Project Factsheet
Tools for » Strengthened Approach for the Integration of Sustainable Environmental Management into the ANDS/PRSP
Project ID 00067162 Description MDGF-1713-E-AFG Integr.of Sust
Fund
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 2 Oct 2007
Theme
MDGF Environ Climate Chg
Project status Financially Closed
Country Afghanistan Participating Organization   Multiple
About

Overview:

The Joint Programme (JP) sought to support the integration of sustainable environment management in Afghanistan. It sought to achieve this by mainstreaming environmental issues into national and sub national policy, planning, and investment frameworks, and through the improvement of local level management of environmental resources and services.

The JP helped to develop and formulate suitable policies, strategic frameworks and implementation guidelines with due consideration for poverty and environment linkages, such as the National Environmental Mainstreaming Guideline (NEMG) which includes specific sector-level guidelines and benchmarks.  In addition, a draft guideline for incorporating environment management within the curriculum of the Afghanistan Institute of Rural development (AIRD) was developed. Further, the project supported the updating of the State of Environment (SoE) Report for Afghanistan and helped develop a guideline for Strategic Environment Assessments (SEA). As a follow up to Rio+20, the project supported the development of a strategy for Sustainable Development, which included an Environmental Education Strategy and a roadmap for comprehensive Climate Change Strategy.

At the sub-national level, the project supported the establishment of Provincial Environment Advisory Councils (PEAC) in 19 provinces. Two PEACs were initially established on a pilot basis, upon which the Government then established an additional 17 PEACs in other provinces using the tools and guidelines developed by the project.

Under Outcome 2, over 450 Government officials and over 6,000 participants from the local communities were involved in various training activities. Communities also implemented livelihood activities such as the establishment of 847 kitchen gardens and training of 484 women in backyard poultry. Government counterparts were trained to implement interventions in rangeland and pistachio forest rehabilitation, kitchen gardens, back yard poultry, fruit gardening as well as environmental awareness campaigns. These skills will improve their capacity to deliver services to the local communities.

As a direct result of the JP’s efforts nearly 200 hectares of degraded rangeland were rehabilitated with support from community volunteers, and over 700 new pistachio gardens and 520 new fruit gardens were established.

 

Outcome 1:

Environmental issues mainstreamed into national and sub national policy, planning, and investment frameworks.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Supported the development and formulation of suitable policies/strategic frameworks and implementation guidelines with due consideration of poverty and environment linkages such as the National Environmental Mainstreaming Guideline (NEMG). 
  • A draft guideline for incorporating environment management within the curriculum of the Afghanistan Institute of Rural development (AIRD) was developed in collaboration with (National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA).
  • A guideline for Strategic Environment Assessments (SEA) was developed as a basis for the screening of projects prior to implementation.
  • The project also supported updating the State of Environment (SoE) Report 2008 for Afghanistan and enhanced the capacity of NEPA for institutionalization of SoE process.
  • Supported the government in the development of a concept for Sustainable Development Strategy and Vision containing an Environmental Education Strategy and a roadmap for a comprehensive Climate Change Strategy.
  • The project provided technical and financial support developing the NEPA official website, which will serve as a one-stop Centre for environmental information on Afghanistan.
  • Established and trained technical staff from different departments of NEPA to collect information from relevant sources and monitor its status regularly through established indicators.
  • The JP supported the establishment of Provincial Environment Advisory Councils (PEAC) in 19 provinces, for a total of 34 provinces.
  • Established Environmental Sub-Committees (ESC) in District Development Assemblies (DDAs) and Community development Councils (CDCs). The role of ESCs is to advocate and raise awareness about environmental issues in their communities.

 

Outcome 2:

Local management of environmental resources improved and services delivery enhanced.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Local communities have been trained in rangeland and pistachio forest rehabilitation.
  • 847 kitchen gardens have been established and 484 women in have been trained in backyard poultry.
  • 159 hectares of degraded rangeland were rehabilitated mainly for the benefit of livestock raisers.
  • 756 new pistachio gardens and 520 new fruit gardens were established with support from the JP.
  • Counterparts in MAIL and NEPA received training which provided them with the necessary skills to implement interventions in rangeland and pistachio forest rehabilitation, kitchen gardens, back yard poultry, fruit gardening as well as environmental awareness campaigns. These skills will improve their capacity to deliver services to the local communities.
  • PEACs and Environmental Sub-committees established and trained.
  • In total, 450 government officials participated in training workshops, which were based on NEPA’s request and focused on environmental issues and sustainable use of natural resources
  • Community-Based Natural Resources Management pilot interventions took place in selected Provinces piloted, for with 6,438 participants from the local communities involved in various training activities.
  • Final JP evaluation completed.
  • Public awareness and outreach programmes were developed including radios spots and billboards.
  • Communication & Advocacy strategy designed and completed.

 

Best Practices:

  • 159 hectares of rangeland were rehabilitated with the support of community volunteers.
  • The main challenge faced by the Joint Programme was how to link the local communities with the national Government for a bottom-up approach to planning, and to have the voices of the communities heard in policy-making at both national and sub-national levels. This challenge was overcome through the establishment of the PEACs and the Environmental Sub-Committees at the district and village levels.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • Community mobilization and adequate training proved key for successful results, once the community sees benefits they will start to replicate, e.g., several women not part of the JP replicated the kitchen gardens.  
  • The UN initiative involved Government partners at both national and sub-national levels.  The main lesson learned is that if communities are not aware of the environmental priorities of the national Government - and vice versa - then the over-arching goals cannot be achieved. A stronger foundation for the management of the country’s natural resources can be created when both community and higher governmental levels work together. 
  • Community based work and centralized environmental activities, such as environmental mainstreaming, if carried out in isolation from one another will have limited sustainability. 
  • The community takes ownership of the intervention making the process practically irreversible, the right community is mobilized and is provided adequate training. 
  • Well trained government counterparts and beneficiaries (community partners) are key. 
  • Communities must be approached through their legitimate leadership channels. 

 

More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Afghanistan or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

The person with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Yaqub Naqshbandzada, Coordination Officer; Telephone: +93 (0) 799328763; Email: naqshbandzada@un.org
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