United Nations Environment Management Group (EMG)
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  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: United Nations & Other IGOs
  • Name: United Nations Environment Management Group (EMG)
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The Environment Management Group Secretariat, UNEP

19 October 2011

A FRAMEWORK FOR ADVANCING ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE UN SYSTEM

Prepared by the Environment Management Group

Table of Contents

FOREWORD BY THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL...............................................................................2

PREFACE BY THE CHAIR OF THE EMG................................................................................................2

JOINT STATEMENT BY EXECUTIVE HEADS OF EMG MEMBERS..................................................3

CHAPTER 1. APPROACH FOR A COMMON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK.........................................................................................................12

1.1 Key Considerations for the Development of a Common Framework...........................................12

1.2 Elements of a Common Framework.............................................................................................13

1.3 Phased Approach..........................................................................................................................15

CHAPTER 2. CONTEXT FOR A SYSTEM-WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK.........................................................................................................17

2.1 Examples of Environmental and Social Risks and Opportunities.................................................17

2.2 Internal Developments and Expectations of Environmental and Social Sustainability.................17

2.3 External Developments and Expectations of Environmental and Social Sustainability...............19

CHAPTER 3. KEY FINDINGS FROM THE INTER-AGENCY REVIEW ON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY...........................................................................................................21

3.1 Review Methodology....................................................................................................................21

3.2 Application of Environmental and Social Sustainability Measures across Three Entry Points....21

3.3 Where We Are Today...................................................................................................................22

3.4 Benefits Associated with the Use of a Common Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework..............................................................................................................................................24

3.5 The Opportunity Costs of not Developing a Common Framework for Environmental and Social Sustainability...........................................................................................................................................25

3.6 Synergies between the Framework for Environmental and Social Sustainability and ongoing Work led by the Issues Management Group on Sustainability Management.........................................26

CHAPTER 4. FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS FOR A COMMON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK..........................................................................................27

4.1 Roadmap for Agency Implementation..........................................................................................27

4.2 Elements of Costing for Implementation......................................................................................28

4.3 Legal and Managerial Considerations...........................................................................................28

4.4 Additional Considerations............................................................................................................28

CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................................................31

Recommendations for the Way Forward................................................................................................31

ANNEX A: Minimum Requirements..........................................................................................................32

ANNEX B: UN Entities and Institutions Employing Sustainability Systems.............................................35

ANNEX C: WHO Case Study*:.................................................................................................................40

ANNEX D: List of Review Interviewees...................................................................................................43

ANNEX E: Table of Environmental and Social Sustainability System Founding Documents and Principles.....................................................................................................................................................45

A Framework for Advancing Environmental and Social Sustainability in the UN System - August 2011

FOREWORD BY THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL

To be developed subject to approval of the report by EMG SOM 17

PREFACE BY THE CHAIR OF THE EMG

To be developed subject to approval of the report by EMG SOM 17

A Framework for Advancing Environmental and Social Sustainability in the UN System - August 2011

JOINT STATEMENT BY EXECUTIVE HEADS OF EMG MEMBERS

on

Advancing Environmental and Social Sustainability in the UN System

We, the Executive Heads of Agencies, Funds, Programmes and Departments, of the United Nations,

Are convinced that the promotion of human well-being and global sustainability hinges on environmental protection and social and economic development,

Bear in mind the responsibility of the United Nations system to embody the internationally accepted environmental and social principles in its internal management as well as to support their application by partners and stakeholders; and the need to reduce risks and unintended negative impacts, and maximize benefits to people and their environment in a coherent and integrated way within the UN system,

Are conscious of the efforts by those United Nation system entities that have already developed environmental and social safeguards to mitigate the environmental and social impacts and risks of their activities before the adoption of a common approach to advancing environmental and social sustainability in the United Nations system,

Are mindful of the need for the UN system to internalize the internationally agreed norms of the sustainability agenda at the level of policy/strategy, programme/project, and facilities/operations management through a common framework for environmental and social sustainability, including through safeguards, risk management, institutional learning, capacity-building, simplification, coherence, and transparency,

Are recognizing the wealth of experience across the UN system to ensure the environmental and social impacts and risks of activities are well managed, which has informed the development and adoption of this common approach,

We hereby commit ourselves, proceeding in a phased manner, to use the Framework for Advancing the Environmental and Social Sustainability in the UN System annexed to this statement as a means of furthering the organizations sustainability performance, including by:

(a) Moving our respective organizations towards strengthening environmental and social sustainability in our activities, and to endeavor to find the necessary resources to realize the increased efficiency and operational safety gains of such a common approach; and

(b) Supporting the further development and implementation of a UN system-wide framework for environmental and social sustainability including environmental and social safeguards; for monitoring collective efforts; and for reporting back to the Governing Bodies of our respective organizations on progress made, good practice, and lessons learned.

We make this commitment with a view to show leadership by increasing institutional accountability for the environmental and social sustainability of our activities. We do this to further enable the UN system to work smarter and safer, respond more effectively to emerging issues and stakeholder needs, and better harness lessons from shared experience.

Annex to joint statement by Executive Heads of EMG Members

A Framework for Advancing the Environmental and Social Sustainability in the UN System

Vision

The environmental and social sustainability of the UN is enhanced, thereby contributing to its mission to promote and protect human well-being in line with internationally agreed declarations, conventions, standards and covenants.

Rationale

The UN system has a long history of promoting positive environmental and social outcomes. While many parts of the organization have individually internalized sustainability goals, the UN acting as One can do even more.

By developing of a common environmental and social sustainability framework, the UN will strengthen its leadership role and better support Member States to further the global sustainability agenda at all levels. Specifically, the framework allows the organization to:

- Lead by example: by enhancing institutional capabilities and credibility through strengthening the internalization of the environmental and social principles it advocates, thereby contributing more effectively to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets related to sustainability; - Work safer and smarter: by reducing risks and maximizing benefits through an integrated approach to informed decision-making;

- Respond more effectively: by better addressing emerging issues and stakeholder needs in a timely manner, and by being an attractive and trusted implementing partner;

- Leverage knowledge and experience: by improved information sharing and working in a more efficient, coherent, accountable and transparent manner.

Objective

The UN system enhances its sustainability by internalizing internationally accepted environmental and social principles at the three entry points of policy/ strategy, programmes/ projects and facilities/ operations through individual and collective approaches that address associated risks and maximize opportunities.

Expected outcomes Outputs for individual entities
1. Enabling Conditions

Enabling conditions are strengthened and established for the internalization of internationally accepted environmental and social principles within UN entities.
a) A clear, coherent vision and policy is established that relates environment and social issues to the mission and work of the organization.
b) Internal capacities to implement the vision and policy, and raise awareness among staff to ensure environmental and social sustainability is embraced.
c) Adequate resources are available to achieve the institutional goals of the vision and policy.
d) A continuous cycle of improvement by reviewing the effectiveness of outcomes and activities in order to enhance the organizations environmental and social performance.
2. Implementation entry-points

Environmental and social considerations are systematically integrated into service delivery mechanisms to achieve desired results, using the following three management entry-points to encompass the work of the UN system:
Policy / Strategy

UN system supports the development of policies and strategies that embed a broad view of sustainability and avoid unnecessary trade-offs or harm to people and the environment.
a) A process for integrating environmental and social sustainability considerations into relevant policies and strategies is implemented, for example through conducting or supporting strategic level assessment.
Programmes / Projects

Environmental and social considerations are systematically integrated in all programme and project cycles including, for example, through the use of environmental and social assessment.
a) An environmental and social assessment framework (including safeguards) is developed and implemented that includes screening, review, management plans, monitoring, accountability and transparency.

b) The consideration of environmental and social performance objectives is integrated into existing management approaches, such as partnerships and networks.
Facilities / Operations

Procedures and practices for integrating environmental and social considerations into management practices and support systems for operations, premises, travel, procurement, and use of information technology which contributes to sustainable development.
a) A sustainability management system is established which encompasses measures for moving the UN entity towards climate neutrality.

b) Sustainable practices in building management, procurement and information and communication technologies are developed.

c) Sustainable practices to address areas not covered by the Sustainability Management strategy, such as social aspects of facilities and operations management, are developed.

Collective Actions
1. Demonstrate system-wide commitment for the advancement of environmental and social sustainability of the UN system through support for a common approach to the use of environmental and social sustainability measures as outlined in the proposed framework.

2. Adopt minimum requirements for the internalization of environmental and social sustainability measures across the three entry-points.

3. Keep the advancement of the use of environmental and social sustainability measures under review and continue the sharing of knowledge and lessons learned among UN entities to strengthen coherence and leverage efficiencies.

4. Consider the need for a support and knowledge sharing function to assist UN organizations to: 1) internalize enhancement of their environmental and social sustainability measures, 2) build capacity and share learning; 3) centralize accountability, reporting and evaluation.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework strives to carry the institution beyond the typical safeguard measures of do no harm to also identify ways to do good. In the spirit of One UN, the Framework takes a holistic view of the organization's work from policy conception through programme implementation and internal operations management, providing a broader base of knowledge for smart decision-making. The initiative looks to build on the internationally agreed sustainability norms and principles of the last 30 years by adapting the best practices of environmental and social assessment procedures and management systems to UN system activities.

This effort started when the Senior Officials of the Environment Management Group (EMG) decided at their 15th meeting in September 2009, to undertake a consultative process and prepare a report that outlines options for a common United Nations (UN) system approach for environmental and social safeguards. The opportunity to explore options for advancing UN sustainability was welcomed in response to several requests raised by EMG members in the lead up to the meeting. The EMG initiative is in the spirit of the 2005 World Summit outcomes on system-wide coherence and actions to strengthen linkages between the normative and operational work of the UN.

The Safeguards Working Group focal points subsequently decided to change the terminology from environmental and social safeguards to environmental and social sustainability framework as the latter encompasses safeguards plus additional measures used in internal management practices and normative activities. In this way sustainability framework is more inclusive of UN system activities.

The rationale for this work stems from the understanding that the systematic use of an environmental and social sustainability framework across UN entities would provide the UN system with an important opportunity to demonstrate leadership, and enhance accountability for the environmental and social sustainability of the UN systems policies and practices.

The framework would therefore improve the quality and results of UN supported activities and will help to identify opportunities to harness greater efficiencies and cost savings. Operational and technical performance will be measurably enhanced, and upstream (high-level) opportunities to harness efficiencies, for instance at the level of policy and programme design, will be more informed. Unforeseen environmental and social impacts and risks (and associated reputational liabilities and costs) can be avoided, and opportunities to leverage/maximize the positive impacts of policies, programmes/projects and operational activities can be more consistently harnessed.

An inter-agency review, conducted as part of this consultation, found that the application of environmental and social sustainability measures by UN organizations is uneven. Several entities within the UN system are already utilizing environmental and social sustainability measures, such as safeguards. However, these practices are not consistent or readily comparable.

In the absence of a common framework, UN organizations have adopted myriad ways of considering social and environmental impacts. A few organizations have developed comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment procedures. Many use a mix of review committees and staff expertise to examine environmental and social implications. Overall understanding within individual organizations about the relevance (and utility) of environmental and social sustainability measures is highly varied. On one end of the spectrum, some staff members consulted felt that the UN is behind the curve and needs to catch-up with its sister organizations like the World Bank, while at the same time setting a precedent for social issues like human rights that are not well covered by others. On the other end, some staff members felt that environmental and social safeguards were not relevant to their work and that the adoption of a common approach could be a burden to them. The confusion over the term safeguards was one of the reasons the approach was re-framed as an environmental and social sustainability framework that is more flexible and inclusive of UN activities.

The importance of environmental and social safeguards measures was recognized by the senior officials of the EMG, who initially requested the consultative process on safeguards, and has continued to support the effort. The UNEP Governing Council at its 26 session in February 2011 also encouraged the EMG to put in place a process for environmental impact assessment and the use of environmental and social safeguards in respect of projects taken up directly by the organizations of the United Nations system.

A framework for environmental and social sustainability across the UN system has been developed by the safeguards consultative process for consideration. The framework proposes: 1) a common vision, rationale and objective; 2) individual actions to be taken by each UN entity to internalize environmental and social sustainability measures; and 3) collective actions for the system to undertake, such as a support and knowledge sharing function, minimum requirements, and a centralized reporting structure.

Key benefits of a common sustainability framework fall into the following five categories: capacity- building for all UN organizations; increased credibility; minimizing risks and maximizing opportunities; greater simplification and coherence to policies and procedures; enhanced transparency.

There is still a need to 1) raise awareness and support across UN entities for the use of a common environmental and social sustainability framework; and 2) continue the consultative process to further explore implementation considerations. To be effective, the adoption of a common framework requires high-level institutional commitment and support as set out in the statement (subject to approval) by Executive Heads of Agencies, Funds, Programmes, and Departments of the United Nations on advancing environmental and social sustainability in the UN system.

Further work is needed to evolve the policy-level framework into an implementation plan and operational model that can be adapted and used by individual UN entities, including through the EMG work stream currently handled by the Issue Management Group on Sustainability Management. Some of the elements that require more consideration and consultation include: weighing options of flexibility and accountability, common and individual policies and procedures, legal and managerial requirements, and the use of national systems.

INTRODUCTION

This report responds to the request made by the Senior Officials of the Environment Management Group (EMG) at their 15 meeting in September 2009, to undertake a consultative process and prepare a report that explores options for a common UN system approach for environmental and social safeguards, now called an environmental and social sustainability framework. The opportunity to explore options for advancing UN sustainability was welcomed in response to several requests raised by EMG members in the lead up to the meeting. The EMG initiative is in the spirit of the 2005 World Summit outcomes on system-wide coherence and actions to strengthen linkages between the normative and operational work of the UN.

The first EMG consultative meeting on environmental and social safeguards was held in June 2010 in Washington, DC, where further information needs and a roadmap for the consultative process were agreed. To move the process forward, a Drafting Group (comprised of staff from the EMG Secretariat, UNDP, UNEP and WFP) was established, which has led the development of this report and sustainability framework, with the support of a consultant. An EMG website has been established for the consultative process and provides additional background information.

At their 16th meeting in September 2010, the Senior Officials of the EMG welcomed the progress made in the consultative process on environmental and social safeguards. The linkage with the ongoing work of the EMG Issue Management Group on Sustainability Management (which has focused on moving towards a climate neutral UN) was also acknowledged, and senior officials agreed that the work on sustainability management was a subset of the broader environmental and social safeguards framework, specifically as a contribution to the operations/ facilities entry point. It was felt that the Rio+20 Conference in 2012 provides an opportunity to demonstrate how the UN can walk the talk, demonstrate leadership, and enhance accountability for the ways in which the UN systems policies and practices are consistent with internationally agreed environmental and social sustainability principles.

Key issues raised at the 16 EMG SOM in September 2010 included:

- There is a need for a structured, cooperative and flexible approach both in terms of application and timelines to the work on advancing sustainability in the UN system, backed by necessary resources to support agency/ entity level implementation.

- The need for flexibility in application of approaches and timelines was heavily emphasized, as UN entities operate in very different contexts, with activities ranging from peacekeeping, development assistance and lending, to facilitation of normative international cooperation.

- UN entities would tailor minimum standards to the realities of their activities.

- The need for the environmental competence held by EMG members to be complemented by the necessary social competence in developing sustainability measures.

- Further progress will depend on the ability of participants in the consultative process to actively contribute to the endeavor and share information on their current environmental and social priorities and practices.

