-poor growth and government finances. This new primer provides guidance on presenting evidence about the economic, development and poverty reduction benefits of the environment to public sector decision-makers, so as to justify and promote "environmental investment". Hard copies can be ordered through the Poverty Environment Facility.

    English French Spanish Русский Portugese
  • Published Date: 01 January 2009

    The Guidance Note provides a succinct summary of PEI's mainstreaming approach and work methods. Hard copies can be ordered through the Poverty Environment Facility.

    English Español Français Русский

Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP) Publications

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