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Ecosystem and human well-being

Jun 15, 2009

UNDP-UNEP’s new handbook Mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages into development planning serves as a guide for practitioners engaged in the task of mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages into national development planning. The document lays out a programmatic approach to a flexible model that can be adapted to national circumstances.

Mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages into development planning: a handbook for practitioners

Publisher: UNDP-UNEP, March 2009

The world has been talking about sustainable development and poverty alleviation for a long time. More than two decades have passed since the 1987 Brundtland Report first laid out a vision of sustainable development to be achieved, in part, by integrating environmental management into economic planning and decision-making.


Experience continues to show the vital contribution better environmental management can make to improving health, well-being and livelihood opportunities, especially for the poor. The poor are more vulnerable to natural disasters such as droughts and floods and to the ongoing impacts of climate change. Thus, a healthy and productive environment contributes significantly to human wellbeing and pro-poor economic development.

Sustainable use of these ecosystem services and natural resource assets is increasingly recognised as a key factor in enduring economic development and improvement in human welfare, and as a necessary condition for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The handbook draws on a substantial body of experience at the country level and the many lessons learned by the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme in working with governments – especially ministries of planning, finance and environment – to support efforts to integrate the complex interrelationships between poverty reduction and improved environmental management into national planning and decision-making.

A key section of the handbook deals with mainstreaming Poverty-Environment Linkages into Policy Processes.

  • Collect country-specific evidence
  • Influence policy processes
  • Develop and cost policy measures
  • Strengthen institutions and capacities
Source : UNPEI
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