- The need to account for political sensitivities among member states was also mentioned.

Recognizing the complexity of the issue before them, the Senior Officials requested the continuation of the consultative process in close cooperation with the Issue Management Group on Sustainability Management with a view to:

1. Finalize the mapping exercise and gap-analysis and refine the conceptual framework for environmental and social safeguards; and

2. Prepare options for a coherent UN system-wide (common) environmental and social safeguards framework including a possible input on Sustainable UN to Rio+20.

The UNEP Governing Council at its 26 session in February 2011 encouraged the EMG to continue supporting the implementation of the United Nations climate-neutral strategy and advancing the sustainability of policies, management practices and operations in the United Nations system, including sustainable procurement, and the establishment of and agreement to put in place a process for environmental impact assessment and the use of environmental and social safeguards in respect of projects taken up directly by the organizations of the United Nations system. In March 2011 the EMG Secretariat hosted in Geneva the second consultative meeting on a system-wide environmental and social safeguards framework, where the Drafting Group presented findings of an inter- agency review; a revision of the conceptual framework for environmental and social safeguards; and explored options for a common UN approach. WHO joined the Drafting Group at this time due to its recent experience with developing an environmental and social assessment procedure. A key outcome of this meeting was a proposal to change the terminology from environmental and social safeguards to environmental and social sustainability framework (which includes safeguards as one of several possible instruments that can be used) to more accurately reflect the broad approach being taken.

The Drafting Group met again in June 2011 in Rome, with the addition of representatives from: 1) organizations developing or revising their institutional safeguards: FAO, IFAD, and the World Bank; and 2) the IMG on Sustainability Management, to further coordinate the work of the two EMG initiatives. Key outcomes of this meeting included:

1. The further development of a broad framework for advancing environmental and social sustainability in the UN system, which includes safeguards.

2. Greater support for and mutual understanding of the synergies between the work of the IMG on Sustainability Management and the work of the environmental and social sustainability group (formerly called the safeguards group), including presenting the work of the two groups under a single Sustainability Framework.

3. Enhanced awareness of the need for political commitment to move the initiative forward, and for opportunities in the next year to garner that support.

Progress Report

This report provides a framework for advancing the environmental and social sustainability of the UN system, supplemented by annexes that reveal in more detail the outcomes of the consultative process.

This report provides:

1) The elements of a common framework for environmental and social sustainability in the UN system;

2) The context for a common framework, based on international good practice and a stock taking of precedents and expectations internal and external to the UN;

3) Findings from an inter-agency review and mapping exercise to identify examples of current UN internal environmental and social sustainability measures, activities, and initiatives;

4) Issues for future exploration in the next phase of developing the framework, which will focus on implementation;

5) Conclusion and recommendations for next steps;

6) The annexes to the document go a step further, and provide: A) a more detailed explanation of some of the sustainability framework elements; and B, C, E) a look at how environmental and social sustainability measures are being applied internally and externally to the UN, including an in-depth case study of WHO's experience to date.

CHAPTER 1. APPROACH FOR A COMMON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK

In response to requests from the EMG Senior Officials, the Environmental and Social Sustainability consultative process conducted an inter-agency review and consultative process to explore options for advancing environmental and social sustainability in the UN system. This chapter describes a revised framework for the initiative proposed by the group, based on the more inclusive foundation of environmental and social sustainability rather than environmental and social safeguards, as was originally envisioned. Given the breadth of activities in the UN system, it was felt that the traditional view of safeguards (which is commonly applied at the programme/ project level) applies only to the work of some UN entities, but that improving environmental and social sustainability applies to all.

The underpinnings for a common sustainability framework are derived from the core mission of the UN system and findings of the inter-agency review of measures and mechanisms being used to integrate environmental and social objectives into policies/ strategy, programmes/ projects, and facilities/ operations. A detailed account of the review methodology and outcomes can be found in Chapter 3.

The framework - which aims to provide a common approach for the use of environmental and social sustainability measures - provides a way for the UN system to further fully align how it performs its work with the environmental and social principles and norms it has pioneered internationally.

1.1 Key Considerations for the Development of a Common Framework

In assessing the review findings, the consultative process took into consideration the issues raised by the EMG Senior Officials, recommendations from the environmental and social sustainability focal points, and lessons and experiences shared by review interviewees. Support was given to the development of a framework that best:

- balances flexibility and accountability

- adds-value to existing procedures and policies

- applies to all types of UN activities

- strengthens monitoring, evaluation, and transparency

- enables the UN to share knowledge in a more systematic manner

- operates in the spirit of the 2005 World Summit outcomes and the Delivering as One initiative

- is aligned with wider (current) sustainable development concerns and issues (e.g. green economy, climate change, current and post-2015 millennium development goals).

Looking at a continuum of options on how to structure the framework - from least to most prescriptive  the group felt a basic foundation for an environmental and social sustainability framework was first needed. Choices for specific implementation elements would then evolve through further consideration and consultation, such as weighing options of flexibility and accountability, common and individual policies and procedures, legal and managerial requirements, and the use of national systems. As some of these elements such as accountability and transparency  have widespread implications for the UN system, more research and consultation on these issues is envisioned for the next phase of development of the sustainability framework.

The following section outlines the key elements for a system-wide environmental and social sustainability framework.

1.2 Elements of a Common Framework

The proposed environmental and social sustainability framework incorporates the following: 1) a vision, rationale and objective; 2) enabling conditions for each UN entity to internalize; 3) collective actions to support, apply, manage, and monitor and evaluate sustainability measures.

A Framework for Advancing the Environmental and Social Sustainability in the UN System
Vision

The environmental and social sustainability of the UN is enhanced, thereby contributing to its mission to promote and protect human well-being in line with internationally agreed declarations, conventions, standards and covenants.
Rationale

The UN system has a long history of promoting positive environmental and social outcomes. While many parts of the organization have individually internalized sustainability goals, the UN acting as One can do even more.

By developing of a common environmental and social sustainability framework, the UN will strengthen its leadership role and better support Member States to further the global sustainability agenda at all levels. Specifically, the framework allows the organization to:

- Lead by example: by enhancing institutional capabilities and credibility through strengthening the internalization of the environmental and social principles it advocates, thereby contributing more effectively to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets related to sustainability;

- Work safer and smarter: by reducing risks and maximizing benefits through an integrated approach to informed decision-making;

- Respond more effectively: by better addressing emerging issues and stakeholder needs in a timely manner, and by being an attractive and trusted implementing partner;

- Leverage knowledge and experience: by improved information sharing and working in a more efficient, coherent, accountable and transparent manner.
Objective

The UN system enhances its sustainability by internalizing internationally accepted environmental and social principles at the three entry points of policy/ strategy, programmes/ projects and facilities/ operations through individual and collective approaches that address associated risks and maximize opportunities.

Expected outcomes Outputs for individual entities
1. Enabling Conditions

Enabling conditions are strengthened and established for the internalization of internationally accepted environmental and social principles within UN entities.
a) A clear, coherent vision and policy is established that relates environment and social issues to the mission and work of the organization.
b) Internal capacities to implement the vision and policy, and raise awareness among staff to ensure environmental and social sustainability is embraced.
c) Adequate resources are available to achieve the institutional goals of the vision and policy.
d) A continuous cycle of improvement by reviewing the effectiveness of outcomes and activities in order to enhance the organization?s environmental and social performance.
2. Implementation entry-points

Environmental and social considerations are systematically integrated into service delivery mechanisms to achieve desired results, using the following three management entry-points to encompass the work of the UN system:
Policy / Strategy

UN system supports the development of policies and strategies that embed a broad view of sustainability and avoid unnecessary trade-offs or harm to people and the environment.
a) A process for integrating environmental and social sustainability considerations into relevant policies and strategies is implemented, for example through conducting or supporting strategic level assessment.
Programmes / Projects

Environmental and social considerations are systematically integrated in all programme and project cycles including, for example, through the use of environmental and social assessment.
a) An environmental and social assessment framework (including safeguards) is developed and implemented that includes screening, review, management plans, monitoring, accountability and transparency.

b) The consideration of environmental and social performance objectives is integrated into existing management approaches, such as partnerships and networks.
Facilities / Operations

Procedures and practices for integrating environmental and social considerations into management practices and support systems for operations, premises, travel, procurement, and use of information technology which contributes to sustainable development.
a) A sustainability management system is established which encompasses measures for moving the UN entity towards climate neutrality.

b) Sustainable practices in building management, procurement and information and communication technologies are developed.

c) Sustainable practices to address areas not covered by the Sustainability Management strategy, such as social aspects of facilities and operations management, are developed.

Collective Actions
1. Demonstrate system-wide commitment for the advancement of environmental and social sustainability of the UN system through support for a common approach to the use of environmental and social sustainability measures as outlined in the proposed framework.

2. Adopt minimum requirements for the internalization of environmental and social sustainability measures across the three entry-points.

3. Keep the advancement of the use of environmental and social sustainability measures under review and continue the sharing of knowledge and lessons learned among UN entities to strengthen coherence and leverage efficiencies.

4. Consider the need for a support and knowledge sharing function to assist UN organizations to: 1) internalize enhancement of their environmental and social sustainability measures, 2) build capacity and share learning; 3) centralize accountability, reporting and evaluation.

A more detailed examination of framework elements and considerations can be found in Annex A.

1.3 Phased Approach

The three-entry points of a common environmental and social sustainability framework presents the UN system with a holistic approach that provides a continuum from policy development to program and project management to facility and operations considerations. While such an approach ensures greater awareness of potential social and environmental impacts and opportunities, it was also noted to be an exceptionally large endeavor to undertake all at once, given the breadth of UN activities across the system. It was also noted during the inter-agency consultative process that no other institution addresses sustainability measures across all of the entry-points proposed under one sustainability framework. In order to retain the benefits of a holistic and integrated framework, an incremental approach is advised.

Therefore, subsequent to system-wide commitment to a common framework for environmental and social sustainability, ongoing work will be required both collectively as well as by individual entities (as described in the framework above) and will be an iterative process that continues to evolve from experience. In particular, due to the variability in mandates and existing sustainability measures being applied across the UN system, each UN entity will initiate the process of implementation from differing starting points which will require a flexible and phased approach. This phasing will vary by entity dependent on where gaps are identified and priorities exist. Because there are many UN organizations that are already implementing sustainability measures, these organizations will be initially engaged to identify opportunities to pilot the framework to garner lessons learned relatively quickly for the benefit of the larger system.

Environmental and social assessment was identified as a particular need/ gap by many organizations during the safeguards review of the UN system. Hence the phased approach is envisioned to begin with the frameworks programme/ project entry point for UN activities, in great part because projects and programmes are generally recognized as having potential environmental or social implications. Phasing of the facilities/ operations entry point will be coordinated with the IMG on Sustainability Management (IMG SM), which has already addressed a number of the facilities/ operations issues. However, there are some elements of that entry point that will not be covered by the IMG SMs work, such as social issues like labor. In addition to phasing by entry point, phasing by UN entity is also suggested. This approach starts with the UN organizations most prepared to implement the sustainability framework, thereby providing access to piloting and lessons learned for others. It then progresses from UN entities most to least likely to have some form of environmental and social risk associated with their work.

CHAPTER 2. CONTEXT FOR A SYSTEM-WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK

2.1 Examples of Environmental and Social Risks and Opportunities

The proposed environmental and social sustainability framework provides an approach for the management of a wide variety of environmental and social impacts and risks, for the identification of benefit enhancement opportunities, and can reveal trade-offs that need to be considered. It is also important to note that environmental and social sustainability not only looks at the potential impacts resulting from an activity but also environmental and social risks to the activity.

Examples of environmental considerations include:

o Impacts on and management of ecosystems, including

o Land and soil

o Forest

o Biodiversity

o Water

o Air and atmosphere, including climate

o Impacts on and management of non-renewable resources

o Management of hazardous waste (including production, storage, transport, treatment and disposal)

o Management of chemicals (including use and disposal)

Examples of social considerations include:

o Access and equity in the delivery/receipt of benefits

o Access to basic health, clean water, water resources, energy, education, housing, employment, land rights and other rights (such as political association, information and justice)

o Exposure to pollution of air, land, water, and to consequences of climate change

o Absence of involuntary displacement of individuals, groups or communities, and disruption of livelihoods

o Access to safe and decent working conditions

o Absence of use of forced or child labor

In all of the above, there are special concerns for the protection of vulnerable groups including: children, women and girls, the elderly, indigenous peoples, disabled people, people at risk of, or affected by, HIV.

2.2 Internal Developments and Expectations of Environmental and Social Sustainability

At the first consultative workshop to consider a systemGwide framework for environmental and social safeguards (June 2010), participants recommended the following basic framework for moving forward:

o Operate in the spirit of the 2005 World Summit outcomes and the Delivering as One initiative;

o Provide a coherent, focused set of principles and minimum expectations for UN-supported initiatives, with enough flexibility to fit respective operational challenges;

o Strengthen organizational incentives to develop skills and expertise for advancing environmental and social sustainability;

o Provide a common reference point and language for UN staff and for country partners and thereby reduce the number and complexity of different agency procedures at country level;

o Strengthen monitoring and evaluation processes, and enable the system to share knowledge, learn together, and improve in a more systematic manner; and

o Demonstrate to donors and other stakeholders that the UN has a credible, transparent and coherent approach, built on international good practices, and improve the ability of the UN to deliver resources to countries.

Following on those recommendations, a key purpose of the environmental and social sustainability review of the UN system was to determine how different organizations could bring their existing practices into one consolidated framework to more consistently and comprehensively address the environmental and social impacts of their work. Review results demonstrated that there are strong underpinnings in the UN system for a coordinated effort in this area.

Growing recognition of the value of environmental and social sustainability is reflected in the many ways UN organizations have:

a) Developed policies and tools to assess the social and environmental impact and risks of their work, and

b) Developed policies and initiatives to strengthen sustainable practices and measure results.

A common framework for environmental and social sustainability thus provides a mechanism to further strengthen the ability of individual organizations to achieve sustained results, identify opportunities, and ensure unintended adverse impacts and risks are avoided or minimized.

The protection and enhancement of human well-being is a common denominator for the UN system and the ultimate goal of sustainability practices. The Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Charter, international labor conventions, multilateral environmental agreements, the Law of the Sea, and other international agreements such as the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, the Rio Declaration and the Beijing Platform for Action all build on the protection and enhancement of human well-being.

Taking a leadership role in the implementation of environmental and social sustainability measures is explicit in the normative framework for the UNs work, from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, through major summits and conferences, to highly technical standards in legal instruments such as human rights and multi-lateral environmental treaties (MEAs). For example, the Convention on Biological Diversity is a normative environmental instrument that provides important social safeguards related to access to information and remedy, protection of indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups, and benefit sharing.

The use of a system-wide environmental and social sustainability framework can help to enhance transparency and accountability, and strengthens harmonization in the design of initiatives. It also furthers the UN system response to the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action, and the 2008 Doha Declaration on Financing for Development as it supports national ownership and use of national systems.

2.3 External Developments and Expectations of Environmental and Social Sustainability

The use of environmental and social sustainability measures, such as safeguards, have become common practice, hence there are many models from which to learn and assess which approach is best for the UN. Additionally, because donors, partners and other stakeholders are often requiring the application of such measures in their partnerships, the common approach adopted by the UN would need to be flexible enough to accommodate requirements from these various partners (e.g. the potential to apply country systems or partner requirements when consistent with UN policy). As the UN system continues to advocate for more joint programming and Delivering as One, it will need to continue to harmonize its policies, such as environmental and social sustainability, or risk an inability to progress in these areas.

