Capitalization of the experience of mainstreaming the environment in poverty alleviation policies

25 November 2013 | News story

Ecosystem conservation and yours sustainable exploitation contributes to poverty alleviation. A concrete idea which is not sufficiently considered in the development strategies of countries in West Africa. Through the Initiative for Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management (PREMI), implemented from 2009 to 2012, IUCN-PACO aimed at influencing policy and practice through dialogue and dissemination of innovative responses. This new publication, the capitalization of PREMI programme, re-examines achievements, lessons learned and challenges of its implementation.

This capitalization document aims to share lessons learned from the implementation of the Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management Initiative - PREMI. Implemented from 2009 to 2012 by the Central and West Africa Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN-PACO), PREMI seeks to demonstrate how a proper consideration of the environment in policies and programmes can contribute to a more effective fight against rural poverty.

In a context of natural resources increasingly degraded
In West Africa, agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry and direct use of fauna and flora are the main activities on which the vast majority of rural people depend for employment and income generation.
These activities are based mainly on the exploitation of natural resources that are today facing a situation of continued degradation due to a combination of several related factors, including every increasing strong pressure on these resources due to high population growth, and changes in weather conditions which manifest by growing rainfall and agricultural production instability.

An innovative sobering experience
PREMI promoted integrated management of natural resources, reduce poverty and adapt to climate change. The initiative has in some cases contributed to the current dynamics at the level of State and regional organizations, but also engineered new processes. On the whole, the initiative has generated a large amount of knowledge that would help take the environment into account in the fight against poverty, both in terms of national and regional policies and in terms of initiatives implemented by communities.

Now available to all stakeholders
Given the variety and scope of achievements, it became essential to re-examine and learn lessons that will benefit the population, civil society and policymakers in West Africa in particular and the international community in general. This document does not attempt to provide a comprehensive analysis of a large and complex programme. It rather aims to share the main structural outputs that, according to partners, have triggered the best process of taking into consideration the environment in policies and programmes to fight against poverty; to identify the key factors and conditions that led to these outputs and to learn lessons that emerge from this analysis.

The knowledge generated by the PREMI’s initiative are available on the website