Table of Contents

  • Sound environmental management is fundamental for green growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. This core message from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit remains all the more valid today as we prepare for Rio+20.

  • A healthy natural environment and the services it provides are fundamental to economic growth and human well-being. This is especially so in developing countries, where natural capital accounts for 26% of total wealth, compared to 2% in industrialised countries. Economic growth based on the unsustainable use of natural resources is no longer viable in a world facing the pressures of a growing population, climate change and increasing risks of food shortages. The OECD’s Green Growth Strategy, released in 2011, provides a framework for growth that allows natural assets to continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which well-being relies.

  • Environmental resources and services are vital contributors to economic growth and people’s well-being. This is particularly the case in developing countries, where natural resources sectors (agriculture, mining, forestry, fisheries and nature-based tourism) often are the engines of economic growth. It is estimated that natural capital accounts for 26% of total wealth in low-income countries, compared to only 2% in industrialised countries (OECD, 2008a). The condition of soil, water, forests and fisheries therefore has a direct impact on commercial and subsistence activities, as well as on livelihoods. The natural resource base is also an important source of employment and income for the poor, and provides a valuable safety net, providing supplementary income and food in times of crisis.

  • This chapter explores new approaches in development co-operation and environmental management. It outlines what the aid effectiveness agenda to which most development support providers are committed means for capacity building and greening development. It proposes a five-step framework to assess and respond to the capacity needs for greening national development planning, national budgetary processes and key economic sectors at three levels:

    i) individual,

    ii) organisational and

    iii) enabling environment.
  • National development planning processes must consider the environment if sustainable development is to be ensured. But the capacity for greening these processes is often lacking in developing countries. This chapter outlines the legal and political context and the key actors involved in national planning processes. It then draws on the five-step framework to provide guidance on building the capacity for greening these planning processes. Case studies illustrate how capacity development has allowed environmental issues to be incorporated into national planning processes in a variety of developing countries.

  • This chapter outlines the linkages between the national budget process and a country’s environmental performance and identifies capacity needs for greening national budgets. Among these are good fiscal knowledge, appropriate engagement of key actors, training and human resource development, targeting weaknesses and exploiting synergies and cross-sectoral links. Based on the framework introduced in Chapter 1, this chapter provides guidance on how to develop the required capacities, using case studies to illustrate how capacity development can be supported in various country contexts.

  • This chapter examines how the planning process works within sectors – a key entry point for environmental integration. The linkages between key economic sectors and environmental outcomes are examined, as well as capacity needs related to sectoral planning. Recommendations on how to address identified capacity needs are based on the framework proposed in Chapter 1. Case studies illustrate how capacity development for the environment has been implemented in practice.

  • Successful capacity for greening development depends to a large extent on sustained support from development support providers. This chapter examines what capacities these providers themselves need at the levels of the enabling environment, the organisation and the individual in order to effectively assist countries in building their own environmental capacities. It addresses inter-agency co-operation and provides examples of best practice. It examines how development support providers can themselves assess their existing capacity to deliver assistance and how they can strengthen their capacities for effective future support delivery. A self-assessment tool is included to help development support providers evaluate their capacity requirements.