The following outlines the key sustainability-related developments among UN partners and stakeholders:

Government partners: Emerging legislation on environmental and social assessments is becoming international good practice in both developed and developing countries.

Donors (bilateral and multilateral): An increasing number of donors are asking for partners and recipients to have safeguards in place, such as the US asking for equivalency to its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In May 2011 the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Governing Council approved a provisional policy on environmental and social safeguard standards that will apply to all its implementing agencies, including a number of UN organizations. This will require that all implementing agencies have environmental and social safeguard policies in place for projects.

As more donors ask implementing partners to have safeguards in place, there is concern that without such a system the UN will not be competitive for such projects. This concern runs particularly high in the climate change area, as $30 billion has already been pledged over the next few years to combat climate change, with $100 billion per year pledged after 2020.

NGOs: In addition to often having their own environmental and social sustainability systems in place, NGOs and civil society will continue to be a vocal watchdog in how activities affecting the environment and people are designed and implemented. Participation from civil society is a key element in many sustainability systems and is becoming an expected norm, along with access to public grievance mechanisms. For example, the indigenous community responded proactively to the GEFs announcement to require environmental and social safeguards of all existing and future implementing partners, but offered their own guidelines on how their interest could best be considered. Whether or not the indigenous communitys guidelines are used, it illustrates the level of engagement from NGOs and affected populations on such issues.

Private sector: Companies that become members of the UN Global Compact  currently over 5,300 businesses in 130 countries  commit to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption that have all been developed within the framework of the UN. Similarly, the international investment community developed six Principles for Responsible Investment for the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative. They reflect the view that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the sustainability of investment portfolios and therefore must be given appropriate consideration by investors if they are to fulfill their duty. Further, sixty-five financial institutions from around the globe have adopted the Equator Principles, a voluntary set of standards for determining, assessing and managing social and environmental risk in project financing.

The private sector is also beginning to look at social criteria by assessing social sustainability in areas such as human rights, environment and labor conditions by using ISO 26000, international guidance on social responsibility. Additionally, social labeling for products is being developed - building on existing environmental labeling like Blue Angel and the EU Ecolabel in Europe and Energy Star in the US.

CHAPTER 3. KEY FINDINGS FROM THE INTER-AGENCY REVIEW ON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

3.1 Review Methodology

The EMG Drafting Group for Environmental and Social Safeguards carried out a review in late 2010 to identify how UN entities address the environmental and social impact of their work. To date, the review has gathered information from a wide variety of UN sources to learn from each others efforts, understand where the UN system can work together, and determine ways to overcome institutional constraints to better environmental and social performance.

A baseline framework was developed for the review to examine how safeguards are applied at three key entry points within an organizations work: 1) policy / strategy, 2) programmes / projects, and 3) operations / facilities. The baseline framework was subsequently revised and refined to better encompass the variety of UN entities and to consider implementation elements. The framework is presented in Chapter 1.

The methodology for an inter-agency review was originally conceived as a gap analysis. However it became apparent that environmental and social sustainability measures within the UN were so disparate and often not viewed as sustainability systems or safeguards that it was not possible to develop a baseline on which to predicate a gap analysis. Additionally, confusion over what safeguards encompassed  traditionally they are applied only to the project level  was one of the reasons the terminology was changed to sustainability framework, which is viewed as more flexible and inclusive of various UN activities. In light of moving away from a gap-analysis, more emphasis was placed on narrative data collection from primary source interviews, and analysis of UN environmental and social sustainability measures in the many forms in which they exist. This data was used to discern where there are commonalities in the UN system and how the organization could create a common approach.

Given the breadth of the UN system, it was not possible to do a complete survey of sustainability systems in use in the time given. This review therefore provides a snapshot of UN sustainability systems at the end of 2010 and is not an exhaustive analysis of what each UN agency, fund, programme, and department has achieved in this area. Due to the cross-cutting nature of how environmental and social sustainability is addressed, the entry points to discuss this issue with each UN entity have at times required interviewing as many as five staff members from one organization  and even then only a partial picture emerged of how such considerations are incorporated into an organizations work.

3.2 Application of Environmental and Social Sustainability Measures across the Three Entry Points

The review sought to understand how environmental and social sustainability measures were applied and viewed in each of the entry points outlined in the proposed sustainability framework. As data is not available for all UN organizations, conclusions are subject the current findings. A brief overview of some of the more defined practices used by UN entities can be found in Annex B.

Policy / Strategy Management: This entry point found a moderate variety of activities, in great part because many interventions in this category either do not require environmental and social assessment or would require a minimal approach. UN organizations focused on normative work, such as the Conventions, had some of the most significant environmental and social assessment activities in this category. Examples of existing procedures include: policies on a human rights-based approach, gender equality and gender mainstreaming; advisory missions; UNDG Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Guidance for UNDAF/CCA; UNDP Environmental Mainstreaming Framework; Ramsar Wetlands Inventory and Strategic Assessment; among others. It is anticipated that a deeper understanding of other inter-agency approaches, like the UNDG guidance, will inform the further development of a system-wide sustainability framework so as to build on lessons learned and good practice.

Programme/ Project Management: This entry point, traditionally the area where safeguard practices are applied, found a significant variety of environmental and social sustainability procedures in use, in great part because projects and programmes are generally recognized as having potential environmental or social implications. The review of existing UN practices found a strong consistency in the application of screening and assessment processes at this entry point, which supports the case for establishing a set of minimum requirements for the framework. Examples of procedures in place include: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment; Environmental Risk Identification; Guidelines for field projects (including screening, scoping, and management for environmental and social aspects); committees for specific thematic issues, like gender; intraGdivisional project review groups that use a mix of economic, social and environmental criteria; Environmental Review in the Programme Cycle; Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in Disaster Response; Valuation of Natural Assets; Vulnerability Assessments; among others.

Facilities/ Operations Management: This entry point found a small and fairly cohesive variety of procedures in use, particularly in the area of facilities management. A number of entities were in the process of developing procedures in this area, such as risk management systems or sustainability initiatives. An early assumption might be drawn that this category has seen a number of recent procedures put in place  particularly environmental procedures  because of system-wide efforts such as the IMG on Sustainability Management, Sustainable UN, a system-wide procurement portal (Global Marketplace), and heightened awareness of green building benefits. Examples of procedures in place include: safety audits; field mission management procedures; a framework for assessing, monitoring and evaluating the environment in refugee-related operations; guidance on including environmental considerations into logistics, meetings and offices; among others.

3.3 Where We Are Today

In sum, the review found an ad-hoc approach, varied understanding of the purpose and benefits of applying environmental and social sustainability measures, varied expectations of what it could deliver, and a desire by a number of entities to have the guidance and tools to develop measures that would be relevant and appropriate for their organization.

Ad-hoc approach: Without an over-arching framework to work within, UN organizations have adopted myriad ways of considering social and environmental impacts. The review found that a few organizations have developed comprehensive and integrated approaches to the management of environmental and social sustainability concerns. Many use a mix of review committees and staff expertise to examine environmental and social implications. Some sustainability measures respond to existing agreements within the UN system, such as mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes coming out of the Beijing conference, or considerations for HIV/AIDS, coming out of the UN Security Council Resolution 1308, and gender, coming from Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1889. A few UN entities contacted felt they could not participate in the review because it was not clear to them how environmental and social safeguards/ sustainability measures would apply to their work.

This ad-hoc approach produces uneven polices with varying levels of information being generated, which are difficult to coordinate with internal UN or external partners. It can also mean risks may be caught by luck as much as design.

Varied expectations: The review found that UN staff members have highly varied expectations from their respective institutions on environmental and social sustainability. On one end of the spectrum, some staff feel that the UN is behind the curve and needs to catch-up with its sister organizations like the World Bank, while at the same time setting a precedent for social issues like human rights that are not well covered by others. On the other end, some staff members felt that environmental and social safeguards were not relevant to their work and that the adoption of a common approach could be a burden to them. The confusion over the term safeguards was one of the reasons the approach was re-framed as a more inclusive environmental and social sustainability framework.

Need for a common framework: Findings from the review support the need for an environmental and social sustainability framework that works across the various mandates and activities of the UN system, but also underlines the need for flexibility. It was felt that a common framework would build confidence through cooperation, shared resources and information, and make the implementation of a sustainability system easier and more efficient for each agency.

A Snapshot View: Who Uses Environmental and Social Sustainability Measures?

Following is a brief overview of UN and non-UN entities that apply environmental and social sustainability measures. A more detailed list and description can be found in Annex B.

In the 1980s, the World Bank was the first major development institution to initiate social and environmental safeguards. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) followed by adopting its Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies and its Disclosure Policy in 1998. In 2006, the IFC adopted a set of Sustainability Standards. Multilateral development banks developed their own safeguards, largely variations on those of the IFC and World Bank. The World Bank is currently revising its safeguards based on a review carried out in 2010. Additionally, member states have their own national environmental and social policies and systems in place (e.g. legal frameworks for EIA and SEA). In 2005 countries (both developing and developed) along with multilateral and bilateral organizations committed to harmonizing approaches to environmental assessment as part of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and subsequently committed to use national systems (including for environmental and social assessment) to the maximum extent possible in the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action.

Environmental and social sustainability systems come in many shapes in the UN system and nearly every UN entity interviewed has some form of impact assessment in place functioning as an impact or risk assessment measure. For example: IFAD has had procedures for Environmental Assessment since 1994 and updated its Environmental and Social Assessment Procedures in 2009; WFP has integrated social and environmental sustainability in its work at the policy, project management and operational levels; FAO employs Environmental Impact Assessment procedures to ensure that its field operations are consistent with its sixteen governing principles; the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) issued a Guidance Note on Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in Country Analysis and the UN Development Assistance Frameworkin 2009; and DPKO/DFS issued their Environmental Policy for UN Field Missions in 2009 and also employs social policies in Child Protection, Gender and HIV. The MDG Carbon Facility (UNDP) has developed, and the UN-REDD Programme (FAO, UNDP, UNEP) is developing, integrated social and environmental safeguards for their work.

Since 2000 the UN Global Compact has asked companies to embrace, support and enact a set of value- based principles. In turn, companies being members of the Global Compact has in most cases become a minimum requirement in the UN system for engagement with the private sector. In the private sector there are also examples of environmental and social sustainability systems in the context of risk management and corporate social responsibility. Financial institutions took the lead in the private sector in 2003 with the establishment of the Equator Principles.

3.4 Benefits Associated with the Use of a Common Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework

Interviewees and a document review identified that a common framework for the use of environmental and social sustainability measures in the UN system could provide the following related benefits:

Capacity building:

- Help UN agencies, funds, programs, and departments, and their implementing partners and beneficiaries, to take advantage of environmental and social opportunities, identify and manage risks, and avoid or mitigate negative impacts and costly delays and corrections at implementation stage.

- Address immediate and long-term impacts of services and processes.

- Strengthen organizational incentives to develop relevant skills and expertise.

- Provide a set of minimum requirements for institutional sustainability for UN-supported initiatives. This would make a very tangible contribution towards operationalizing a range of normative priorities and frameworks such as human rights treaties and multi-lateral environmental agreements.

- Provide a framework to facilitate shared learning across the UN system.

- Encourage greater engagement with, and capacity development of, country partners, such as the Ministries of Environment, Social Affairs, Planning and Development. Credibility:

- Show that the UN is living up to the principles it developed and advocates for.

- Demonstrate to donors that the UN has a credible, coherent approach, built on international best practice and standards, and improves the ability of the UN to access Multi-Donor Trust Funds.

- Provide countries and stakeholders with practical guidance that reflects UN best practice.

- Provide a coherent platform for greater leadership by the principles of UN organizations and more consistent communication with stakeholders about the importance of environmental and social sustainability.

- Ensure that interventions and activities take a more holistic approach to sustainability. For example, many donors are upgrading their environmental procedures to address climate risk, which has resulted in a more inclusive view of programming.

Reduce risks and maximize benefits:

- Work safer and smarter through an integrated approach and more informed decision-making.

- Deliver greater environmental protection and promotion of human well-being.

- Be able to better understand and weigh environmental and social trade-offs and identify opportunites.

Simplification and coherence:

- Harmonize reporting procedures and allow the UN system to report coherently on how well UN supported initiatives prevent harm to people and their environments and help further human well- being.

- Provide an opportunity to agree, as a system, on particular themes and cross-cutting issues (such as indigenous peoples) for environmental and social sustainability, and to address these systematically at the earliest stages of any activity or intervention.

- Improve the coherence of sustainability measures and mainstream them into common UN programming and operations procedures, thereby reducing the number and complexity of different, sometimes competing, agency procedures at country level and helping to reduce transaction costs for country partners and increase transparency.

- Strengthen harmonization and the Delivering as One approach, currently being piloted in eight countries.

- Clarify and streamline the current mix of UN accountability measures, particularly in relation to national laws and procedures.

Transparency:

- Enhance transparency and accountability by providing a platform for the participation of national and local stakeholders in the design of initiatives; and giving order and consistency for organizations to address environmental and social concerns through the allocation of resources, assignment of responsibility and ongoing evaluation of practices, procedures and processes.

- Strengthen monitoring and evaluation processes, and enable the system to share knowledge and apply lessons in a more systematic manner.

- Provide a clear basis for open assessment and recourse/ arbitration.

3.5 The Opportunity Costs of not Developing a Common Framework for Environmental and Social Sustainability

- A few interviewees raised the issue of what opportunities would be lost by not developing a common environmental and social sustainability framework. This perspective was also evident in some of the background documentation used in the review, such as the 2010 review of World Bank Group safeguards.

Some of the possible opportunity costs to not having common framework for the UN system include the lack of ability to:

- Develop minimum environmental and social sustainability standards for UN work;

- Identify and manage risks and opportunities;

- Identify and strengthen weak practices;

- Harness institutional memory/ institutional improvement;

- Provide consistent implementation;

- Assess impact and trade-offs;

- Provide capacity-building for staff.

3.6 Synergies between the Framework for Environmental and Social Sustainability and ongoing Work led by the Issues Management Group on Sustainability Management

At their 16 meeting, EMG Senior Officials noted that the work on climate neutrality and (environmental) sustainability management in the UN represents a subset of the issue discussed in considering a common environmental and social safeguards, and that this subset is complemented by other sustainability aspects such as those related to internal UN policies and operations. The consultative process on the environmental and social safeguards/ sustainability was requested to be undertaken in close cooperation with the Issue Management Group on Sustainability Management (IMG SM).

The EMG Senior Officials meeting in September 2010 welcomed the progress made by the time-bound IMG SM and the recent attention given to this issue by the Joint Inspection Unit in its report Environmental Profile of the United Nations System Organizations. Given the ongoing nature of the work of the IMG the meeting decided to extend its time-period until the end of 2012. In view of the need to anchor sustainability management in intergovernmental processes and in the internal management and operational structures of the UN system, the meeting requested the IMG to prepare a strategic plan for sustainability management in the UN system by September 2011. This will focus on sustainability at the facilities and operations entry point of the overarching framework proposed in this report.

