Helen Clark acknowledges the PEI-supported “Economic Analysis of Sustainable Natural Resource Use” in Malawi

Poverty and environment was the focus recently as The UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, opened the Post-2015 Environmental Sustainability Thematic Consultation Leadership Meeting in Costa Rica on March 18, 2013). Ms. Clark emphasized the importance of pursing environmentally sustainable approaches to development and added that environmental degradation ‘if unchecked, will slow further advances in human development to a crawl – and even see a regression for the world’s poorest people’.

To support her arguments Ms. Clark used an example from the PEI-supported Economic Analysis of Sustainable Natural Resource Use in Malawi, stating that: ‘the unsustainable use of natural resources in Malawi, where it is estimated, by a government study that the resulting annual loss is equivalent to 5.3 per cent of GDP. That is greater than the amount of funding allocated to the education and health sector in Malawi’s 2009 budget. The same study also suggests that a greater focus on reducing soil erosion could have lifted more than 1.8 million people out of poverty between 2005 and 2015 – thereby bringing the country closer to reaching its poverty reduction targets’.

In addition to its central focus of mainstreaming poverty-environment into policies, plans, and budgets at the country level, PEI also contributes to global best practices towards sustainable development, including through the Post 2015 and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) processes. The UNDP Administrator’s references to PEI analytical studies indicate this is happening. Further information on the Malawian example, and other examples from around the world, are available in the PEI Stories of Change publication which highlights poverty-environment linkages and experiences from the sub-national, national, and global levels.


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