|Table of contents
IMPROVING RESPONSES: INTERLINKAGES IN POLICY
IMPROVING IMPLEMENTATION THROUGH
INTERLINKING POLICIES AT DIFFERENT SCALES:
NEPAD-EAP AND THE MDGS
Creating interlinkages between different policies and
programmes is an effective way to develop synergies and
enhance opportunities for using available resources more
effectively. Interlinking policies at different scales can
offer new opportunities for implementing institutions.
The environmental, social and economic challenges
facing policymakers at the national level are as
important as those at the sub-regional and regional
levels, and often there are remarkable similarities.
Through a process including national governments, the
NEPAD-EAP prioritizes six environmental programme
areas and three crosscutting issues. It also recognizes
poverty as the main cause and consequence of
environmental degradation and thus that there is an
urgent need to halt the downward spiral of poverty and
break the poverty-environment nexus (NEPAD 2003).
While it recognizes the value of MEAs and global
environmental policy processes, its focus is on
responding to African national priorities. The MDGs,
although globally defined targets, have to be realized in
the national context, thus establishing linkages with
regional, sub-regional and national programmes is
critical to their realization. The MDGs can be effectively
linked to NEPAD-EAP programme areas, which are:
- Combating land degradation, drought and
- Conserving Africa’s wetlands;
- Prevention, control and management of invasive
- Conservation and sustainable use of marine, coastal
and freshwater resources;
- Combating climate change in Africa; and
- Transboundary conservation and management of
All these areas are important for the realization of the
MDGs, for example for the goals of alleviating extreme
poverty and hunger, and achieving environmental
sustainability. Table 4 shows how the MDGs are linked
to the environment. The potential for creating effective
interlinkages between these areas is dependent on
governance systems, human resource availability and
capacity, and funding. Table 5 highlights some of the
interlinkages between NEPAD-EAP and MDGs.
|Table 4: Linkages between the MDGs and the environment
|Millennium Development Goals
||Examples of links to the environment
|1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
||Livelihood strategies and food security of the poor often depend directly on healthy
ecosystems and the diversity of goods and ecological services they provide.
|2. Achieve universal primary education
||Time spent collecting water and fuelwood by children, especially girls, can reduce time
|3. Promote gender equality and empower women
||Poor women are especially exposed to indoor air pollution and the burden of collecting
water and fuelwood, and have unequal access to land and other natural resources.
|4. Reduce child mortality
||Water-related diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera kill an estimated 3 million people
per year in developing countries, the majority of which are children under the age of five.
|5. Improve maternal health
||Indoor air pollution and carrying heavy loads of water and fuelwood adversely affect
women’s health and can make women less fit for childbirth and at greater risk of
complications during pregnancy.
|6. Combat major diseases
||Up to one-fifth of the total burden of diseases in developing countries may be associated
with environmental risk factors – and preventive environmental health measures are as
important and at times more cost-effective than medical treatments.
|7. Ensure environmental sustainability
||Current trends in environmental degradation must be reversed in order to sustain the
health and productivity of the world’s ecosystems.
Sources: DFID and others 2002, UN Millennium Project 2005a
|Table 5: Links between MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability and NEPAD-EAP
|MDG 7: Targets
||Examples of related environment programme areas (PA)
|Integrate the principles of sustainable development
into country policies and programmes and reverse the
loss of environmental resources.
||PA1: Integrate strategies of poverty eradication into programmes
and projects related to desertification control and mitigation
of effects of drought.
PA5: Integrate national adaptation strategies into national
sustainable development planning.
|Halve by 2015 the proportion of people without
sustainable access to safe drinking water.
||PA2: Development of plans and policies to promote the wise use
|By 2020 to have achieved a significant improvement
in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.
||PA1: Promotion of the development of sustainable water supply
and sanitation in drylands.
Sources: UN 2005, NEPAD 2003
In addition to the linkages between the NEPAD-EAP
programme areas and MDG 7, there are also links to the
other MDGs and to many MEAs. Several of these
agreements are directly relevant to a specific area,
while others have wider-reaching implications across all
programme areas. The African Convention on the
Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
(ACCNNR), for example, creates a broad framework for
dealing with a range of environmental challenges and is
applicable to all the programme areas of NEPAD-EAP.
Both the CBD and the ACCNNR are dynamic, complex
and non-linear interventions which encourage both
thematic and institutional interlinkages.
Partnership and institutional links can empower
governmental institutions and agencies. For example,
such an approach will enhance the capacity of African
governments to integrate environment into social and
economic processes, and into comprehensive
development frameworks, such as the poverty reduction
strategies (UNEP 2003). Interlinkages are necessary to
meet the MDG targets, and Box 14 on MDG
implementation in the West Indian Ocean islands subregion,
illustrates this point. Success across the Africa
region on achieving the MDG targets is shown in
|Box 14: Progress towards MDGs in the Western Indian Ocean islands sub-region
The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) islands (The Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius
and Seychelles) have made substantial progress towards achieving the MDG
goals and targets. Progress is defined as target already achieved, achievable by
target date or movement towards the target. Taking the four countries as a whole,
28 per cent of the targets in the MDG system have already been achieved, a
further 15 per cent are achievable by the due dates if current progress is
maintained, and on a further 28 per cent they are on track (UN 2005 and UN
Statistics Division 2005). Of the environmental targets, nine have been achieved,
and progress has been made on a total of 12.
Based on a detailed review of five countries across the globe, the Sachs
studied the cost of implementing the MDGs. Based on local data and evidence of
best practice, broad cost estimates for achieving the goals were identified,
estimated in terms of average cost per capita, separating the different elements of
the task (Sachs 2005). Applying this approach within the sub-region, the mediumterm
programme for pursuit of MDGs at a cost of US$74 per head per year, would
require from Madagascar 10 per cent of annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP),
from the Comoros 4 per cent of annual GDP, from Mauritius 0.6 per cent and from
Seychelles 0.4 per cent.
Progress in the region as a whole has been mixed but there has been some
success given that progress in any country is related to the baseline from which it
started in 1990. Moreover, the cost of moving towards the targets differs from
country to country as well as the type of interventions required.
Sources: UN 2005, UN Statistics Division 2005, Sachs 2005
An interlinkages approach can lead to policy
development which more effectively promotes trade,
capacity-building and infrastructure development and
addresses governance-related factors, such as high
transaction costs, conflicts, debt and rent-seeking
practices, and uncontrolled extractive industries and trade.