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Development Account Projects

Building capacities in developing appropriate green technologies for improving the livelihood of rural communities in the ESCWA region

Background:

The Rio+20 Conference recognized the role of the green economy as an important tool in transitioning towards sustainable development and achieving poverty eradication.  In particular, the Rio+20 Outcome Document, “The Future We Want”, emphasizes  the critical role that technology can play and calls on countries to create enabling conditions to foster environmentally sound technologies, particularly those that support a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. To this end, United Nations entities are called upon to identify options for facilitating mechanisms to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies including through capacity building.
During the Rio+20 regional preparatory process, both the Joint Committee on Environment and Development in the Arab Region (JCEDAR) and the meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE) acknowledged this need and called for a transition to a green economy that is appropriate and ‘well-adapted’ to the region and to the specificities of each country.
Many countries of the region have experimented with environmentally-sound technologies, particularly those related to renewable energy, energy efficiency or integrated water resources management in a bid to ensure access to sufficient, safe and affordable energy, food and water. This is especially critical in rural communities where there is an urgent need to improve social and economic conditions. However, many applications of these technologies did not go beyond the basic demonstration stage, and did not prove their capacity to cost effectively adapt to the needs of the receiving communities. Furthermore, a great number of the implemented applications failed to tap into the wealth of local/indigenous knowledge and techniques and as a result were unable to meet the aspirations of rural communities. Thus, their impact was modest and usually limited to some of the urban population.
Through this project, ESCWA intends to build capacity in designing, implementing and mainstreaming green technology initiatives into development programmes, particularly those that build on local knowledge, skills and resources. The project will also support the development of a knowledge sharing platform so as to encourage the exchange and dissemination of lessons learned and best practices while strengthening the linkages between policy-makers, development-practitioners and capacity building-providers for the benefit of stakeholders particularly those at the local level.
The project will benefit from ESCWA’s multi-disciplinary and holistic approach, which links normative with operational work. The project will also build on the achievements of previous projects in the area of technology, energy and water management, including recent Development Account projects on strengthening capacities on developing green production sectors in the ESCWA region; on capacity building on climate change mitigation for poverty alleviation in Western Asia; and on developing capacities of Arab countries for climate change adaptation by applying integrated water resources management tools. ESCWA will also cooperate closely with relevant international and regional organizations, notably UNIDO (which has extensive experience in poverty reduction through productive activities, technology transfer and capacity building), ESCAP (which has a strong programme on green policies, green technologies and a ready-made capacity building programme and which will allow for the possibility to promote south-south cooperation) and ECA (which has many overlapping member countries with ESCWA with a dedicated Sub-Regional Office for North African Countries already involved in this area). ESCWA will also partner with national counterpart institutions: Government entities and technology centres, in order to capitalize on their comparative advantage.

Objective:

To strengthen the capacity of countries in the Arab region to mainstream pro-poor green technology initiatives into national development programmes and policies, in order to enhance livelihoods particularly in rural communities.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Enhanced capacity of public and private development institutions to design and implement pro-poor green technology initiatives to improve livelihoods in rural communities.

  • Improved knowledge and awareness among policy-makers, development planners and other stakeholders on policy and technical issues related to selecting, assessing and disseminating pro-poor green technologies.

Implementation status:

In progress.