MONRE, DFID and UNDP initiative to further link poverty and the environment launched

Oct 7, 2005

HA NOIThe Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the United Nations Development Programme) and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) formally launched a new initiative to support efforts in integrating poverty reduction and environmental protection.

The project, signed today at a ceremony in Ha Noi, is referred to as the “Poverty-Environment Project” or PEP. It will work to link poverty reduction and environment by analyzing and developing policy that effectively bring the two areas together, while working with MONRE to better coordinate donor support and partnerships. UNDP’s Global Poverty and Environment Initiative chose Viet Nam as one of only four countries in the world to pilot this programme. DFID also provided $2million to support MONRE in this process. 

“We need to better understand the links between poverty and the environment,” said MONRE Vice Minister, Pham Khoi Nguyen. “We need to look at models that do this well, and integrate environmental issues into policy so we can improve the lives of the poorest in Viet Nam, while ensuring the environment is protected for future generations.”

“The poorest of Viet Nam’s poor live in rural areas,” said UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Jordan Ryan. “Their livelihood, their health, their ability to feed and clothe their families, depends on natural resources. We cannot ensure environmental sustainability without working to eradicate poverty, and we cannot reduce poverty without protecting our resources.”

“People depend on nature for the basics of life,” said Head of DFID Viet Nam, Ms Bella Bird. “Great work has already been done in Viet Nam to recognize this fact in important environmental legislation, like the environmental protection law and the new biodiversity law. This is an ambitious project, but we are confident that Viet Nam will set as good an international example in poverty-environment models and policy, as they have in their poverty reduction efforts.”

One key goal of the program is to integrate poverty reduction targets into all environmental policies in the next socio-economic five-year plan, including at the sector and provincial levels. In an effort to improve cooperation and coordination among donors, the project will create opportunities for donors to work closely with MONRE to share information and work to increase aid effectiveness in environmental policy.

Contact informationNguyen Viet Lan, UNDP Media and Publications Unit
(84-4) 942-1495 ext.186

Dao Xuan Lai, Sustainable Development, UNDP
(84-4) 942-1495 ext.178