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Environmental Mainstreaming
Integrating environment into development institutions and decisions

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Sourcebook on Environmental Mainstreaming

Starting in April 2009, IIED plans to develop a Sourcebook for Environment Mainstreaming in Development that will harness practical experience and ideas on how institutions and decision-making processes can integrate environment and poverty objectives, work to build resilience to climate change and safeguard biodiversity, and effectively achieve the MDGs.

The Sourcebook will be partly modelled on the 2002 UNEP/OECD/IIED Sourcebook for National Sustainable Development Strategies (available at http://www.nssd.net/res_book.html), which was very well received and is in constant use today. The Sourcebook on Environmental Mainstreaming will provide in-depth guidance on, and real examples of: policy frameworks for mainstreaming environment, climate change and biodiversity opportunities and threats; entry points in development decision-making and investment; communication requirements and approaches; approaches to capacity-building; monitoring and indicators; sources of information and support; and a wide range of tools and tactics from IIED, UN, OECD and many other sources.

The development of the sourcebook will be supported and complemented by targeted work internationally and in selected countries. It will build on the OECD Task Team On Governance And Capacity Development For Natural Resource And Environmental Management. OECD-DAC Environet members have recently confirmed the urgency and severity of the environmental and climate change mainstreaming challenge. The OECD has also recently produced draft guidance on integrating climate change adaptation into development co-operation and development policies at national, sectoral and project levels and in urban and rural contexts. The UNDP/UNEP Poverty Environment Initiative has been working with African, Asian and Latin American country teams on mainstreaming within government planning and budget processes, and has also been developing a handbook for poverty-environment mainstreaming. IIED has established country learning groups on environmental mainstreaming in several countries, conducted peer reviews of national sustainable development strategies, and run country surveys to develop a Guide to Environmental Mainstreaming tools. UNDP is working on mainstreaming both within the UN system. UNDP’s Environment and Energy Group is leading on environmental mainstreaming within the UN system, and within UN support to low-income countries, and has many years of guidance material that can be updated and synthesised.

IIED, OECD, UNDP-EEG and UNDP/UNEP PEI have agreed that there is much to be gained from pooling our learning – in both the breadth of case studies and mainstreaming methodologies covered and in economies of scale in jointly preparing a sourcebook. Therefore we will work together to develop and publish the Sourcebook as a collaborative effort, with IIED coordinating the work.




About the sourcebook: origins, aims, target audience, layout, how to use, etc

Part 1: Background to environmental mainstreaming (EM)

Purpose of EM: Why do we need to ‘mainstream’ the environment?  What is it? Who should be concerned about it?

Policy framework and mandates for EM: International aid, development, environment and SD agreements for which EM is required.

Main EM issues: climate change mitigation and adaptation; harnessing renewable energy, responding to environmental health problems, tackling persistent rural poverty, securing natural-resource-based economies, enabling an environmental contribution to meeting all MDGs, leveraging co-benefits (eg better soil conservation and improved access to water through responding to climate change challenges).

Challenges in achieving EM: Institutional contexts, drivers, constraints.

Part 2:  Framework for EM

Understanding environment-poverty-development linkages: examples, typology.

EM concepts and principles: different strands to date; proposed framework.

Entry points for EM: in development institutions, decision-making and investment.

Key steps in EM: prerequisites, milestones and optional paths to key environment-development outcomes; generic ToR/report outlines.

Communicating EM: ‘learning & influencing agenda’; requirements & approaches.

Monitoring and evaluating EM: input-output-outcome framework based on the above.

Part 3:  Targeting EM

  1. EM through an ‘environmental outcomes’ lens: Tackling climate change, loss of biodiversity and habitats, land degradation, etc; tackling their developmental causes and consequences
  2. EM through a ‘poverty reduction and development outcomes’ lens: Classifying poverty; environment as ‘wealth of the poor’; environment-poverty links; tackling environmental causes and consequences of poverty
  3. EM to link 1 and 2 above in institutions, policies, strategies, plans and procedures: Entry points and requirements for environmental inclusion:
    - EM in national development policy, plans and institutions
    - EM at decentralised, local and community levels
    - EM in development cooperation
    - EM and the private sector
    - EM in governance structure
  4. EM responsibilities of different stakeholders: A map of roles, relationships and
    powers, with examples

Part 4: Capacity and resources for EM

EM skills and capabilities: at (a) individual (b) organisational and (c) institutional levels.

Needs assessment for EM: diagnostics and procedures for levels (b) and (c).

Capacity development approaches: in (1) countries, (2) donors (3) private sector (4) NGOs and others. Covering approaches to strengthening (retreats, networking, communities of practice, training, etc.) (links to communicating - above).

Financing EM: public expenditure reviews, budgeting and financial management; fiscal, and project, market and user-pays mechanisms; aid budget and sector support; operational budgets for environmental management; investing in environment (infrastructure and public works, etc.); other approaches.

Sources integrated into Parts 1-4: Case examples drawn from country work

Boxes, etc throughout to illustrate:

  • National, local, sector and aid practical examples…
  • …drawn from PEI, UNDP, OECD, IIED and other focal country work…
  • …illustrating the use of relevant approaches, tools and tactics e.g.:
    • Environmental impact assessment (EIA)
    • Strategic environmental assessment (SEA)
    • National Sustainable Development Strategies
    • Public interest litigation
    • Citizen’s juries
    • Participatory GIS
    • Public Environmental Expenditure Review
    • National Councils/Commissions for Sustainable Development
    • Scenario planning
    • Natural Step
    • Indicators
    • Environmental management systems
    • Tools for making the economic case….
  • …their impact and outcomes in terms of EM…
  • …and lessons learned

With web-links where possible.


Sources of information and support.
With web-links where possible.


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