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Asia Pacific Regional Poverty-Environment Initiative
What is the PEI?
The Regional Poverty and Environment Initiative (PEI) aims at helping countries strengthen their own capacities to fight poverty through sound and equitable environmental management, building partnerships and supporting learning and knowledge-sharing at local, national and global levels.
This new initiative is developed and implemented with funding from UNDP’s Regional Bureau for the Asia Pacific’s (RBAP).
The PEI will support cross-sectoral and participatory approaches to integrating environmental concerns of poor and vulnerable groups into national planning and policy frameworks for poverty reduction.
Over 2006 the regional PEI will be in a preparatory or formulation phase, to identify what has been done so far, and determine how UNDP can best work to serve the needs of the poor and vulnerable in the region.
For more information about joint UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), please go to the new PEI website.
Major PEI Activities
Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment & Development in Seoul, Korea, 2005 (MCED5)
In a preparatory meeting in March 2005, representatives from UN-ESCAP, UNEP, FAO, IUCN, as well as UNDP regional and country offices, prepared a concept note on the Regional PEI. This was presented at the MCED5 last year. The PEI also sponsored senior officials and representatives from NGOs from LDCs to attend the MCED.
The PEI convened two national workshops in Bangladesh and Bhutan. The main objectives of these workshops were to:
These meetings were attended by both government and non-government representatives, including those from bilateral agencies, NGOs, media organisations, law firms and the private sector. International participants from Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Cambodia and Sri Lanka also attended these workshops.
A third such meeting is planned to be held in a country in South-east Asia early this year.
Regional Mapping Exercise on Poverty-Environment Linkages
A mapping of recent and / or on-going poverty-environment related activities in the region is being carried out with the following specific objectives:
This mapping exercise will serve to derive a regional analysis on the state of play of UNDP's involvement in poverty and environment in the region to inform the formulation of the full PEI programme. This survey targeted all environment and poverty focal points in the region.
Thematic Policy Studies
Several policy studies covering crucial areas of relevance to the PEI are being carried out this year. These will be carried out in several countries in the Asia Pacific to gain a broad regional perspective, while at the same time determining country-specific lessons-learned, issues and potential areas of future interventions. Cross-cutting issues such as gender and climate change adaptation will be given special focus within all of these studies.
Significant value has been identified in cross-country visits and exchange. To further enhance and support the knowledge base, experience and capacities of country office focal points in the region, selected poverty and environment focal points will visit countries in Africa in which global Poverty-Environment activities have already been carried out. It is hoped that learning from these activities will further enable practical application of PEI at the national and local community / civil society level in those selected countries.
“Poverty-environment” is a broad mix of different topics related to how poverty reduction and environmental issues interact. It includes issues of how poor and non-poor people relate to the natural environment both now and in the future, and what makes these relationships change. Stakeholders differ considerably in their views on which issues matter most and why and what can be done about them and how. Even the definitions of environment, poverty and growth are contested. In this context, it would be inappropriate to provide a prescriptive account of how to intervene to tackle poverty environment issues. It is proposed to take a broad approach offering a “guide” to some of the key issues drawing on actual experience in Asia. Therefore, as one of the activities during the preparatory phase of the PEI, a Guidance Manual is being compiled, to be disseminated both in book and interactive format.
Networking and Partnership Building
Within and in parallel with all of the activities described above, discussions are on-going with different key strategic partners such as the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations-Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific and the World Conservation Union - IUCN. Further partnerships will be explored with ASEAN, SAARC, World Bank, DFID, United Nations University (Tokyo) as well as its Institute of Advanced Studies, ECO-ASIA which is a network of Environment Ministers from Asia Pacific countries that is being promoted and managed by the Japanese government. Networking will be explored with other agencies as well, such as those at regional, national and community level, with special focus on local NGOs and Civil Society Organizations. In all of the above activities, there will be also emphasis on possible partnerships with the private sector, including strategies for co-funding and resource mobilization for the PEI.
At the end of the preparatory stage of the PEI, a regional workshop will be convened. This workshop will bring together UNDP’s environment and poverty focal points in the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre, the Country Offices, representatives from the network of partners identified in the course of previous activities.The purpose of this workshop is to provide them opportunity for participation in the formulation of the various activities under the full-scale PEI programme.
PEI Key Documents