UNDP-EU: Environment & Energy

UNDP and the EU share the same values on issues such as environmental sustainability, biodiversity and ecosystems, and climate and disaster resilience. We work together to strengthen national capacities, and help countries manage the environment in a sustainable manner. An important aspect is ensuring adequate protection for the poor. The partnership between UNDP and EU in the area of environment, climate and disaster resilience has increased in the last years, and includes several innovative global programmes, that in turn provide best practices that we and our other partners can build upon.

Biodiversity is our natural capital, but we often take it for granted as its market values are not immediate and direct. Understanding the investments needed  to preserve biodiversity and ensuring the availability of sufficient funding to protect it is one of the objectives of the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), an initiative implemented by UNDP and funded by the EU, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and the Belgian Flemish government. BIOFIN works in 29 countries supporting governments in reviewing policies and institutions relevant for biodiversity finance, determining baseline investment and assessing the costs of implementing National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, quantifying the biodiversity finance gap. BIOFIN also aims to implement comprehensive national resource mobilization strategies at national level.

UNDP and EU also engaged on the Clima East programme to support ecosystem based mitigation and adaptation initiatives in Russia and Eastern Neighborhood countries focusing on ecosystems such as peatlands, permafrost landscapes, boreal forests and pasture-land while building the resilience of local communities that are dependent on natural resources.

Energy is central to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts. It affects all aspects of development - social, economic, and environmental - including livelihoods, access to water, agricultural productivity, health, population levels, education, and gender-related issues. UNDP and EU are working together on a global programme which helps parliaments in Africa, the Arab States and in South Asia to draft policy frameworks in support of renewable energy and climate change mitigation.

To tackle climate change, working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and to address climate vulnerabilities (adaptation) are important steps. However, long-term climate change management requires a shift from sectoral perspectives to a holistic approach where climate change mitigation and adaptation thinking is incorporated into environment and sustainable development goals and planning processes.

Together with the EU and Germany, UNDP has embarked on a global initiative to support national climate change mitigation efforts. This includes developing strategies for lowering emissions but also improving the measuring, reporting and verification systems. As of March 2012, 25 countries were supported by the Low Emission Capacity Building Programme. Ahead of COP21 in Paris, EU and UNDP are jointly supporting 20 countries to come up with intended Nationally Determined Contributions (iNDCs).

The EU and UNDP also work together to promote integrated solutions that advance the sustainable development agenda. In this sense the Poverty and Environment Initiative (PEI), a UNDP-UNEP programme, supports country-led efforts to mainstream poverty-environment objectives into national development and sub-national development planning, from policymaking to budgeting, implementation and monitoring. PEI assists government decision-makers and a wide range of other stakeholders to manage the environment in a way that improves livelihoods and leads to sustainable growth.

In the same way, the EU is supporting the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a UN joint initiative (UNDP, UNEP, ILO, UNIDO, UNITAR) that aims to support 20 countries in building national green economy strategies that will generate new jobs and skills, promote clean technologies, and reduce environmental risks and poverty.

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