Targeting key sectors for poverty-environment mainstreaming in Mauritania


Climate change has exacerbated desertification in Mauritania which has negatively impacted the national economy and greatly contributed to the impoverishment of the most vulnerable groups. The high pressure on resources coupled with poor environmental governance impedes the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

The UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) initiated the Mauritania country programme in 2005 to support the government in addressing these issues and promoting sustainable development. Since then significant progress has been made, for example the country’s poverty reduction strategy paper include poverty-environment objectives and the Government dedicates more than 15% of its environmental budget for climate change infrastructure, such as green walls, that will help protect the urban poor in the capital city of Nouakchott.

In 2014, the Government of Mauritania further established a coordination unit for poverty-environment related issues to monitor national poverty-environment progress and committed $220,000 to the implementation of the PEI programme over four years.

To further increase policy makers’ awareness about the importance of addressing poverty-environment issues related to water and sanitation, fisheries, agriculture and livestock sectors four policy briefs have been developed in 2014. The policy briefs in particular demonstrate the potential benefits of increasing public budget allocations for more sustainable natural resource use to each sector, and opportunities for securing financing (donor and private) for pro-poor sustainability. The policy briefs also include policy recommendations on for example the need for support to small-scale farmers for sustainable crop production and increased yields as well as the optimization of irrigation techniques for better water management that will benefit the poor.

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