Mainstreaming Local Environmental Management in the Planning Process

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As the first joint programme with 7 UN agencies in Mauritania, this MDG-F focused on both strategic planning at central and local level and implementation of a portfolio of programmes and projects to demonstrate the coherence and linkages between national policies and field interventions in 3 poor and environmental degraded regions (Trarza, Assaba, Brakna). The structure of this programme has shown an innovative way to decline in a same programme various environmental policies into concrete intervention with different stakeholders. The consistency of the joint programme is based on its vision of sustainability by mainstreaming environmental and poverty issues into planning processes and at the same time converting those policies into concrete actions on the field.

The aim of this programme is to ensure environmental issues are taken into account in the planning processes of poverty reduction activities. Taking a bottom-up approach, the programme focuses on tackling challenges linked to achieving the MDGs, based on two strategic outcomes. To achieve this objective, the programme focused on:

  1. Implementation of a portfolio of participative environmental and poverty reduction projects designed to achieve sustainable management of natural resources, the promotion of hygiene and sanitation, while giving priority to national ownership and sustainable development.
  2. Enhanced national capacity for a better mainstreaming of environmental challenges into the central and decentralized planning processes.

Main Outcomes

Improve national and local capacity within key ministries and institutions to understand and analyse links between poverty and environment.

  1. Develop tools and instruments to better mainstream poverty and environment linkages into national planning and budgeting processes.
  2. Improve national and local capacities to better mainstream poverty and environment linkages into policymaking and

Implementation Strategy

The geographic zooming to select targeted areas was based on vulnerability surveys of WFP, UNICEF, OSA and Poverty and UNDP–UNEP Environment Initiative studies over a year. All Stakeholders (UN Agencies, Ministries, Civil Society) were invited to discuss the structure and the content of the programme, management arrangement and coherence. From those meetings was developed the programme. The executing agencies of the Joint Programme are led by all UN agencies, and the implementation of all activities under the leadership of all participating ministries and civil society. UNDP is the lead agency and in charge of liaising the MDTF secretariat.

In terms of management, the executive board is in charge or orienting the major decision of the joint programme and its supervision is composed by the UN representative, the director of AECID (Spanish cooperation) and the Minister of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development or representative. The executive board meets once a year to supervise the main orientations.

The operational supervision and coordination was under a the Management Committee encompassing all UN agencies focal points, ministries focal points, representative of the civil society and private sector. The committee is in charge the supervision of the JP activities implementations, follow up and regular update on progress. The programme has a support team with an international coordinator and monitoring and evaluation local team. On the field some UN agencies appointed local staffs to implement their activities. Local NGOs were part of the implementation and decision making on the ground.


Political and institutional Instability: launch was delayed because of the political instability.

  • As the first JP programme with 7 UN agencies, the coordination was a big issue at the beginning of the project and later improved with M&E staff.
  • JP Mauritania was a good case study in terms of joint work.
  • The implementation of the project is not at the same speed because of agency procedures.
  • Exit strategy is a big issue due to lack of funding in a context of economic crisis.
  • Reinforcement of the lessons learnt and achievements.

Lessons Learnt

Way Forward

  • Consolidation of achievements through other existing programme.
  • Development of a JP under UN TRAC resources and possibility to capture national funds (discussion and first draft underway).
  • Reinforcement of field activities with the UNDP SGP and others external resources.
  • High Level Advocacy to replicate the best practices of the programme in other provinces.

Week in Focus

A week in focus was organised in Mauritania to define an exit strategy for the MDGF on 25-26 January 2012. The purpose of that workshop (week in focus) was to:

  • Collect lessons learnt from all participating agency of the MDGF
  • Develop an exit strategy that will be presented at the Quito Summit
  • 60 participants attended to that meeting. Among them representatives of the civil society, ministries, UN agencies and other donors.

The meeting was opened officially by the deputy RR UNDP and the SG of the Ministry of Environment. They stressed the importance of the program and invited all stakeholders to value the work achieved so far.

During 2 days workshop, all outputs of the joint program, objectives, results and lessons learnt were outlined and shared.

The 7 UN participating agencies (UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, FAO, WFP, WHO, UNICEF) with their respective partners presented their results and failures. The civil society as part of the program was very active and advocated for a continuity of the program. The conclusion of the two days was compiled and presented to the Quito Summit (28 feb-2 march 2012). Various options were already identified to have a next MDGF phase in Mauritania and under discussions.

JP Resources


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