The Africa Environment Information Network initiative was launched in 2003, and mandated by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to, among other purposes, support the Africa Environment Outlook (AEO) process. The rebranding of the initiative is a response to some of the challenges the network has faced in the past. The AfricaEIN is spearheaded by AMCEN and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with support from GRID-Arendal.
UNEP, in close collaboration with AMCEN and partners, has been supporting the region through the establishment of the African Environment Information Network (AEIN); production of the Africa Environment Outlook (AEO) report series; and regular national State of Environment (SOE) Reports for selected countries. While this support has been highly instrumental in enhancing Africa’s informed engagement in global environmental dialogue and negotiations, it has been quite challenging to ensure their utility to national development planning and decision-making processes. The need to enhance the contribution of integrated environmental assessments to national development planning processes in Africa has become more urgent due to the following factors:
Mainstreaming Environment in UNDAF: Over the past few years, UNEP has worked closely with the UN Development Group on mainstreaming environmental sustainability in the development and implementation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) at the country level. This has resulted in increased demand and request for environmental assessment input to the UNDAF planning process.
Quality Assurance: One of the key areas of support that is being requested by African countries is to have consolidated, reliable and up-to-date environmental information that can feed into the national planning process. This includes the need for a core set of performance indicators that measure the quality of the environmental information on Africa.
Africa and Green Economy: As noted in a number of regional statements made by Africa, including the African Common Position to Rio+20, African countries recognize the opportunities provided by the transition to Green Economy and call upon the international community to provide the required technical and financial support for its realization in Africa. Integrating Green Economy aspects in the environmental assessment landscape will assist African countries to make better informed decisions.
Results Based Management: One of the key objectives of the UNEP Medium Term Strategy is to transform UNEP into a Results Based Management (RBM) organization. This will ensure that environmental assessments are relevant to national development planning processes, as well as being a key requirement for transforming UNEP’s activities into concrete results and impacts.
An in depth review of the AfricaEIN framework can be downloaded bellow