About the Poverty-Environment Initiative


Poor people depend on the environment for their livelihoods and well-being. Improved management of the environment and natural resources contributes directly to poverty reduction, more sustainable livelihoods and pro-poor growth. To fight poverty, promote security and preserve the ecosystems that poor people rely on for their livelihoods, we must place pro-poor economic growth and environmental sustainability at the heart of our economic policies, planning systems and institutions.

To tackle this challenge, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) joined hands and launched the Poverty-Environment Initiative. The Poverty-Environment Initiative is a global UN programme that helps countries to integrate poverty-environment linkages into national and sub-national development planning, from policymaking to budgeting, implementation and monitoring.

With both financial and technical support, UNDP and UN Environment assist government decision-makers and a wide range of other stakeholders to manage the environment in a way that improves livelihoods and leads to sustainable growth. The Initiative works with key government partners to raise awareness, influence policy making and strengthen the mainstreaming of poverty-environment into budget processes, sector programmes and sub-national planning. The overall aim is to bring about lasting institutional change and to catalyse key actors to increase investment in pro-poor environmental and natural resource management.

Key Facts

  • UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative was formally launched and significantly scaled-up by the UN Environment Governing Council.
  • The Initiative works in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States and Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • It operates through a global Facility, four regional teams and the Poverty-Environment Initiative country teams.
  • Phase II of the Initiative saw the implementation of new poverty-environment mainstreaming projects in an additional five countries.
  • The Poverty-Environment Initiative supported 23 countries in four developing regions of the globe.
  • A new 4-year global programme, Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals.  
  • The Initiative is currently funded by the Governments of Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union.