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AEIN Phase 1 Implementation

AEIN update brochure

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. [More details...]

Status of AEIN Implementation 

The AEIN implementation process was launched in February 2003 in Pretoria, South Africa, during a stakeholders’ workshop. An international steering committee has been established to ensure interlinkages and harmonized implementation with similar initiatives in the region. A framework document and an implementation strategy with guidelines were adopted during the workshop. The framework document has since been published.

The strategy involves facilitating greater networking among national institutions and others at sub-regional and regional levels as well as building their capacity where such needs exist.

The main achievement of AEIN so far is the establishment of an institutional network comprising six sub-regional GEO/AEO collaborating centres and 13 national focal institutions, identified by the individual governments.

AEIN implementation guidelines have been drafted and circulated to stakeholders for comment and are currently being used in implementing AEIN at the national level. The guidelines are also to ensure consistency of the methodology across the region. They are adaptable to allow diversity from country to country, taking into account specific national priorities and recognize that countries are at different stages of development.

The guidelines are organized in six parts, each of which requires its own sub-strategy (Figure below), with the objective of highlighting and differentiating specific needs and issues relating to information management, information systems and information technology:

Guidelines and Tools for Phase I Implementation

The focus of the first phase is to develop common tools to support the integrated environmental assessment and reporting process in the region and to test these tools in the pilot countries and Collaborating Centres before region-wide replication commences. The following are the main activities:

  • A preliminary EIS assessment has been undertaken in three countries, Lesotho, Ghana and Ethiopia and the findings were used to develop AEIN implementation guidelines. The results of this preliminary assessment indicate that there is need to ensure close integration between the needs of the environmental agency(ies) and the activities of the network.
  • National Integrated Environmental Assment and Reporting guidelines have been developed and will be tested in the AEIN pilot countries during the process of producing national environment outlook reports.
  • Policy analysis guidelines and workbook guidelines have been developed in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and are aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the AEO as a policy and advocacy tool for AMCEN to promote the sustainable development agenda in Africa. A regional training workshop has since been held for AEO collaborating centres and representatives of AEIN national focal institutions to help sharpen policy analysis in environmental assessment and reporting.
  • Five (5) sub-regions in Africa have each already developed workplans/strategies which will guide the AEIN implementation. The implementation process at the sub-regional level will be lead by the AEO Collaborating centres (CCs) which are located in each of the sub-regions.
  • Training workshop for AEO collaborating Centres and the AEIN national focal persons on harmonized approaches for data and information management to support integrated environmental assessment and reporting at national, sub-regional and regional levels.