Therefore, within a wider sustainability framework for the UN system, the work of the IMG SM covers, in great part, the entry point for internal facilities and operations management. The consultative process on the environmental and social sustainability framework has thus identified the need to also develop sustainability measures for the more outward-looking policy/ strategy and programme/ project management entry points. There may also be an opportunity to share aspects of a common support facility, given that both initiatives propose system-wide elements such as capacity-building, reporting, and evaluation.

CHAPTER 4. FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS FOR A COMMON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK

The following are implementation elements of the framework for environmental and social sustainability that have been raised in consultation and research, but still require greater consideration to determine the best actions. It is envisioned that the next phase of work will elaborate on these implementation issues.

4.1 Roadmap for Agency Implementation

The framework elaborated in Section 1.2 of this report identifies a common environmental and social sustainability vision and objective as well as entity-specific outcomes and outputs. Therefore, it will be up to each UN-entity to apply the framework within the context of their own organization and identify the most appropriate measures and implementation plan for moving it forward. For example, those with little environmental and social impact assessment expertise will require a more robust support and training mechanism. A common starting point for all UN entities will be to do a simple assessment to determine which areas of the sustainability framework are already covered by their own policies and procedures, and which areas not.

This section outlines a basic roadmap, or key activities, to guide each organization through this process. (A more detailed roadmap would be developed in the next phase of work). This will be used to indicate where each UN-entity is in the process of implementing sustainability measures. It is estimated that full implementation will be highly variable and could take between two and five years.

The following activities will need to be conducted by each UN organization to implement environmental and social sustainability measures, such as safeguards. A system-wide support mechanism would be available to assist each UN entity in its implementation of the sustainability framework.

1. Identify leadership: Each UN entity would have to make a corporate decision to implement sustainability practices, and these individuals would be responsible for ensuring the process.

2. Endeavor to find the necessary resources: A budget should not be viewed as a one-time setting aside of funds, but rather it should be linked to the implementation plan to capture what it fully costs.

3. Perform organizational assessment / gap analysis: Determine if minimum requirements are already in place; if not, what exists and what still needs to be done to fill that gap. Assess capacity needs for organizational assessment, such as resource needs, staff, and training.

4. Develop a roll-out and implementation plan: It is important that each UN entity have its own vision, objectives, and targets for what it means to advance environmental and social sustainability. Each entity may also choose to take a phased approach to roll-out (e.g. through piloting or a scaling up process).

5. Measure progress: Keep track of progress and ensure corrective actions for missed deadlines or inadequate work.

6. Develop a communications plan: Develop a plan to communicate activities and progress to staff members, to ensure a sense of moving forward and understanding of the value of the process.

7. Build capacity for organizational learning: Develop a plan to capture and share knowledge and lessons learned for internal and system-wide use.

8. Documentation/ reporting process: An internal review mechanisms is needed, paired with a common reporting and accountability system.

4.2 Elements of Costing for Implementation

At this time the cost to each UN entity to implement environmental and social sustainability measures is not known but will be highly variable. However, implementation of a common framework will facilitate further sharing among agencies of costing issues and resource needs. For example, a few UN organizations are at the early stages of testing their environmental and social assessment systems (one component of the framework), potentially generating examples of costs in 6-12 months that UN entities will wish to consider.

To begin to consider costing, elements described in the roadmap in Section 4.1 (e.g. communications plan, action plan, reporting) are examples of activities that would all need to be fully resourced. It is important to note that at the project level, costs associated with assessing and managing potential environmental and social impacts will also be highly variable and costs for management measures would need to be built into project budgets. Costs related to environmental and social screening at the programme/ project level occur before project implementation, so each UN entity will specifically need to look at how funding can be provided to do this.

4.3 Legal and Managerial Considerations

It is recognized that elements of the environmental and social sustainability framework will require guidance and ultimately approval across the legal bodies of the UN system. These issues include, but are not limited to:

1. What are the legal and managerial processes and obligations to establish a system-wide framework? How can that be coordinated across different UN system legal requirements?

2. How best to determine the UNs sphere of responsibility  where accountability begins and ends?

3. How would a potential common accountability and grievance mechanism work across the system?

4. How best to conduct a common sustainability review for the UN system?

5. In the short-term the environmental and social sustainability group will continue its consultative process under the EMG. However, the development and implementation of a common sustainability framework benefits the entire UN system and will in the future need dedicated funding for a small staff and a support and knowledge sharing function.

4.4 Additional Considerations

Review interviewees raised a number of challenges they felt the UN system faced in operationalizing a common framework for environmental and social sustainability. These challenges generally fall into six broad areas, noted below. However some interviewees also offered lessons from their experiences that could be options for addressing these challenges. In addition, some of the options presented here were drawn from a review of UN and related institutions reports and documentation.

1. Need to engage political will and leadership for moving a common sustainability framework forward. Currently, there is no uniform agreement or mandates for UN entities to adopt a environmental and social sustainability framework. A coordinated effort to develop and foster alignment with a common framework will require high-level endorsement by the principles of all participating entities, and engagement with their governing bodies. Options:

- Develop an agreed statement of support. Build support around a clear and concise statement of commitment for the development of a common environmental and social sustainability framework. This statement is viewed as key to the engagement of engaging political leadership needed to support further work on this initiative. A proposed statement of support is on page 4 of this report.

- Show benefits and assure transparency. Initially, an environmental and social sustainability pilot project is recommended to gain knowledge, lessons and models to apply to the wider system. Success of the pilot will generate support for the process. Then, regular monitoring and reporting will allow the UN system to benchmark progress and effectiveness of the sustainability system to show tangible results. Assessment tools like impact assessments and environmental audits will also provide data from which to determine outcomes and provide transparency.

2. A new framework is too much to implement: How can a common environmental and social sustainability framework be integrated into a UN system that already has so many policies, guidelines, frameworks, and modes of operation to learn and follow? Options:

- Build on what already works. Where possible, a common approach should be based on practices already agreed upon and used within the UN system. It is recommended that environmental and social sustainability procedures integrate with existing policies and guidance where possible, and make redundant other policies. Hence it is not another layer but rather creates cohesion and fills environmental and social sustainability gaps.

- Focus on commonalities not differences. UN activities can be broken down into three basic management levels. Choosing modalities rather than themes helps limit the number of different sustainability approaches needed. Within each entry point the environmental and social sustainability measures that are most relevant will be determined based on the degree of UN influence over the activity and the scope and type of activity.

3. System-wide adoption. With such a broad system of disparate activities, how wouldGimplementation be ensured? Options:

- Provide support, guidance and capacity-building activities: Understanding that new policies and practices require time to be fully understood and adopted, a number of support mechanisms and guidance material for UN entities are envisioned. A centralized mechanism for support will be needed to provide guidance and capacity-building to UN entities internalizing environmental and social sustainability measures, such as for training, monitoring and reporting.

- Common reporting system. A common reporting system allows for monitoring and evaluation of the impact of sustainability measures put in place across the UN system. Providing support and building capacity for each organizations reporting is seen as integral to enable the common reporting framework to be effective.

4. National systems: In the spirit of the Paris Declaration, a common framework would provide flexibility to utilize and develop capacities of national systems and standards to implement the UN environmental and social sustainability framework. Options will be further investigated in the next phase.

5. Equivalent social and environmental expertise: Options will be identified to ensure comparable social expertise is found to complement the environmental competence held by EMG members.

Options will be further investigated in the next phase.

6. Terminology: While the IMG SM and the consultative process are now working together to ensure synergies and linkages, the terminology remains confusing, such as between the IMG SM's sustainability management strategy and the consultation on safeguards environmental and social sustainability framework.

CONCLUSION

The findings of the inter-agency review and consultations make a strong case for the further development of a framework for advancing environmental and social sustainability in the UN system. This report proposes an outline for further development of such a framework, which has been supported by inter- agency focal points. However, a number of considerations and issues require further exploration before the next step, a more detailed strategy for internalizing sustainability measures, can be fully realized.

Recommendations for the Way Forward

The work on advancing a common environmental and social sustainability framework has two elements:

1. A system-wide commitment of support for a common approach to the use/application of environmental and social sustainability measures, and

2. Support for agency-level implementation

The consultative process has compiled compelling data and a developed a proposed framework to move forward on both phases in the coming year, starting with ensuring system-wide support for a common approach.

Recommendation 1:

A system-wide commitment of support is critical for the further advancement of the environmental and social sustainability framework. While a joint statement of support is envisioned as the first step, the consultative process has also identified other potential opportunities for raising awareness and support for the initiative. The following are recommended next steps:

1. Agree on a joint statement of by Heads of UN agencies, funds, programmes and departments

2. Bring the environmental and social sustainability framework forward spearheaded by the Secretary-General

3. Include the environmental and social sustainability framework as a UN initiative to be launched at Rio+20 in June 2012.

Recommendation 2:

There is a need to continue the consultative process for another year to:

1. Develop a fully integrated implementation model for each agency to adopt;

2. Prepare the initiative for presentation at Rio+20 in 2012;

3. Further develop a Community of Good Practice or Resource Centre to share knowledge and lessons learned;

4. Further coordination with the IMG on Sustainability Management to ensure synergies;

5. Explore options for issues under consideration, such as a common support and knowledge sharing function; accountability; and identification of ways to go beyond managing risks and benefits and also do good;

6. Ensure a source of comparable social expertise is found to complement the environmental competence held by EMG members;

7. Allow for wider consultation.

ANNEX A: Minimum Requirements for a System-wide Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework

The following is a discussion of minimum requirements envisioned to date for a system-wide 1environmental and social sustainability framework. It is expected that the elements discussed here may continue to evolve as more information is gained from the pilot activities of sustainability measures being undertaken by a few UN entities.

Entry Point Definitions and Typical Minimum Procedures

Policy/ strategy: This category is about strategic thinking and planning and how environmental and social issues could be considered at a high level. Policy/ strategy interventions will have the lightest approach of the three categories, but in many cases will still be required to assess the environmental and social impact of the actions being recommended. Procedures in this area are often referred to as mainstreaming environmental and social issues into agreements, standards and norms. Examples are strategic initiatives under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), UN entities support to national policy development, assistance to international conventions and treaties, and the work of the UN Secretariat in regards to policy setting.

A specific minimum requirement for this entry-point will need to be defined and developed and would be drawn from established management tools and good practice. However, typical approaches include strategic environmental and social assessments and environmental and social mainstreaming approaches. If risks are identified through an initial process, further assessments would be required as the policy/ strategy intervention evolves.

Project/ programme: This category applies to the management of field projects and programmes over which the UN has significant organizational influence. It is the entry point where traditional safeguard procedures are most likely to apply. In practice, many of those procedures already exist and are being used in parts of the UN system. Which to use will be based on the extent of the possible impact of the project. In some cases, sustainability measures or safeguards are already required in the project/ programme area. For example, GEF Partner Agencies are required to meet environmental and social safeguards criteria being established by GEF in 2011, and some countries have mandatory national environmental and social assessment processes.

A specific minimum requirement for this entry-point will need to be defined and developed. However, the basic components of such a procedure will include an environmental and social screening, assessment and management plan. The initial screening will determine if there are risks and impacts that require further action or assessment.

Facility/operations: This category applies to the management of UN facilities and operations over which the UN has significant organizational influence. Facility/ operations management applies to buildings, emissions reduction, fiduciary management, human resources, ICT, meetings, procurement, travel, and vehicles, among other areas. Procedures in this category often refer to internalizing sustainable development practices, such as sustainability management systems, sustainable procurement, and climate neutrality. Much is already being done in this area, mainly through the IMG on Sustainability Management, such as advancements in energy efficiency, green building practices, socially responsible financial investment, and the Sustainable United Nations (SUN) initiative Greening the Blue.

Minimum Requirements

Given that the proposed phased approach in Chapter 1 begins with programme/ project management, the focus to date has been on developing a list of minimum requirements for this entry point. As there is well- established practice in applying environmental and social assessment and safeguards at the programme/ project management level, the identification of standard measures to be applied for this entry point is based on good practice.

Programme/ Project Management The first two activities would be considered common policy for all programmes/ projects:

1. Screening and categorization (form of categorization to be determined)

2. Assess impact when applicable (environmental and social impact assessments are commonly used)

Each UN entity would require a policy on when the following was or was not needed, based on the outcome of the above:

3. Action Plan to address impact

4. Participation and stakeholder engagement

5. Legal /Covenants

6. Disclosure

7. Grievance

8. Monitoring and reporting  accountability framework

9. Sustainability (environmental and social performance) evaluation

For environmental and social sustainability measures to be credible, the process needs to be transparent. Hence issues of disclosure, grievance, and environmental and social performance evaluation are raised. The consultative process on safeguards cannot, at this time, define the policies around these mechanisms, but wishes to raise the issue of their importance for the sustainability approach to be viewed as legitimate.

The following are the minimum requirements proposed for each UN entity for a common sustainability approach.

- Reviewing and categorizing: Programmes/projects shall be reviewed and categorized according to their potential impacts, using environmental and social screening criteria and tools. The need for and form of further assessment will be determined by review and categorization.

- Assess environmental and social impacts: Programmes/projects with potential environmental and social impacts shall be assessed using tools and mechanisms determined by a scoping process.

- Planning tool: If negative impacts are identified, a Management Plan or other similar work planning tool will be used that outlines how management and mitigation measures will be targeted, implemented, monitored, and reported.

- Participation: Where applicable, affected communities and stakeholders must be able to participate in the screening and review processes. To proceed, an initiative must show it has adequately incorporated the concerns of affected communities, often with emphasis on the role of women.

- Covenants and Articles: Covenants or articles make commitments binding. Responsibilities would be spelled out in each UN entitys legal agreements, where applicable, concerning: 1) compliance of activities with the sustainability measures, 2) harmonization of national social and environmental laws and regulations with UN sustainability, and 3) the roles and responsibilities of the agency and implementing partners.

- Grievance Mechanism: Accountability to external stakeholders and partners may require UN entities to have a grievance mechanism in place.

- Monitoring/Reporting will be addressed within the procedures of each organization. However, there will be a common reporting policy and mechanism so outcomes can be assessed and compiled across the system. Sustainability monitoring and reporting procedures and mechanisms will be developed for system-wide use.

Harmonizing Individual UN Entity Practices with Common Minimum Requirements

UN entities would each be responsible for the implementation of environmental and social sustainability measures to their own activities, though system-wide support could be available to assist. Where an entity already has developed environmental and social sustainability measures, common measures only need be applied where they are not already covered by the entitys own existing procedures. In the implementation phase each agency would apply a simple gap-analysis to assess what agency level procedures exist that correspond to the common framework. In many cases, entities will already have procedures in place. However, where there are none the agency may create a procedure to address the missing sustainability assessment, depending on the activities of the implementing entity.

UN entities may find they already apply all or more assessment procedures than common sustainability measures require in order to cover issues particular to their activities. In such cases no further procedures need be applied, but the entity would still need to report on how it addresses the environmental and social performance of its activities.

ANNEX B: UN Entities and Institutions Employing Sustainability Systems

The World Bank was the first major development institution to initiate social and environmental safeguards. In the 1980s, in response to public criticism of its involvement in controversial projects  such as Polonoroestes BR-364 Amazon highway program in Brazil that uprooted indigenous communities, and the Narmada dam in India that displaced 90,000 people  the World Bank developed a set of safeguard policies that require clients to consider the environmental and social implications of projects. These policies now require clients to conduct an environmental assessment and consider a projects potential impacts on surrounding communities.

