Monday, June 08, 2009

How environmental is EC Development Cooperation: Country analysis and regional profiles

The EU Consensus on Development recognizes that the environment is a cross-cutting issue within EC development cooperation together with human rights and gender, and needs to be mainstreamed in all national and regional development programs. Now a report published by BirdLife, FERN and WWF assesses environmental tools in EC development cooperation.

According to the authors the programming phase is crucial because main decisions are made which are difficult to adjust later on in the project circle. The EC requires an Environmental Country Profile Report in this phase to ensure that the environmental situation, existing policies and programs and capacities of the specific region or country are taken into consideration.

One of the criticisms expressed in the report is that knowledge of climate change is hardly ever included in these reports although climate change is clearly linked to biodiversity and poverty reduction. The report demands to take climate science reports on board in current EC programming.

Other criticized aspects are:

  • insufficient statistical information and the lack of human capacity to provide this
  • inadequate analysis of underlining problems regarding governance and corruption
  • inadequate consideration of land tenure and its legal ramifications
  • inadequate consultations of civil society, local authorities and minority groups
  • failure to adequately address EC policies in areas such as fishing which can have a detrimental impact on ecosystems

by Martin Behrens

See the Euforic newsfeeds on environment and climate