Following a period of region-wide consultation that confirmed the need for and strong interest in the services provided by the UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative, a joint regional UNDP-UN Environment PEI programme for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was formally launched in December 2008 with an inception workshop in Bratislava, Slovakia. The workshop brought together government and UNDP representatives in the region discussing the objectives and possible entry points for PEI national programmes. Today PEI Europe CIS has full country programs in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and provides technical support to Armenia. The country teams are supported by the Regional PEI Europe-CIS team based in Geneva/Switzerland and Bratislava/Slovak Republic. The function of the team is to provide strategic direction to the country programs; provide support to governments and UNDP country offices to facilitate PEI implementation; and to promote the sharing of knowledge and lessons learnt from the different countries in the programme.
PEI Europe CIS Context
In Central Asia and South East Europe, pockets of poverty and labour migration persist. As per 2010 MDG report for the region, 36% of the population are poor or at risk of poverty, living on less than $5 per day. Of increasing concern to poverty reduction is ecosystem and biodiversity losses, climate change impact and vulnerability to natural disasters. Furthermore, water as a strategic resource, efficient energy production and the move to renewable energy sources and proper waste management systems remain key challenges in the region. The overall effect is that the achievement of the region’s development objectives – including poverty reduction – is made more difficult.
PEI Europe CIS Strategy
PEI Europe-CIS aim to support countries in their efforts to build just and green inclusive economies and strengthen policies and institutions to better be able to address P-E issues. The programme supports ministries of economics and development, environment and other key sectors as well as regional and local bodies to improve their sustainable development governance, enhance environment-economic accounting systems and mechanisms for regional cooperation on sustainable development. While each country programme has been initiated to meet country-level demand and is tailored to specific national policy processes, the regional PEI Europe-CIS strategy for 2013-2017 reflects the global PEI Scale-up outputs aiming to contribute to that:
- Pro-poor environmental outcomes are mainstreamed into development policies, plans and budgets making them more inclusive and pro-poor, gender responsive, and environmentally sustainable.
- National and regional institutional capacity and coordination systems are strengthened to implement, monitor and report on pro-poor, gender responsive sustainable development policies and plans.
- Pro-poor environmental outcomes are integrated into regional and global institutions and sustainable development debates.
- Successfully demonstrated the links between P-E through economic valuations of ecosystem services and analyzing costs of environmental degradation
- Improved collaboration between key policy and decision-making actors and stakeholders improving capacity for integrated and participatory development planning
- Improved capacity of stakeholders at the local level to integrate P-E dimension to development planning processes
- Integration of P-E mainstreaming objectives in national development planning, monitoring and budget processes.
- Improved UN cross-coordination for an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to policy development support. P-E objectives are integrated into UNDAFs and in UNDP’s economic and social development programmes
PEI Europe-CIS is implemented in collaboration with the respective government counterparts and UNDP Country Offices. Further, PEI Europe-CIS is collaborating with a number of UN agencies and other regional bodies.
Regional poverty-environment mainstreaming resources & expertise
A Digital Network on Environmental and Sustainable Development Practice and Policy in Central Asia and the Neighboring Regions of Russia. The network’s objective is to empower civil society for the participation in implementing National and Regional Environmental Action Plans and Sustainable Development Strategies. Its philosophy is to pool together expertise and competencies of all who work for sustainable development and environmental protection by means of ICTs and make it available for all without exception.