In recent years the Bank instituted its country safeguard systems approach, in which qualifying countries can substitute domestic laws for World Bank policies. This, however, has raised questions of how well such an approach can be monitored. The World Bank established the Inspection Panel, a permanent body reporting to the Board of Directors to investigate complaints, and a separate Quality Assurance and Compliance Unit in 1999 to provide additional oversight of safeguards in Bank projects. Currently the Bank is revising its safeguards based on the findings of a 2010 review.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private finance arm of the World Bank Group, adopted its Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies and its Disclosure Policy in 1998. In 2006, the IFC adopted a set of Sustainability Standards to guide its corporate clients in environmental and social risk management. Through these standards, the IFCs influence stretches far beyond financing projects, acting as a de facto standard-setter for private sector environmental and social risk management in several high impact sectors, such as oil, gas, and mining. More than 118 financial institutions worldwide have adopted the Sustainability Standards into their own risk management systems.

However, IFC has received some criticism of its new model. The IFC's Sustainability Standards are outcomes-based - where IFC clients have to meet broadly defined principles, rather than specific objectives. This was meant to give clients more flexibility, so they could choose which tools to use to achieve the desired results. According to NGO critics, this new system has faced implementation problems, as IFC clients fail to meet the outcomes, and IFC staff does not monitor to ensure that outcomes are met. The IFC has a large department focused on safeguard monitoring and has a Compliance Advisor Ombudsman as an additional accountability mechanism.

The multilateral development banks (MDBs) have followed suit and developed their own safeguards, largely variations on those of the IFC and World Bank. However there are some notable differences. For example, the Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development include human rights in their safeguards, which the World Bank does not. Additionally, some of the multilateral bank safeguards are more stringent.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) serves as an illustrative example of the safeguards work of multilateral development banks. In 2006, IDB approved a new Environment and Safeguard Compliance Policy that prompted environmental issues to be identified and addressed during the project design. The IDB was the first multilateral development bank to integrate climate change impacts as part of environmental analysis of key sectors. In 2009, it began to limit the greenhouse gas emissions of the projects it finances, and endorsed the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which seeks greater transparency and accountability in contracts and payments in extractive industries. Additionally, IDB has launched sustainability scorecards for biofuel and tourism projects, approved a new operational policy for Indigenous Peoples in 2007 and, in 2009, began the process to update its existing Women in Development Policy with the objective of contributing to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Once approved, IDB will be the first multilateral development bank with safeguards for gender equality.

The European Investment Bank's (EIB) environmental and social safeguard policies are based on the EU approach to environmental sustainability. The principles, practices and standards derived from these policies are highlighted in the Declaration on the European Principles for the Environment, agreed to in May 2006 by the EIB and four other European multilateral financing institutions.

Global safeguards for humanitarian action are provided under the umbrella of the Sphere Project, with a single set of minimum standards and indicators for programme design and implementation, and for four interdependent technical sectors: water and sanitation; food security and nutrition, including food aid; shelter, settlements, and non-food items; and health services. Also addressed in the standards are ten cross-cutting issues: children, elderly, gender, HIV and AIDS, people with disabilities, protection, psycho-social, climate change, disaster risk reduction and the environment. The standards are based on the Humanitarian Charter. While widely accepted by UN humanitarian organization  WFP and UNHCR, for example, have had significant input into their creation and revision  they are not required principles for operating.

An evaluation of the Sphere Project found, encouragingly, that implementation of Sphere sustainability measures did not create additional costs for humanitarian organizations. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) policy statements and guidelines complement the Sphere standards with specific guidelines for humanitarian settings that address, for example: protection of human rights, gender and gender-based violence, HIV, and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Parallel to the sustainability process in development, the private sector has been developing sustainability systems as a form of risk management and sustainability activities. The financial sector took the private sector lead in 2003 with the establishment of the Equator Principles, often viewed as the gold standard for financial institutions to manage environmental and social risk. Today the oil/gas/extractive industry sector is also ramping up its efforts to work within an environmental and social sustainability framework.

The UN system employs a variety of approaches to environmental and social sustainability, such as:

- IFAD developed administrative procedures for Environmental Assessment in 1994, and has continually considered the linkages between poverty and environment in its operations. The Fund has developed a portfolio of investments devoted to environmental issues and rural poverty reduction and continues to make progress in mainstreaming environmental and social objectives into its operations (such as loans, grants and policy dialogue.

IFAD updated its Environmental and Social Assessment Procedures (ESAP) in 2009 by drawing on lessons learned from past experience on environmental and social issues by IFAD and its partners. At the policy and programme levels, Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) are used to identify key environmental and social issues in the earliest stages of decisionGmaking. Project impact assessments address specific environmental and social issues, informed by the considerations raised in the SEA. Prior to loan negotiation and board approval of the country programme, ESA stages involve: Environmental Screening and Scoping (ESS); Environment and Social Review Note (ESRN) development, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) as needed; and ESRN and ESIA review and recommendations. The ESAP works in a complementary fashion with other IFAD initiatives which include: (i) Environment and Natural resource Management Policy; (ii) Climate Change Strategy; (iii) Quality Enhancement Guidance Notes; (iv) Risk Management of Programmes; and (v) accountability and transparency.

- As part of the UNDG UNDP adheres to the five integrated principles for UN development cooperation and applies related UNDG guidance. In-line with this, UNDP has developed a proposal to update their Programme and Project Management policies and procedures with an environmental and social screening and review requirement. The proposal includes the following main elements: 1) A brief overarching policy statement making environmental sustainability, including climate change resilience, a cross-cutting issue for all UNDP programmes and projects and; 2) A complementary environmental and social screening procedure to determine whether a project requires further environmental and social review and management. Additionally, UNDP also has other sustainability elements in place (e.g. Gender Equality Strategy, Indigenous Peoples Policy, environmental procurement guidelines, a Greening UNDP initiative).

- The MDG Carbon Facility (UNDP programme) promotes emissions reduction projects and improves access to carbon financing. The facility provides technical assistance, helping governments and project proponents design and develop projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ensures that the projects meet the Kyoto Protocols agreed standards while delivering benefits to the environment and human development. As of 2010, no project MOU will be signed between the Facility and its partners until an agreement to abide by a set of four environmental and social principles is signed first. These principles address eleven points covering: human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and anti-corruption.

- UNEP/GEF is currently in the process of developing environmental and social safeguards for GEF- funded projects. The process will include screening checklists for initial project development and appraisal stages. In addition, UNEP has upwards of 20 policies/agreements/ decisions that require UNEP to address social issues.

- The UN-REDD Programme is currently in the process of developing environmental and social principles. The programme, a joint effort by UNDP, UNEP and FAO, is using existing UN policies and standards as a starting point for developing the principles, such as UNDP policies on good governance, gender, human rights, and indigenous peoples rights and the MDG Carbon Facilitys Due Diligence Tool. By mid-2011 UN-REDD had developed a principles and criteria framework that is being tested on a pilot basis with countries participating in the UN-REDD Programme. The principles and criteria cover concerns related to democratic governance, stakeholder rights (including indigenous peoples' rights), sustainable livelihoods, policy coherence, and the protection of forests, biodiversity and ecosystem services. A social and environmental risk identification and mitigation tool, based on the principles and criteria, will be developed next.

Sustainability measures emerge in a number of forms in the UN system and do not need to be a list of thematic principles to be effective. While the above examples were clearly addressing a set of environmental and social criteria, other parts of the UN have adopted policies and guidelines that offer similar functions. For example:

- DPKO/DFS issued the Environmental Policy for UN Field Missions in 2009. The DPKO/DFS environmental policy requires that each UN mission establish environmental objectives and operate under a code of environmental stewardship. DPKO/ DFS are working on developing a more comprehensive environmental sustainability system and tools with the UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS) as a pilot, but these have not been tested yet. This would include: criteria for environmental assessments in conflict settings, environmental baseline studies, and EIA procedures. Development and humanitarian partners may also conduct Post-Conflict Needs Assessments with safeguard measures. Similar to the development area, there is no single set of social standards for post-conflict and transition settings, though DFS/DPKO does have separate Child Protection, Gender and HIV policies.

- FAO employs Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures to ensure that its field operations are consistent with its sixteen governing principles. These principles address various aspects of environmental and social impact, such as Management of biological diversity for food and agriculture, Management of forests and trees, Management of climate change impacts, and Involuntary resettlement.

- The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) issued a guidance note on Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in the UNDAF in 2009 and a Guidance Note on Climate Change in 2010, in the context of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). This guidance provides sustainability measures at the policy level but highlights the need for each UN agency to then implement environmental assessment at programme and project level. While there is no equivalent compilation of guidance for social issues in development the way there is for environmental considerations, there are five cross-cutting programming principles that include gender and a human rights based approach, and a range of thematic issues, for which there are CEB or UNDG-approved guidelines. These are not standardized, but they all share a basis in international human rights treaties and instruments. Within individual UNDG organizations many are using environmental and social screening and assessment measures based on best practice. While the terminology and content differ, most have or are developing minimum requirements to screen for negative impacts, with recourse to more detailed assessment and modification.

- The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands employs Ramsar Advisory Missions (RAM), which include experts relevant to the issues being addressed. The RAM assesses the situation, looks for a solution, and makes recommendations. A key element to the mission is to set up capacity building by training local people, local authorities and experts at the national level how to apply and use safeguards.

- WFP has integrated social and environmental safeguards in its work at the policy, project management and operational levels, where it becomes a way of operating rather than an additional process to employ. The organization aims for proactive engagement around social and environmental issues. For example, WFP is integrating a carbon credit initiative into their interventions, providing fuel-efficient stoves to ensure that beneficiaries have access to cooking processes that do not deteriorate the environment; and is at an early stage of proactive engagement with its private sector partners to create environmentally neutral packaging. WFP has policies that function as safeguards for gender, children and HIV/AIDS.

ANNEX C: WHO Case Study*: Development of an Environmental and Social Sustainability System

Sustainability System: WHO's environmental management procedure, developed in 2009, is being applied on a pilot basis at the programme and project level.

Note: WHO takes a broad definition of environment, which includes coverage of both the natural/physical and social/human environment. Therefore social aspects, such as occupational health and safety, are also addressed.

Reason for developing an institutional sustainability system:

Environmental factors directly influence health and well-being. An estimated 25% of the global burden of disease is attributed to environmental factors. WHO, as global public health agency, has a mandate to support actions that address environmental threats to health. The fact that WHO is managing the environmental impacts of its own activities demonstrates an important contribution to its core health mandate. It also provides an important opportunity for WHO to demonstrates leadership about how the health sector can contribute to sustainable development goals and objectives.

The introduction of WHOs environmental management procedure was a response to growing demands from countries, donors, and partner agencies, some of whom have included provisions for the use of environmental and social sustainability measures in their partnership agreements with the WHO.

Overall approach: phased and incremental.

Initial phase (pilot) is based on a practical learn-by-doing approach. This involved putting in place a procedure that would allow for the environmental assessment and follow-up of technical projects. An internal support function (an environmental services team) was also created to provide support (e.g. training, ad hoc technical support) to projects as they passed through each stage of the environmental procedure.

The use of an incremental approach has allowed for the establishment of a process that was fairly light while at the same time satisfied donor/partner environmental requirements. In keeping the procedure simple, the environmental services team has been able to work with relevant technical units to promote gradual uptake and buy-in. This simplicity (e.g. use of short screening tools) has been key in helping to reduce resistance and dispel perceptions that the application of the environmental management procedure would substantially add to existing heavy work loads.

From the beginning the procedure (and related processes around it) was designed with the view that it would eventually need to be reviewed and considered for potent expansion. Following a pilot phase of implementation (two years), a scenario analysis will be undertaken to consider how, if, and by what means the Organization could scale-up the application of its environmental procedure as part of a comprehensive environmental and social sustainability system.

Funding: Costs associated with the administration and delivery of support services (technical advisory services, training, and systems development) were shared across all projects that use the procedure.

Costs associated with the implementation of environmental management measures are borne by the respective projects, if required. Following an initial period of negotiation with respective donors, "environmental management activities" was accepted as a budget line item in the projects that were included in the pilot. This was key to allowing projects to have the flexibility needed to re-allocate project funds for this purpose if needed.

Priority components (areas of focus during early stage of development):

1) Putting in place an environmental assessment/management procedure

2) Training technical staff in WHO Headquarters and Regions on the use of the procedure

3) Establishment of a support and knowledge sharing function (to support screening of projects, planning of environmental management plans, environmental monitoring and reporting (including as part of regular donor reporting activities); and the running of a helpdesk, training, and ad hoc advisory services).

The current system in place is a comprehensive environmental assessment procedure that includes:

- Environmental screening/classification;

- Environmental management planning;

- Monitoring and reporting;

- Sustainability evaluation.

Project managers apply the procedure with technical support from the environmental service team. Environmental reporting is conducted with regular technical reporting.

Simpler component:

As a normative agency, WHO generally does not implement projects that have complex environmental and social management issues such as those generated by large infrastructure development projects (e.g. resettlement, cultural heritage, safety of dams).

More difficult components:

1. Limits of environmental responsibility: Identifying the limits of the responsibility in managing the environment impacts of WHO projects. This is in relation with the normative nature of WHO core functions. 2. Technical: Understanding the environmental impacts of public health programmes in specific country contexts; e.g. on fragile ecosystems. Understanding indirect versus direct impacts generated by projects. Developing a system for managing the environmental impacts of population based health activities.

3. Operational: Adapting the above to WHO business culture. Advancing from the use of an environmental procedure to an environmental and social sustainability approach that is integrated into the Organization's core business model.

Status:

1. Environmental procedure currently being applied to a subset of WHO projects;

2. Scenario analysis under way to identify issues and opportunities for potential scale up and establishment of an environmental and social sustainability approach that addresses other entry points defined in the proposed common framework.

Resources used so far: Four full-time people (P4, P3, two administrative); and budget (travel, training, investment in systems including project/information management system).

Classification: WHO uses a two-tired system: First tier: yes/ no/ deferral. Second tier is basic/ moderate/ comprehensive. The same system is used for reporting. The classification system is currently used to trigger resource allocation and is not tied to disclosure or stakeholder engagement requirements as is the case in some of the development banks.

Comprehensive classification triggers further review, then if deemed relevant an EIA. All projects that are classified as moderate or comprehensive build an environmental management plan. Basic projects can use an environmental monitoring and reporting form in lieu of an environmental management plan. Of 400 projects that have been screened so far gone through the system: 35% positive: 80% of that, basic.

Cost of environmental management measures: The per project costs of mitigating environmental issues have so far been absorbed by existing project budgets.

Institutional support: Overall leadership and management responsibility for WHO's internal environmental assessment activities rests with the Organizations general management group. The Public Health and Environment Department is providing technical advice and support services to projects as needed.

Note: * WHO is in its pilot phase of implementing its environmental management procedure and notes that its finding to date may evolve as more experience is developed.

