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Africa Environment Outlook

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AEIN Framework

What is AEIN?

The Africa Environmental Information Network (AEIN) is a multi-stakeholder capacity building process that aims to harness and enhance access to information and knowledge to support the management of Africa's environmental resources as assets for sustainable development.


"to strengthen the capacity of African countries to use good quality information on environmental assets to make informed investment choices at sub-national and national levels, and manage these assets on a sustainable basis".

Africa Environment Information Network (AEIN) is a direct outcome of the AEO process, a response to political and technical needs expressed by African Ministers of Environment, who endorsed the AEO process at the 9th Session of AMCEN (1-5 July, 2002) as "a monitoring and reporting tool for sustainable environmental management, as well as to provide a framework for national and sub-regional integrated environmental assessment and reporting."

AEIN Objectives and Outputs

AEIN is designed to provide a broad framework for the effective harnessing of information and knowledge on environmental resources, and how people are affected by changes in the environment. This knowledge will be channeled into decision-making processes, particularly within the framework of national socio-economic development priorities, as well as the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Implementation strategy and plan

AEIN is conceived as an integrated framework programme that will be implemented through partnerships. It is founded on best practices and lessons learnt over the past decade developing environmental information systems.

The AEIN implementation strategy focuses on three key platforms, which define project activity areas:

  • Capacity building for harnessing professional skills and methodologies for analysing data and generating policy-oriented and targeted environmental information, and for integrating such information into sustainable development decision making;
  • Supporting and catalysing networking and the development of the infrastructure and support mechanisms for a comprehensive and harmonised national sustainable development data foundation. The AEIN focus in this regard will be on core datasets for integrated environmental assessments and reporting; and
  • Using information and communication technologies (ICT) to manage data and information, and to facilitate access to information, and also to communicate this information to decision makers at various levels of society, as well as the wider public.

AEIN activities

The AEIN implementation strategy focuses on three key platforms, which define project activity areas:
  • Enhancing Analytical Capacity
  • Enhancing Environmental Information Networking
  • Information Packaging and Dissemination

AEIN phase 1

Phase 1 Implementation

The implementation of the Africa Environment Information Network (AEIN) initiative to support the Africa Environment Outlook (AEO) reporting process, started with 13 countries fully involved in the pilot phase and the whole region participating in capacity building activities. The goal of AEIN, which is being coordinated by the UNEP Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA), is to enhance accessibility to more reliable environmental data and information at national level for the environmental assessment and reporting in the region.

Phase 1 Objectives

The first phase of implementation (2003 - 2004) is essentially a proof of concept, focusing on the "core mandate" as contained in AMCEN's Kampala Declaration in respect of the establishment of AEIN. In this regard the thrust of implementation within UNEP will be on integrated environmental assessment and reporting, leading to the production of AEO-2.

Outcomes, results and lessons learnt from AEIN phase 1

The outcomes of AEIN phase 1 have been divided into two main areas
  • National level
    The main achievement of AEIN at the national level is the establishment of 12 national focal institutions, identified by the individual governments.
  • Sub regional level
    The main achievement of AEIN at the sub regional level is the establishment of an institutional network comprising six sub-regional GEO/AEO collaborating centres.

AEIN Meetings

AEIN meetings respective meeting reports
   AEIN stakeholders meeting, February 2003, Pretoria South Africa
   AEIN international steering committee meeting, October 2005,
   Accra, Ghana
   AEIN phase 1 review and phase 2 launch, October 2006, Nairobi, Kenya