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4/18. Poverty-environment nexus

The United Nations Environment Assembly,

Recognizing the firm commitment by all States Members of the United Nations to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development1 and the Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a global framework for national, regional and international action

Recalling the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2 as well as United Nations General Assembly resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015, entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development,

Recalling also resolution 2/13 on Sustainable Management of Natural Capital for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, which acknowledges that United Nations Member States have developed different approaches, visions, models and tools in order to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication,

Affirming the strong and complex linkages between poverty, socio-economic development, environment and natural resources management, as stated in the 2030 Agenda,

Recognizing that addressing environmental degradation, sustainable management of natural resources, including climate change and other environmental challenges, and achieving social and economic development is necessary to protect the planet to support the needs of present and future generations and contribute to poverty eradication,

Aware that World Bank indicators suggest natural capital is major source of achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication,

Considering that soils, forests, fisheries, water, biomass, among others, are principal sources of income, livelihood, food security, social protection and employment, particularly to women and youth living in poverty,

Aware also that a significant number of people worldwide depend on forests for their livelihood,

Aware further that globally a significant number of people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and that sustainable agriculture is key for achieving economic and social development especially for local communities and farmers involved,

Aware that access to affordable, reliable, sustainable energy is a fundamental factor that interlinks economic growth, human development and environmental sustainability as well as contributing to poverty eradication and combating pollution,

Acknowledging that climate change environmental degradation, desertification, natural disasters, loss of biodiversity, pollution and other environmental changes can contribute to increased levels of poverty which could contribute to human migration, displacement and to additional pressures on the recipient natural resource base,

Aware that improved transparency, integrity and accountability and socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable production in the extractives sector improves wellbeing, economic returns for local populations as well as enhancing human health,

Acknowledging that innovative solutions and inclusive approaches to enhance sustainable management of the environment and natural resources contributes to poverty eradication,

Noting that member states that are parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity are considering issues related to poverty eradication in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework,

Noting also the intergovernmental conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration held in Marrakech, Morocco on 10 and 11 December 2018,

Concerned about the low level of women’s participation in decision-making and policy processes in various sectors as well as in the labour force, including in the energy sector,

Fully aware that women and children especially in developing countries disproportionately bear the burden of energy poverty and face significant health and safety risks from household air pollution, from carrying heavy fuel loads, and from the lack of lighting,

Inviting member states, in line with commitments in the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, to continue to support developing countries, in partnerships, to strengthen the scientific, technological, and innovative capacity towards the implementation of this resolution;

Stressing the need for a coherent, integrated approach to energy issues and the promotion of synergies across the global energy agenda, with a focus on eradicating poverty which contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 72/224 which reiterates the pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that no one will be left behind and reaffirming the recognition that the dignity of the human person is fundamental, and the wish to see the Goals and targets met for all nations and peoples and for all segments of society, and reaffirming its commitment to endeavouring to reach the furthest behind first,

Mindful of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,

Recognizing that different sectors, including the private sector, have a role and can contribute to the fight to eradicate poverty and create decent and sustainable jobs,

Noting with appreciation existing partnerships, including the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals, and noting the Africa Women Energy Entrepreneurs Framework,

1. Urges Member States to apply integrated, innovative and coherent approaches in developing and implementing policies, laws, plans and budgets on poverty eradication through sustainable environment and natural resources management; aimed to align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

2. Invites Member States, the international community and private sector to continue developing innovative sustainable financing mechanisms and policies that help to promote and shift public and private finance and investment resources for environmental sustainability and poverty eradication;

3. Encourages Member States to strengthen institutional capacities, such as national statistical offices, to monitor and collect data on poverty-environment-economic linked indicators to enable tracking progress towards poverty eradication as well as environment and natural resources management;

4. Calls upon the international community and other stakeholders to promote the development and application of multi-dimensional poverty measurements that include links to environmental and natural resource sustainability to inform national data collection and decision making in line with the follow-up and review process set out in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development;

5. Encourages Member States and other stakeholders to continue facilitating pro-poor environmental sustainability by ensuring, where relevant, the inclusion of such objectives in national, regional and local policies, budgets and investment frameworks;

6. Encourages Member States, UN agencies, the international community and other stakeholders to carry out research to generate socio-economic evidence on trade-offs and synergies on sustainable natural resource management to inform innovative policies on poverty and environment;

7. Encourages Member States, the international community and stakeholders to support people-centred innovative solutions, such as traditional knowledge, norms, values, education, where appropriate, to empower and engage women and youth, when promoting sustainable development to achieve multiple benefits;

8. Requests the Executive Director, in collaboration with other relevant UN Agencies and partners, to strengthen initiatives, under the existing PoW and budget, addressing the linkages between poverty and environment;

9. Requests the Executive Director to consider how UNEP, including through its regional and country offices, can contribute to the eradication of poverty in its operations;

Sustainable agriculture

10. Requests the Executive Director, within the scope of UNEP’s PoW and budget, to collaborate with Member States, other UN Agencies and partners, that are promoting sustainable agriculture innovations such as the uptake of climate resilient agriculture by small-holder farmers and women farmers to eradicate extreme poverty, improve livelihoods and food security, as well as reducing negative impacts on the environment;

11. Encourages Member States to incorporate sustainable and climate resilient agriculture as part of their domestic agricultural policy and programme agendas to maximize sustainable, and equitable resource management while minimizing negative impacts on the environment;

Sustainable forest management

12. Invites member States to invest in innovative sustainable forest management practices to conserve and sustainably use forest ecosystems as well as benefit rural households that depend on forests resources for forest-related economic activities to generate income and meet their energy needs, among others;

Sustainable fisheries

13. Calls upon member States to support and promote sustainable fisheries and innovative sustainable aquaculture practices as well as the conservation and sustainable management of the marine environment to support food security income generation and employment for communities living along coastal, lacustrine and riverine areas, including through sharing of best practices;

Sustainable management of extractives

14. Invites Member States to consider instituting policy reforms, including reforms to enhance transparency, that will ensure that communities living in and around areas rich in minerals and other extractives benefit socially and economically from the environmentally sustainable production of extractives;

Environmental factors affecting migration and displacement

15. Requests the Executive Director, in the framework of the existing programme of work and budget and in collaboration with other United Nations bodies and other partners, to continue to support Member States that seek assistance in their adaptation and resilience-building efforts to address the adverse impact of climate change, desertification, natural disasters, environmental degradation and other environmental changes that can contribute to human displacement;

Sustainable energy solutions

16. Requests the Executive Director, in the framework of the existing programme of work and budget and in collaboration with Member States, other relevant United Nations bodies and other stakeholders, to promote sustainable energy solutions that support poverty eradication and sustainable development, enable access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, take into account social and cultural factors, and empower women and youth; such solutions include integrated energy and environment policies, on-grid and off-grid investments and sustainable biomass use;

17. Also requests the Executive Director to report to the United Nations Environment Assembly at its fifth session on the progress achieved in the implementation of the present resolution