ANNEX D: List of Review Interviewees

DFS

Sophie Ravier, Environmental Officer

FAO

Alemneh Dejene, Team Leader, Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Adaptation, Climate, Energy and Tenure Division

GEF

Sekou Toure, Conflict Resolution Commissioner, Global Environment Facility Andrew Velthaus, Senior Policy Officer, Global Environment Facility

IFAD

Sheila Mwanundu, Senior Technical Adviser-Environment and NRM

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

Anada Tiega, Secretary General

UNCCD

Emmanuel Chinyamakobvu, Programme Officer, Policy and Advocacy on Global Issues, Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

UNDP Marcel Alers, Principal Technical Adviser, Climate Change Mitigation, Environment and Energy Group, Bureau of Development Policy

Charles McNeill, Senior Policy Adviser, Environment and Energy Group, Bureau of Development Policy

Holly Mergler, Programme Analyst, Environment and Energy Group, Bureau of Development Policy

Matt Spannagle, Technical Manager, MDG Carbon Facility

UNECE

Nicholas Bonvoisin, Secretary to the Espoo Convention

UNEP

Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, Officer-in-Charge of the Quality Assurance Section

UNEP/ PCDMB

Julien Aguzzoli, Research Assistant

UN Global Compact

Melissa Powell, Head, Strategy and Partnerships

UN-Habitat

Dorothy Mutizwa-Mangiza, Chief, Programme Planning & Coordination Unit

Mohamed Robleh, Risk Management Focal Point

Raf Tuts, Chief, Urban Environmental Planning Branch

UNICEF

Doreen Lobo

UNIDO

Georgios Anestis, Senior GEF Coordinator

UNOPS

Niels Ramm, UNGM Project Manager/ Procurement Officer

UN-REDD Programme

Elspeth Halverson, Consultant

Linda Rosengren, Natural Resources Officer

WFP

Valerie Guarnieri, Director Programme Division, Operations Department

WHOG

Michaela Pfeiffer, Technical Officer, Focal Point for WHO's Environmental Management ProcedureG

ANNEX E: Table of Environmental and Social Sustainability System

Founding Documents and Principles

Founding Documents for Key Environmental and Social Sustainability Principles

Founding Documents for Key Environmental and Social Sustainability Principles
Safeguard Principles Mandate (e.g. Convention, GA resolution, etc.) Environmental Principles Social Principles
UN-entities
Global Compact ? ILO?s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

? Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

? United Nations Convention Against Corruption

? Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Environment

? Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;

? Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and

? Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Human Rights

? Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and

? Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. Labor

? Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;

? Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;

? Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labor; and

? Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Anti-Corruption

? Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
IFAD IFAD has ten core principles in its ENRM policy.

1. Scaled-up investment in multiple-benefit approaches for sustainable agricultural intensification;

2. Recognition and greater awareness of the economic, social and cultural value of natural assets;

3. ?Climate-smart? approaches to rural development;

4. Greater attention to risk and resilience in order to manage environment- and naturalresource- related shocks;

5. Engagement in value chains to drive green growth;

6. Improved governance of natural assets for poor rural people by strengthening land tenure and community-led empowerment;

7. Livelihood diversification to reduce vulnerability and build resilience for sustainable Natural resource management;

8. Equality and empowerment for women and indigenous peoples in managing natural resources;

9. Increased access by poor rural communities to environment and climate finance; and

10. Environmental commitment through changing its own behavior.
MDG Carbon Facility Primary:

? ILO conventions (details below)

? United Nations Charter

? Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Secondary:

? Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

? Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

? Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries

? Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

? Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

? Convention on Biological Diversity

? Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

? Convention onthe Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property

? Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage

? Convention on the Rights of the Child

? International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

? International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

? International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

? International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families

? ILO Convention 87 (freedom of association)

? ILO Convention 98 (right to collective)

? ILO Convention 120 (hygiene)

? ILO Convention 155 (occupational safety and health)

? ILO Convention 161 (occupational health services)

? ILO Convention 162 (asbestos)

? ILO Convention 174 (Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents)

? United Nations Convention against Corruption

? World Bank Safeguards
Environmental Protection

? Principle 9: The project takes a precautionary approach in regard to environmental challenges and is not complicit in practices contrary to the precautionary principle.

? Principle 10: The project does not involve and is not complicit in significant conversion or degradation of critical natural habitats, including those that are (a) legally protected, (b) officially proposed for protection, (c) identified by authoritative sources for their high conservation value, or (d) recognized as protected by traditional local communities.
Human Rights

? Principle 1: The project respects internationally proclaimed human rights including dignity, cultural property and uniqueness and rights of indigenous people. The project is not complicit in Human Rights abuses.

? Principle 2: The project does not involve and is not complicit in involuntary resettlement.

? Principle 3: The project does not involve and is not complicit in the alteration, damage or removal of any critical cultural heritage.

Labor Standards

? Principle 4: The project respects the employees? freedom of association and their right to collective bargaining and is not complicit in restrictions of these freedoms and rights.

? Principle 5: The project does not involve and is not complicit in any form of forced or compulsory labor

? Principle 6: The project does not employ and is not complicit in any form of child labor

? Principle 7: The project does not involve and is not complicit in any form of discrimination based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other basis.

? Principle 8: The project provides workers with a safe and healthy work environment and is not complicit in exposing workers to unsafe or unhealthy work environments.

Anti-Corruption

? Principle 11: The project does not involve and is not complicit in corruption.

Transparency and Stakeholder Engagement

? Principle 12: The project adopts a transparent and inclusive approach and respects the rights of local communities and other stakeholders to be informed so as to ensure their meaningful participation.
Special Representative on Human Rights and Business: Implementing the United Nations ?Protect, Respect and Remedy? Framework. The Framework rests on three pillars:

1) The State Duty to Protect Human Rights;

2) The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights;

3) The need for greater Access to Remedy for victims of businessrelated abuse.
? International Bill of Human Rights

? ILO?s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
I. The State responsibility to protect Foundation Principles:

1) States must protect against human rights abuse

2) States should set out clearly the expectation that all business enterprises domiciled in their territory and/or jurisdiction respect human rights throughout their operations.

Operational Principles:

3) General State regulatory and policy functions

4) The State-business nexus: States should take additional steps to protect against human rights abuses by business enterprises that are owned or controlled by the State?

5) States should exercise adequate oversight

6) States should promote respect for human rights

7) Supporting business respect for human rights in conflict-affected areas

8) Ensuring policy coherence

II. The corporate responsibility to respect human rights

Foundational principles:

1) Business enterprises should respect human rights.

III. Access to remedy

State-based judicial mechanisms

State-based non-judicial grievance mechanisms

Non-State-based grievance mechanisms

Effectiveness criteria for non-judicial grievance mechanisms
UN-REDD Programme Primary:

? UNFCCC AWG LCA37 ? REDD + Safeguards

? UN Common Understanding on the Human Rights Based Approach to Development Cooperation

Secondary:

? Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

? International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

? International Convention on Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination

? ILO Convention 169 Indigenous and Tribal Peoples

? UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

? UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

? United Nations Convention against Corruption

? UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

? UNDG Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers

? UNDG Indigenous Peoples Policy

? UNDP ?Countryled Governance Assessments? (National multistakeholder governance assessment for REDD+ are modeled on this)

? UNDP Policy of Engagement with Indigenous Peoples
Environmental safeguards under development Good Governance

? Criterion 1:

Integrity of Fiduciary and Fund Management Systems - The programme has assessed and addressed corruption and fiduciary risks.

? Criterion 2:

Transparency and Accountability - programme administration and REDD+ readiness activities are carried out in an accountable and transparent manner.

? Criterion 3:

Stakeholder participation - a) All relevant stakeholders are identified and enabled to participate in a meaningful and effective manner; b) Special attention is given to most vulnerable groups and the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples.

Stakeholder Livelihoods

? Criterion 4:

Avoidance of involuntary resettlement - The programme is not involved and not complicit in involuntary resettlement.

? Criterion 5:

Traditional Knowledge - The programme is not involved and not complicit in alteration, damage or removal of any critical cultural heritage or the erosion of traditional knowledge.

? Criterion 6:

Social and political wellbeing - Social and political implications are assessed and adverse impacts on social and political structures mitigated. Benefits are shared equitably.

Policy coherence

? Criterion 7:

Low- Emission, Climate Resilience Development Coherence - The programme coheres with relevant strategies and policies at all levels of government.
Non-UN entities
African Development Bank Safeguards are based on Bank policies on environment, involuntary resettlement, disclosure, and crosscutting issues (poverty, population, NGOs, gender)

In process of developing an Integrated Safeguards System (ISS) that includes Operational Safeguards and updates its ESAP.
Environmental Policy and ESA guidelines addresses poverty, environment, population, gender, participation

ESIA added health (2003)

Poverty Reduction Policy addresses gender, water and sanitation, vulnerable groups.

Operational Safeguards

1. ESA

2. Land acquisition and voluntary resettlement

3. Environmental flow and ecological restoration

4. Pollution prevention, control and management

5. Labor conditions

6. Health and safety

7. Operational safeguard guidelines

8. Environmental and social assessment procedures
Earth Charter - Respect and care for the community of life

- Ecological integrity
- Social and economic justice

- Democracy, nonviolence, and peace
Equator Principles Largely based on IFC Sustainability Standards and Guidance Notes Each Equator principles covers both ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL issues:

Principle 1: Review and Categorization

Principle 2: Social and Environmental Assessment

Principle 3: Applicable Social and Environmental Standards

Principle 4: Action Plan and Management System

Principle 5: Consultation and Disclosure

Principle 6: Grievance Mechanism

Principle 7: Independent Review

Principle 8: Covenants

Principle 9: Independent Monitoring and Reporting

Principle 10: EPFI Reporting
GEF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL Safeguards Based on World Bank safeguards (1) Environmental Assessment;

(2) Natural Habitats;

(5) Pest Management;

(7) Safety of Dams
(3) Involuntary Resettlement;

(4) Indigenous Peoples

(6) Physical Cultural Resources
IFC / MIGA (International Financial Corp. / Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) IFC moved from safeguards to Sustainability Standards in 2006 (2007 for MIGA); IFC added Sustainability Standards on Labor and Working Conditions, and Community Health, Safety, and Security to the two Sustainability Standards derived from the Bank?s social safeguards. IFC/MIGA standards are considered more innovative and better monitored than those of the WB. IFC/ MIDGA Sustainability standards:

? PS1: Social and Environmental Assessment and Management System

? PS3: Pollution Prevention and Abatement

? PS6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management
IFC/ MIGA Sustainability standards:

? PS1: Social and Environmental Assessment and Management System

? PS2: Labor and Working Condition

? PS4: Community Health, Safety and Security

? PS5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement

? PS7: Indigenous Peoples

? PS8: Cultural Heritage
Mary Robinson Foundation: Guiding Principles for Climate Justice Mission: To put justice and equity at the heart of responses to climate change, particularly those concerned with how best to respond and adapt to the challenge that it poses for the poorest and most vulnerable. ? Respect and protect human rights

? Share Benefits and Burdens Equitable

? Harness the Transformative Power of Education and Research

? Ensure that Decisions on Climate Change are Transparent and Accountable

? Highlight the Gender Dimension

? Use Effective Partnerships to Secure Climate Justice
PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) An investor initiative in partnership with UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact In 2005 the UN Secretary-General invited a group of the world's largest institutional investors to join a process in developing the Principles for Responsible Investment. Individuals representing 20 institutional investors from 12 countries agreed to participate in the Investor Group. The Group accepted ownership of the Principles and had the freedom to develop them as they saw fit.

The Group was supported by a 70- person multistakeholder group of experts from the investment industry, intergovernmental and governmental organizations, civil society and academia.
Each PRI principle covers both E&S issues (and governance):

P1: We will incorporate environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues into investment analysis and decisionmaking processes.

P2: We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.

P3: We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.

P4: We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.

P5: We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.

P6: We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
MDBs Initially based their safeguards on the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA), but some have since customized and expanded these policies.

IDB seems to have the most forwardthinking policies: it was the first multilateral development bank to integrate climate change impacts as part of environmental analysis of key sectors. In 2009, it began to limit the greenhouse gas emissions of the projects it finances, and endorsed the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and is the first MDB with a safeguard for gender equity.
IDB:

? Environment and safeguards
IDB:

? Involuntary resettlement

? Indigenouspeoples

? Gender equality in development
Sphere Project and Humanitarian Charter The Humanitarian Charter is based on the principles and provisions of international humanitarian law, international human rights law, refugee law and the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non- Governmental Organizations in Disaster Relief. The Minimum Standards and the key indicators were developed using broad networks of practitioners in each of the sectors. Most of the standards and the indicators consolidate and adapt existing knowledge and practice. Over 400 organizations in 80 countries have contributed to the development of the Minimum Standards and key indicators. The Humanitarian Charter used for its principles:

? Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

? Convention on the Rights of the Child

? Convention on the Status of Refugees

? Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I and Additional Protocol II of the Geneva

Conventions ? International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

? International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

? Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Humanitarian Charter principles:

? The right to life with dignity

? The distinction between combatants and non-combatants

? The principle of non-refoulement The Humanitarian Charter encompasses a set of Minimum Standards for: programme design and implementation, and for four interdependent technical sectors: water and sanitation; food security and nutrition, including food aid; shelter, settlement and nonfood items; and health services.

The Charter also identifies10 cross cutting issues that have relevance to all sectors: children, elderly, gender, HIV and AIDS, people with disabilities, protection, psychosocial, climate change, disaster risk reduction and the environment.
World Bank In 1989 the World Bank introduced Operational Policies and Bank Procedures for environmental assessment of Bankfinanced projects, which were updated as Operational Directive 4.01 in 1991. The Bank adopted an involuntary resettlement policy as an Operational Manual Statement in 1980, which was revised as OD 4.30 in 1990. Other environmental and social policies were added over time to address individual environmental and social risks.10 ?do no harm? safeguard policies were established in 1997, some of which have been updated since. ? OP4.01: Environmental Assessment

? OP4.04: Natural Habitats

? OP4.09: Pest Management

? OP4.36: Forests

? OP4.37: Safety of Dams

? OP4.11: Physical Cultural Resources
Social safeguards:

? OP4.10: Indigenous Peoples

? OP4.12: Involuntary Resettlement Legal safeguards:

? OP7.50: Projects on International Waterways

? OP7.60: Projects in Disputed Areas

Working towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy

A United Nations System-wide Perspective

31 October 2011

Executive Summary

1. Introduction

In September 2009 the United Nations (UN) Environment Management Group agreed to establish an Issue Management Group on Green Economy. This group was tasked to prepare a report to assess how the UN system could coherently support countries in transitioning to a green economy. The report is expected to facilitate a common understanding of the green economy approach and the measures required for the transition. The report is envisioned to also contribute to the preparatory process for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) where the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication is one of the two themes along with the institutional framework for sustainable development.

A green economy is an approach to achieving sustainable development. It requires breaking away from resource intensive growth models, a transformation of consumption and production into more sustainable patterns, and increased value added created and reinvested in resource-rich supplier communities in the developing world. The context for this approach is the increasing resource intensity of consumption in developed countries even though their production is becoming less resource intensive, which implies the shifting of environmental impact to other countries through international trade. At the same time, the resource intensity of both consumption and production in developing countries may increase in absolute terms in their industrialisation process. These trends tend to exacerbate resource constraints and breaking the planetary boundaries.

A broader context is the projected population growth, which further raises the stakes in poverty reduction efforts. These efforts depend on higher consumption and production. Without appropriate policies in place, population growth will further significantly increase pressures on all natural resources. The likely growth of the world population from 7 billion today to over 9 billion by mid-century requires a considerable increase in economic output to ensure food security, reduce poverty, raise living standards, and create full, productive, and remunerative employment for the populations. Demographic change together with urbanisation not only heightens the need for a swift transition to a green economy, but also calls for policies to address population dynamics within a human-rights based framework. These policies, most notably, include universal access to reproductive health care and family planning as well as the empowerment of women and appropriate investments in education, especially for girls and women who are too often left behind.

