Environmental tools in EC Development Cooperation

Posted on 28 May 2009

How green is EU's development aid
In a recent study prepared in cooperation with BirdLife and FERN, WWF has analysed the Country and Regional Environment Profiles (CEP & REP) – the tools designed to ensure that environmental concerns are properly integrated into the European Union (EU) development aid process.

While recognising the importance of these Profiles and progress on their transparency, the three organisations have also highlighted some significant shortcomings.

These include inadequate considerations of some of the key challenges such as climate change and degradation of ecosystems, inadequate involvement of civil society and local communities in the Profiles drafting process, and lack of clear recommendations on how the environmental issues identified as country or regional concerns in the CEPs/REPs can be addressed through the EU development aid process.

The EU is the largest aid donor in the world. In order to successfully achieve the ‘eradication of poverty in the context of sustainable development’, it has to ensure that its funds contribute to the management and protection of the environment and natural ecosystems in Partner countries. And indeed the role of a healthy environment in sustaining the livelihoods of people has been proven and recognised in highest political fora.

In order to improve the integration of environmental concerns into programming of EU aid, the CEPs were introduced in the current programming period (2008-2013), and they should work alongside previous tools such as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA). The CEP, which is required for each beneficiary country, provides an analysis of the environmental situation in the country and should provide clear recommendations for spending on environmental issues.

The joint NGO research has analysed 21 geographically-diverse country and regional environmental profiles, using a standardised checklist, to asses the quality and information they provide.

WWF, BirdLife and FERN will continue to work together to help ensure that the EU meets its sustainable development commitments and delivers an effective poverty elimination.
The European Union is the largest aid donor in the world.
© Chris Marais/WWF