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The evaluation builds from the widely recognized assertion that poverty often exacerbates environmental degradation and environmental damage reinforces poverty. UNDP’s success at integrating these two aspects of its core mandate is very important for its credibility and the quality of support delivery to country partners. Evaluation findings suggest that while UNDP is highly aware of the importance for sustainable development of the poverty-environment nexus; the articulation of this awareness throughout the organization is uneven.
Some country programmes continue to address poverty reduction and environmental sustainability separately. There are institutional disincentives to integration, including UNDP’s organization into practice areas and its dependence on external funding. These internal challenges notwithstanding, UNDP is ideally situated to strengthen partnerships within UN system to coordinate action on poverty alleviation and environmental protection. The report recommends that the Poverty-Environment Initiative represents good practice and should be scaled up to provide a model of how UNDP, in partnership with other UN agencies, can integrate poverty and environmental priorities at the country level.