In these contexts, a green economy requires the inclusion of the marginalised in all development processes. It also requires the reduction of gaps between developing and developed countries and regions in labour productivity and in the capacity to generate and have access to technology and scientific knowledge. It requires bolstering the capacity of developing countries to develop, review, and implement science, technology, and innovation policies that are oriented towards green solutions to the climate, food, and energy crises. This includes strengthening science education, enhancing research and development (R&D) capacities, and fostering innovation through South-South Cooperation, North-South Cooperation, and public-private partnerships. For commodity-dependent countries, it is particularly important that they have access to new green opportunities to diversify their economies.

Specifically, in a transition to a green economy, public policies will need to be used strategically to reorient consumption, investments, and other economic activities - in line with domestic development agendas and contexts - towards:

- Reducing carbon emissions and pollution, enhancing energy and resource efficiency, and preventing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, including the development of efficient, clean, and low environmental impact technologies, buildings, and transport infrastructure, investments in renewable energy, application of the life cycle approach, promotion of environmental goods and services, sustainable sourcing of materials, and the maintenance and restoration of natural capital consisting of land, soil, forest, freshwater, the oceans, marine resources, wild fauna and flora, and other biodiversity components; and

- Improving access to energy, food, freshwater, biological resources, sanitation services, public health and health care, new jobs, labour protection, social protection systems, information and communication technologies (ICTs), and training and education including education for sustainable development and the promotion of sustainable consumption.

Priorities should be given to developing public policies that meet social, environmental, and economic objectives, that focus on sustainable livelihood approaches, that increase access to services for the marginalised, and that bring about the required structural change associated with a green economy transformation. But a green economy is not a one-size-fits-all path towards sustainable development. From its dynamic policy toolbox, decision makers - local or national - can draw ideas coherent with their specific sustainable development agendas and contexts.

Proper incentives provided through economic instruments, regulations, sound framework conditions for innovation and technology diffusion, distributional policies, and voluntary initiatives can help channel investments - public and private - towards targeted sectors and enhance the effectiveness and fairness of such investments. They can also affect incentives and public awareness, thereby contribute to behavioural changes in production, consumption, and lifestyles. The mix of public policies for a green economy will differ across countries based on their specific socioeconomic conditions, institutional settings, resource endowments, and environmental pressure points. All countries, however, stand to gain from pursuing a green economic transformation, achieving direct economic gains through enhanced resource productivity and new sources of growth and jobs from innovation and the emergence of green markets and activities. In certain economies, a major development benefit of moving towards a green economy is manifested in greater human health and well-being as a result of lower pollution.

2. Investing in infrastructure and target sectors

The call for a green economy comes during a global financial and economic crisis to which many governments have responded with stimulus packages including particular provisions for infrastructure development. As governments seek to scale up the implementation of their provisions, these stimulus packages and their green components are paving the way for longer-term policy reform and infrastructure development. They hold the potential to design new growth paths and avoid locking capital into inefficient and polluting technologies.

Ongoing systemic problems such as global climate change give the greening of infrastructure additional importance. In developing countries, the need for investments in greening infrastructure could reach USD264-563 billion by 2030 with an additional USD30-100 billion for climate adaptation. If these investments are made, it could mean new jobs, new incomes, and better health while reducing households and countries energy bills in the long run, lessening the fiscal burden from unemployment and health payments, and providing new business opportunities. The Green Climate Fund agreed in Cancun in December 2010 (with an expected launch in 2013) and the developed country commitment to a goal of jointly mobilising USD100 billion in public and private funds per year by 2020 as financial support for developing countries can reduce the infrastructure funding gap once operational.

Because of the valuable services they provide, healthy ecosystems - both terrestrial and marine, wild fauna and flora - and the underlying biodiversity play the role of infrastructure as well. Though often unacknowledged, that role is all the more critical in cities and city-regions where the majority of humans live and the fastest economic growth continues to occur. Their maintenance or restoration - including for ecosystem based climate adaptation and species management - should be considered as a priority for investments.

Greening infrastructure  including the buildings, energy, and transport sectors, which are significant consumers of resources and emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) - is urgent as emerging economies and developing countries will build the bulk of their infrastructure in the next few decades. Strategic planning in city-regions is critical for piloting innovations and delivering infrastructural transitions at an increased scale. Given the substantial inertia and committed emissions of infrastructure investments, which would lead to the lock-in of unsustainable fossil fuel consumption patterns, delaying action in developing countries by 10 years could result in doubling the amount required to mitigate GHG emissions and make climate adaptation very costly.

Investing in greening infrastructure, however, must leverage funding for broader investment needs in developing countries estimated at USD1.0-1.5 trillion per year, only about half of which has been met. In the absence of adequate funding for adequate infrastructure, the deployment and use of individual power generators and batteries, unregulated wells, and open drains carries significant social, environmental, and economic costs. Tackling these issues requires scaled-up and accelerated international cooperation, innovative technologies, financing mechanisms, integrated city-regional spatial planning, and delivery models including decentralised power generation sourced from solar and wind, which could generate multiple benefits at a relatively low cost. By transitioning now, developing countries have the potential to avoid costly retrofits.

Beyond infrastructure, the greening of agriculture, industry (including mining or extractive industries), and services is also crucial for satisfying demands of an urbanising global population for higher living standards while adjusting to increasing environmental constraints. In the agriculture and food sectors, investments should aim at improving food and nutrition security and livelihoods while reducing emissions and other negative environmental impacts along the entire food chain through:

- reducing farm-to-table transport distances;

- sound soil and nutrient management, including reduced use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and promotion of organic agriculture;

- efficient harvesting and water use;

- reducing the environmental impacts of animal husbandry;

- enhancing production system resilience and associated biodiversity functions such as pollinators and natural pest predators;

- enhancing vulnerable community resilience through livelihood protection, development, and productive safety nets interventions;

- strengthening market and risk management opportunities for the most vulnerable;

- intensifying transformational landscape interventions including through climate smart agriculture approaches;

- conserving genetic resources;

- reducing post-harvest losses;

- improving processing;

- sustainable diets; and

- reducing food waste at final sale and consumer levels.

Making these investments employment intensive will benefit workers, communities, and local enterprises. Some of the priority areas requiring policy attention include: increasing productivity in a sustainable manner, in particular by according a higher priority to R&D, innovation, education, extension services, and information; ensuring that well-functioning markets provide the right signals and, in particular, that prices reflect the scarcity value of natural resources as well as the positive and negative impacts of their use; establishing and enforcing well-defined property rights so as to ensure sustainable use;and enhancing access by the poorest to agricultural inputs, including credit and insurance, as well as to food and nutritional security at an affordable price.

In the industry sector, investments in renewable energy technologies and more resource- and energy- efficient production processes could generate multiple benefits, but distributional effects need to be taken into account with an emphasis on improving access to cleaner technology and employment opportunities. Apart from renewable energy, investments in the broad category of environmental goods and services sector ranging from clean production processes, low impact logistics, and material-saving packaging to natural products and services from ecosystems including the often neglected oceans also have a potential for generating multiple benefits.

The global environmental markets were projected to reach USD688 billion in 2010 and just under USD800 billion by 2015. As demand for environmental services, equipment, and technologies has been increasing, mainly pushed by regulatory demands in developed countries, the environmental industry has become a dynamic growth pole in OECD countries. This market provides important opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The greening of industry holds the potential for opening up vast new markets such as services in the prevention and management of waste and markets created through the application of life cycle approaches.

In the service sector, ICTs as applied, for example, to intelligent transport networks and smart grids can become enablers of resource efficient development. While intelligent use of ICTs can help industries and consumers to dematerialise, the sound management of electronic waste poses new risks and opportunities. A growing number of transport sectors are also scaling up their responses to climate and related risks and opportunities. In the aviation sector, substantial investments are needed to scale up the production of fuels from sustainable biomass or renewable oils to commercially-viable levels for meaningful uptake by the sector while reducing the emissions of GHGs, particulate matter, and fuel sulphur content.

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) is a tool used by many sectors, notably agriculture and forestry, to promote the management of land resources and provide the necessary incentives for restoring rural livelihoods and for rehabilitating damaged ecosystems. It aims at adapting to and mitigating against climate change and at preserving biodiversity or reducing its loss. It is also increasingly used for income generation in rural areas and, thus, can support the transition to a green economy. Standards can be voluntary through, for example, environmental labels that are in demand by environmentally-aware consumers willing to pay price premiums for quality and environmental friendly products.

3. Investing in people and social infrastructure

At the heart of the green economy approach is the desire to improve human well-being and social equity, which implies targeted investments in human and social capital on top of investments in natural capital and green physical capital (e.g. clean technologies). A green economy must contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are likely to be pursued beyond their 2015 target year with a continued focus on enhancing the access of the poor, women, and other vulnerable and marginalized segments of society to services, resources, and opportunities, as well as supporting necessary social transformations. The UN Millennium Project projected the cost of meeting the MDGs in all countries to amount to USD121 billion in 2006 and USD189 billion in 2015 (in 2003 US dollars). In the global transition towards a green economy, these financing gaps must be addressed in synergy with the investments needed to green infrastructure and other economic sectors. Poverty reduction policies should be formulated with a view to encouraging sustainable consumption and production patterns and establishing a green path for future development.

Transitioning to a green economy requires a fundamental shift in the way we think and act. For this to happen, investments in peoples capacities and the fulfilment of their entitlements are needed. With greater education, training, information, awareness, understanding, and participation in decision-making processes comes greater ownership and responsibility to take action at a grass roots level and change individual and collective behaviour and production/consumption patterns. Investments and technological progress are important in moving towards a green economy, but equally important is awareness, motivation, and empowerment of individuals and communities.

To break the cycle of poverty and over-exploitation of resources, a firm commitment is needed to make long-term investments in quality education and training. ESD including climate change education is a particularly important part of quality education. It provides people at all levels of education, in particular youth, with the skills, competencies, and knowledge needed to prepare for green jobs and to change unsustainable consumption and production patterns. It must, therefore, be integrated into educational curricula at all levels and in all educational settings. Communication and media, including the generation of information on sustainable use of resources for poverty reduction and access to such information is also important. Exclusion and inequalities linked to wealth, gender, ethnicity, language, location, and disability are holding back progress in providing people with basic education. Girls are disproportionately affected.

In addition, culture must be an integrated part of a green economy transition. Sustainable tourism, cultural as well as creative industries, and heritage-based urban revitalisation are powerful economic sectors that generate green employment, stimulate local development, and foster creativity. Local and indigenous knowledge systems and environmental practices must also be taken into account as they provide valuable insight and tools for tackling ecological challenges, preventing biodiversity loss, reducing land degradation, and mitigating the effects of climate change.

A green economy and green jobs present a significant opportunity to overcome poverty and inequality by creating more and better jobs. This can be a major contribution to inclusive growth. A transition to a green economy can lead to net gains in employment, not only in green jobs but across the economy compared to the unsustainable conventional growth path. It is thus not necessary to chose between the environment on the one hand and employment and economic growth on the other. In order to address the root causes of poverty and inequity, however, any green economy initiatives should include supporting social policies and measures, in particular for the provision of access to better quality social protection. Coherence between social, environmental, and economic policies is needed to maximise opportunities and buffer the social cost of the transition. A transition to a green economy needs to project a vision of a greener as well as a fairer economy and society.

Addressing the unemployment challenge through a green economy approach requires increased investments in sectors with high potential for the creation of productive employment opportunities. It also requires exploiting the potential synergies between different policy objectives. Labour market policies could support targeted investments by focusing on improving the skills of the most vulnerable - women, youth, informal workers, small farmers, and the unemployed - with particular attention to imparting skills of value in a green economy.

Measures to support the most vulnerable groups such as access to a social protection floor and social safety nets are essential to achieve social inclusion, to deal with the restructuring towards a greener economy, and to adapt to climate change as well as to lift marginalised people out of the poverty trap and include them in a green development path. They are also needed to protect groups that might be negatively affected by a transition towards a green economy as may be in the case of workers in the fossil fuel sectors. Such investments include access to nutritious food, health services, education, training and retraining, and unemployment benefits. It requires an improved and sound social and physical infrastructure as well. A just transition also requires social dialogue and civic participation in identifying the employment impacts of green economy policies and to charter the way to economic diversification that generates green jobs.

4. Enabling the transition towards a green economy

4.1 Mainstreaming: environmental and social integration

A fundamental challenge the green economy debate poses to all public institutions is that of the failure to effectively converge, align, and integrate work across the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of sustainable development. This is in part a failure of institutional collaboration and coherence of policy approaches between different UN entities at international and national level. The green economy approach requires a new level of mainstreaming that goes beyond business-as-usual. The linkage of green and economy with human well-being and social equity as core goals requires renewed commitment to more appropriately measure and value human and natural assets and put them at the centre of economic development. It also requires more inclusive and pro-poor growth.

Investments in efficient transport systems, housing energy efficiency improvements, sustainable sourcing of biological resources, and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices, among other priorities, have the potential to generate significant social benefits. For example, household energy investments to replace inefficient biomass/coal stoves with improved stoves and cleaner fuels as well as household waste-for-biogas production could improve the sanitation and health of 3 billion people and the well- being of women in particular. These linkages point to the need for an integrated approach, which should provide a basis for prioritising investments in a green economy. Those investments that generate both environmental and social benefits should be the priorities.

4.2 Public and private financing

A global transformation towards a green economy will require substantial financial resources and coherent criteria for their use. Subsidy reforms and ecological taxes can unlock a substantial amount of funds to support a balanced and inclusive green economy transition. If, for example, industrialised countries were to use carbon taxes or auctioned emissions permits to reach the GHG emission targets they pledged in the Cancun Agreements, they could raise as much as 0.6% of their GDP or about USD250 billion in revenues per year by 2020. In addition, other forms of carbon finance, PES, green stimulus funds, micro-finance, social responsibility investment funds, green bonds, and other local financial innovations have emerged in recent years and can open up the space for large-scale green financing. To further scale up the financing for a green economy, public-private innovative financing mechanisms are needed to tap institutional investors capital.

The private sector is a major driving force in many national and local economies beside farmers, foresters, and fisher folks. With its capacity to invest and innovate, the private sector is uniquely positioned to create solutions that can reduce emissions and resource use while generating growth and employment opportunities including for the poor. The bulk of green investments will come from the private sector.

The role of the public sector, however, is indispensable for influencing the flow of private financing and triggering a green economy transition. Public spending is important for setting the appropriate investment context, institutionalising more sustainable consumption and production patterns, and building the necessary capacity for the transition. Governments including at the local level could develop PES schemes, focus on greener public infrastructure, including for access to food, water, sanitation, and energy services as well as on poverty eradication, gender equality, and biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and sustainable use. Governments should also use their resources, including through public procurement, to leverage financial flows from the private sector towards green and socially beneficial economic opportunities including at the local level.

Effective green investments and innovation and the adoption and dissemination of green methods of production require good governance. Corruption is a key bottleneck for investments as are the absence of the rule of law, clear regulations, transparency, and predictability. A level and transparent playing field will be necessary for a green economy to deliver as required. Governments should involve the private sector in jointly identifying impediments to a green economy and establishing clear, stable, and coherent policy and regulatory frameworks to facilitate the integration of social, environmental, and governance issues into investment decision-making. At the same time, given the importance of international investment as a vital source of finance and a powerful vector of innovation and technology transfer, governments are encouraged to continue monitoring their investment treaty practices with regard to green economy objectives to ensure that they encourage green investments without leading to green protectionism.

