The economy and society are intimately dependent upon the health of the environment:
Environmental assets – e.g. fertile soils, clean water, biomass and biodiversity – yield income, offer safety nets for the poor, maintain public health, and drive economic growth.
Conversely, environmental hazards – e.g. pollution, environmental damage, and climate change – all threaten livelihoods and development.
Poor people are especially dependent on environmental assets and vulnerable to hazards.
But environmental and developmental institutions and decisions tend to be separate, which results in environment being viewed as a set of problems rather than potentials.
Environmental mainstreaming – integrating environment into...
Constraints to mainstreaming – entrenched governance problems:
Several constraints make it difficult to mainstream environment into development decisions and institutions, notably:
The prevailing development paradigm, which treats environment as an institutional and economic ̍externalityˈ;
Lack of data, information, skills and institutional capacity to work on environment-development links;
Weak environmental mainstreaming initiatives to date to act as a precedent;
Lack of political will for change.
Catalysts for mainstreaming – entry points and drivers:
With such constraints, it is all the more important to identify ̍entry points̍ which offer a better chance of tackling these constraints and getting environment on the development...
This chapter distils some early thoughts on effective mainstreaming, drawn from our assessment of experience to date. Firstly, it is important to be clear on the kinds of outcomes that describe a country, sector or institution which has ̍mainstreamed̍ environment. We propose a spectrum of outcomes of environmental mainstreaming – ranging from ̍upstream̍ to ̍downstream̍ changes:
 Greater participation and interaction between environment and development stakeholders;
 Integrated environment-development policy and associated political will / leadership;
 Inclusion of development-environment linkages in national and sector plans;
 Inclusion of development-environment linkages in budgets and fiscal instruments;
 Strengthened institutions and...
In this chapter we discuss how policy and planning cycles provide a framework for applying tactics and methods for environmental mainstreaming, consider the broad categories of tools that are available and offer some suggestions on how to select tools and approaches that are appropriate in particular contexts. However, it is not the intention of this chapter to offer detailed guidance in this regard. In the next phase of our work we aim to develop a sourcebook on environmental mainstreaming that will particularly aim to provide or point to sources of such guidance. This will be accompanied by an expanding library...