The UN system and the multilateral development banks have an important role to play in supporting investments in resource efficient development and advancement of sustainable consumption and production. They can provide technical advice and capacity support to governments in the following areas:

- policy and project design and implementation;

- carbon market development;

- the greening of strategic value chains;

- helping countries catalyse investments in energy efficient and climate change mitigation and adaptation by the private sector;

- using a range of instruments to support and fund development of climate-smart agriculture and greener and more resilient infrastructure.

To support the kind of governmental decision-making that will underpin a balanced, inclusive and green transition, however, entities of UN system and international financial institutions will need to work together more coherently based on their respective mandates and comparative advantages. To truly contribute to a green economy transition, investments and interventions need to be environmentally sound and socially inclusive to ensure that they are neither harmful to the environment nor disadvantageous or harmful to the poor and that the continued flow of funding towards education, health, and social protection activities is guaranteed.

4.3 Full-cost pricing

Full-cost pricing, which includes full social and environmental cost, is an essential tool for changing investments as well as consumption and production patterns and motivating innovations. Apart from reflecting social and environmental costs in prices through taxes, full-cost pricing also implies the phasing out of harmful subsidies, such as those on fossil fuels, fisheries, forestry, water use, land use, and agriculture. These subsidies not only encourage carbon emissions, resource depletion, and environmental degradation, but can also cause trade distortions and strain public finance. Developing and emerging economies are currently providing subsidies to fossil fuel consumption in an estimated amount of USD409 billion per year while OECD countries provide USD45-75 billion in support to fossil fuel production and use. In comparison, government support to electricity from renewable and biofuels globally was estimated to amount to USD57 billion in 2009.

Full-cost pricing contributes to a more level playing field between established, brown technologies and newer, greener ones. Distributional consequences, especially the impacts on the poor and marginalised should be duly considered when designing and implementing subsidy reforms. UN entities can help governments and others to find the most appropriate ways of phasing out harmful subsidies while combining that with the introduction of new incentive schemes to encourage positive steps forward.

Governments need to stimulate inter-ministerial collaboration to communicate the societal implications of under-pricing to all concerned and collectively design fiscal and tax policies as well as policies on how to use the newly generated revenue. Consultations with major groups including trade unions, employers organisations, and womens associations on the various policy options for implementing full-cost pricing need to take place in order to decide on options that enjoy the broadest societal support. Such consultations will also help strengthen these groups and facilitate participatory policy dialogues especially where social organisations are weak. Any adverse effects of changes in prices of goods and services vital to the welfare of vulnerable groups must be compensated for and new livelihood opportunities provided.

At the international, sub-regional, and regional levels, there is a need for policy coherence and financial and technological cooperation, as countries may not be willing to adopt full-cost pricing unilaterally or in isolation for fear of losing international competitiveness. In spite of this potential collective action problem, which should be addressed at global and regional levels, it is still beneficial for countries to take full-cost pricing measures independently as in the case of the European carbon emission trading system. As commodity prices including fossil fuel prices are generally expected to continue to rise, countries can benefit from the development of resource-efficient technologies and renewable energies even if others continue with business- as-usual.

4.4 Regulatory approaches

To support the transition to a green economy, governments can employ mandatory technical regulations, voluntary standards, and information-based instruments. Often, regulatory frameworks are required to support the greening of sectors that rely on natural resources. At the international level, global conventions including, but are not confined to, Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs), can foster global commitments and promote coordinated activities on key aspects of the green economy agenda. In some cases, legislators may choose to adopt domestic regulatory frameworks to further these global objectives. The role of international non-environmental agreements such as on labour standards and human rights in a green economy, however, requires further research.

Regulatory approaches are often taken to support price-based measures or when a ban or binding limitation is deemed necessary to stop certain damaging activities or bring about behavioural changes. Regulations can also provide enabling conditions and incentives, establish the needed market signals and certainty for businesses to make investment decisions, deploy green technologies, accelerate green innovation, and foster clean technology development and diffusion. Information-based instruments, such as labelling schemes and voluntary reporting, which show the environmental and social implications of goods and services coupled with appropriate pricing, can alter consumption habits and promote demand for green and socially responsible goods and services while stimulating suppliers to design and produce such products and services and improve their environmental and social performance.

The success of regulatory approaches hinges on the certainty of policies as well as the quality and credibility of regulatory institutions and their compliance mechanisms, including justice systems. Regulatory institutions need to be transparent, accountable, efficient and designed with a view to minimising additional costs for business and consumers. Effective compliance mechanisms should be put in place in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Fostering regulatory approaches to support a green economy requires strengthened integrated institutional framework and governance. To avoid the proliferation of national regulations and standards, the use of relevant international standards is essential.

In this regard, a number of UN entities have been involved in developing international regulations, standards or guidelines to be used as a basis for national regulations or standards to support green economy objectives. Examples are the mandatory emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol, the mandatory measures introduced to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping - the first global mandatory GHG reduction regime for an international industry sector, and the framework developed to reduce GHG emissions from international aviation - the first sector with a shared global commitment to increasing fuel efficiency and stabilising its GHG emissions in the medium term. It is important that regulations and standards to promote the green economy do not become a source of green protectionism, in line with Principle 12 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. In this respect, WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, while recognising the important role of standards and regulations for the achievement of legitimate policy objectives, seeks to ensure that they are not discriminatory and do not create unnecessary barriers to trade.

The UN system and the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) have an important role to play in supporting the transition to a green economy in the area of regulatory approaches. They can encourage the ratification of relevant international agreements, assist the Parties to implement and comply with related obligations, develop relevant international standards and guidelines, promote good regulatory practice, and build capacity, including that of legislators at national and sub-national levels to prepare and ensure compliance with regulations and standards in supporting the transition to a green economy.

4.5 Sustainable trade

Trade can expand the markets for green goods and services and diffuse clean and resource-efficient technologies and production methods. It can also transmit the growing environmental and social preferences of firms and consumers. An open, rules-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system that provides predictability, security, and stability is essential for enabling green investments, innovation, and technological change, and for preventing trade protectionism disguised as green economy measures.

Positive steps are needed to take the Doha Round negotiations forward, which could contribute to a transition towards a green economy. These include negotiations on the removal of trade distortions, in particular of harmful subsidies including in fisheries and agriculture, and the elimination or reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services. Support is needed to assist developing countries, especially their low-income producers and SMEs, to identify green export opportunities, develop capacity in the production and export of related goods and services, facilitate access to information, training and education, finance, technologies, and markets, and increase their competitiveness. International and regional organisations have an essential role to play in this regard.

Freer trade should be tied to important human values, welfare goals, and inclusive growth, assisting those developing countries that are marginalised in the global trading system. Trade policy also needs to be accompanied by policies in both the social and environmental spheres.

4.6 Innovation and technology transfer

Technological innovation in product design, production processes, service systems, and organisational management is essential for reducing negative environmental and social impacts and improving resource efficiency. It is also essential for the development of new products, services, and technologies that promote decent work, benefit society, and support economic diversification and productivity-enhancing structural change.

Changing user behaviours in resource demanding sectors such as food, housing, and mobility, however, requires innovation not only in hard technologies but also in knowledge, management systems, and incentive mechanisms, all of which are important attributes of social innovation. The use of ICTs can help generalise access to relevant information in decision making, anticipate and manage potential risks from new technologies, and optimise sustainability and cost-efficiency in all economic sectors, including in workplaces through workers-management collaboration and dialogue. UN entities need to scale up support for education and training, small business development, continual improvement in resource efficiency, and access to innovative financing. In addition, they should provide practical tools that support intellectual property rights and the critical complementary know-how to enable the transfer, adaptation, and widespread use and dissemination of green technologies. It is critical that local actors have ownership of the innovative process and new technologies and that local and indigenous knowledge is part of the change.

The UN system and the BWIs have indeed actively supported technological and social innovations in developing countries. Their activities range from policy advice and policymaking tools to technical and managerial engagement with industries on resource efficiency and cleaner production, financing and marketing support, skill and capacity development, and facilitating the development of knowledge networks and platforms. There is, however, a need for improving the delivery of joint, interagency initiatives as well as mainstreaming programmes on the introduction and effective implementation of new technologies and standards including North-South and South-South technological transfer and cooperation that a green economic transition requires. International policy coordination, e.g. through adherence to MEAs and technical and scientific capacity building in the receiving country are also key for inducing technology transfer and ensuring that markets for innovations are not fragmented across different countries.

4.7 Assessment and indicators

An integrated policy assessment framework including improved accounting systems and indicators to capture relevant information and measure/monitor progress is an essential part of making the green economic transition towards sustainable development. The policy framework - based on a wide range of assessment approaches and tools - should include the participation of all relevant stakeholders.

On accounting systems and indicators, an important starting point is the UN System of Environmental- Economic Accounting (SEEA), which will become an internationally agreed statistical framework in 2012. It is important that policy makers begin to use this system systematically, taking into account the effects of economic activities on all forms of capital when making policy decisions. It should be noted, however, that the SEEA is not designed to fully capture the social implications of economic activities. Dedicated efforts are needed to standardise and publicise social indicators and use them in public policies in conjunction with other indicators.

Building on the SEEA and other relevant initiatives such as the work on resource indicators by the International Resource Panel, the Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystems, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, and the work on monitoring progress towards green growth, three interrelated groups of indicators may be considered:

- indicators that measure the green transformation of key sectors including environmental investments, environmental goods and services, and green jobs;

- measures of decoupling economic productivity and human well-being from resource and emission intensity, including eco-efficiency, re-use and recycling, dematerialisation (i.e. doing more with less), substitution, and material flow indicators; and

- overall measures of well-being with a particular focus on natural capital, poverty, social equity, and social inclusiveness - indicators of how well a green economy has delivered on human- centered development.

UN entities need to improve their ability to contribute to the further development of the SEEA, including programmatic support to institutions in developing economies to improve their capacity to collect, organise, interpret, and communicate the relevant data. Public institutions can also learn from experience gained by responsible businesses in defining and applying core and additional indicators in their reporting systems and how non-financial information is increasingly linked with financial information in emerging models of integrated reporting. Efforts should also be made to build any new indicator on the basis of existing macro-level indicator sets such as the Human Development Index and indicators for sustainable development. In addition, and importantly, the system of green economy indicators should allow flexibility for countries to develop their own set of indicators that reflect their particular national and industrial circumstances.

5. The way forward for the UN system

5.1 Mobilising expertise

It is important to organise the expertise of the UN system including BWIs in a targeted and integrated manner when providing green economy related services to countries. It is also important to ensure that this expertise is delivered in a coherent manner and in accordance with nationally and locally identified challenges and priorities. To do these, it is necessary to sensitise policy and research staff as well as operational staff, at UN entities headquarters and in their regional and country offices to the green economy approach and to develop their capacity to align it to countries' policy frameworks and priorities. In some cases this may require the creation of special units within UN entities with expertise in economic analysis to support other experts in defining the economic case and supporting the mainstreaming of environmental and social goals in economic policy programmes.

At the global inter-agency level this expertise is being mobilized through inter-agency mechanisms such as the High-Level Committee on Programming, the Environment Management Group and in a synthesized way directly targeting the work of UN Country Teams (UNCTs), the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). At the regional level the UNDG Regional Directors Team pool together resources needed to support UNCTs in their regions.

Regional and sub-regional cooperation should be enhanced further to support replicating, up-scaling, and advancing green economy initiatives, which have been successfully applied in various countries. In this regard, the UN Secretariat through the Regional Commissions provides a unique platform for regional dialogues and consensus building. In addition, the Regional Commissions as the Chairs of the UN Regional Coordination Mechanisms have the opportunity to also mobilise the expertise of the entire UN system as well as regional and international institutions and research community outside of the UN system.

5.2 Consolidating country assistance frameworks and strategies

Given the inter-sectoral and inter-agency nature of the green economy transition, it is important that any green economy policy development and programme support by a UN entity is demand driven, coordinated with the work of other agencies through the UNCTs and the cycle of the UN Development Assistance Framework. The Delivering as One approach being piloted in eight countries and applied in another 24 countries offers opportunities that are particularly noteworthy for the transition to a green economy by ensuring that support to countries in the transition to a green economy is delivered in an integrated manner and through a dialogue with all relevant parts of the host government. The ongoing challenge of improving integration across the three pillars of sustainable development is also one of improved interagency collaboration across the global, regional, and national level.

5.3 Generating green, efficient, and effective financial support at scale

Public resources are getting increasingly scarce, calling for a greater focus of public funds to catalyse larger scale private investments in supporting a transition to a green economy. In many cases private sector investment flows await regulatory reform and the introduction of new measures that facilitate the opening up of new markets in environmental goods and services and the mitigation of risks. Private sector financial flows seek adequate financial instruments for investing in the green economy that incorporate an acceptable risk/return proposition. Promoting country ownership and the alignment of UN system's programmes and projects with national priorities will be critical. Countries also need support in developing capacities to attract and drive green investments. In addition, there is a need to identify and develop new sources of international funds at scale that support the global transition towards a green economy. Efforts need to be made to explore the potential for an innovative use of Special Drawing Rights (SDR), international reserve assets, and pools of concentrated assets to serve the aim of financing green economy investments with attractive social as well as private returns and increasing the provision of global public goods.

5.4 Nurturing green innovation and mobilising green technologies

Technology has historically provided the means by which humanity has addressed social and environmental challenges. Policy making needs to strike a balance between incentivising investments in new technologies and giving access to the social and environmental benefit of new technologies. Such incentives help mitigate the risks associated with private sector investments in developing new technologies to enable a shift towards a green economy. But these incentives must also be cognisant of the need to maximise the benefit of these new technologies to society as a whole.

The UN system must continue to support Member States in their efforts to achieve this balance. It must also continue to provide assistance in the building of innovation infrastructure in developing countries as well as partnerships and capacity to transfer, adapt, and disseminate green technologies. Support for efforts to facilitate the use of the global technology database provided by the patent system through the disclosure of technologies in patent applications and tailored search tools such as IPC Green can provide an inventory of green technologies that helps both innovation and technology transfer. Support should also be provided for initiatives that create an efficient marketplace and platform for the sustainable transfer of green technologies, making available both intellectual property rights and associated know- how needed to implement a technology.

5.5 Contributing to the global economic recovery and success of Rio+20

The world has not recovered from the financial and economic crisis that broke out in 2008-2009. Recent developments indicate a renewed set-back in the recovery driven by the unsustainable debt levels of many industrial economies. The lingering crisis is causing damage to the world economy at large with serious implications for poverty, social equity, and social stability as well as commitments to environmental sustainability in all countries. Investments in renewable energy and energy-efficiency, sustainable transport, sustainable agriculture, and other areas, however, hold a great potential to contribute to global economic recovery. By fundamentally restructuring public spending and leveraging private investments towards environmental and social investments, indebted industrial countries can expect to find new growth paths that support fiscal consolidation while contributing to a green economy.

At a global level, Rio+20 provides an important policy opportunity in the near term for the UN system to make commitments to support countries, including Least Developed Countries, in their efforts to move towards a balanced and inclusive green economy. Agreement among UN entities on core elements of strategy, policy, and programmatic services in support of governments green economy initiatives will send a powerful signal to governments, businesses, and civil society of the determination of the UN system to Deliver as One on a green economy transformation for sustainable development and poverty eradication.
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