The impact of UK overseas aid on environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation

Written evidence submitted by WWF-UK

A. KEY POINTS

1. The 2006 EAC review, (Trade, Development and the Environment), was critical of DFID’s performance on environment. Indeed, the EAC press release 16 August 2006 states that "The vital role of the environment in development and poverty reduction means that a clear and coherent approach should be absolutely central to DFID’s role. And yet the only conclusion we have been able to come to during our inquiry is that, so far, DFID has failed this challenge". The EAC recommended urgent action to address shortcomings in DFID’s approach to the Environment. In this 2010 inquiry DFID needs to demonstrate how they have responded to the findings and implemented the recommendations of the 2006 EAC inquiry.

2. We are aware that DFID has done quite a lot to address the failings highlighted in the 2006 EAC review - in particular, through engaging consultants to help improve its environmental screening procedures. However, we are concerned that environmental considerations are not yet mainstreamed in DFID core activities.

3. UK aid should not only seek to avoid exacerbating environmental degradation and worsening negative climate change, but should be pursuing "environmental opportunities" and actively combating climate change.

4. WWF believes that DFID should and could lead the international development community on sustainable development and the environmental imperative underpinning it, but this will require motivation, leadership and political will.

5. We welcome DFID’s focus and prioritisation of climate change. However, important as climate change is - this cannot be taken as a synonym for natural resources management. Whilst DFID’s work on climate change has increased, there appears to have been a decline in work on other environmental issues that underpin the MDGs. We are concerned that the focus on climate change has been at a cost to wider environmental considerations in DFID.

6. A key constraint on DFID’s work on environment issues, for example forests, agriculture, marine resources, is the erosion of expertise and capacity. WWF believes there is a need to maintain, and in some areas rebuild, expertise if DFID is going to meet its commitments.

7. DFID needs to recognise that the environment underpins all 6 of the objectives set out in its 2010 Business Plan. We suggest that DFID needs to reorient its business model towards recognising quality of life for all people within the limits of our one planet.

8. WWF recognises that DFID is in a state of transition and its multilateral and bilateral programmes and internal policies are changing. As DFID identifies priorities looking forward, we suggest it needs also to build on past practice when there have been demonstrably positive results. For example DFIDs earlier work on natural resource management. This time of transition and reflection is an ideal opportunity for DFID to embrace sustainable development and show genuine leadership on the issues raised in this inquiry.


B. INTRODUCTION

9. WWF-UK welcomes the opportunity to submit evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on the impact of UK overseas aid on environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation. WWF has extensive experience around climate change, management of natural resources and making the environment work for the poor. WWF-UK is the UK arm of the global WWF Network, the world’s leading environmental organisation, with over 5,000 staff active in over 100 countries. We work in partnership with local communities, civil society organisations, governments, multinational agencies and the private sector on the issues of fresh water, biodiversity, climate change, forests, marine, sustainable consumption, energy and minerals. 2011 is our 50th anniversary, when WWF will be celebrating is achievements since 1961 and looking forward to our future challenges.

10. WWF was the first environmental organisation to hold a Partnership Programme Agreement (PPA) with DFID. At the same time WWF has wide-ranging engagement with DFID on poverty-environment issues. We engage directly with DFID staff, through consultations and, with other NGOs, through the Development and Environment Group (DEG) of Bond, and we have regular engagement at country office levels. See Annex 1 for an introduction to climate-environment-development links.

11. WWF provided written and oral evidence to the 2006 EAC review on ‘Trade, Development and Environment: The Role of DFID’. It is paramount that DFID should demonstrate how it has responded to the findings and implemented the recommendations of the EAC inquiry - with examples of on the ground outcomes achieved.

C. QUESTIONS 1: WHETHER UK AID AVOIDS EXACERBATING ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AND WORSENING CLIMATE CHANGE

Avoiding making things worse or actively tackling challenges?

12. UK aid should not only seek to avoid exacerbating environmental degradation and worsening negative climate change, but should be pursuing "environmental opportunities" and actively combating climate change.

13. DFID funds should be used in a way that delivers effective and long term results. This means managing environmental impacts, ensuring high standards of natural resource governance, and tackling climate change in all areas of DFID’s work. Environment and climate change impacts need to be strategic, conscious and well informed components in all decision making. DFID needs due diligence systems in place which ensure that UK aid is delivered in an environmentally and socially responsible, as well as financially prudent, way.

Climate and Environment Assessment

14. Since the last EAC review the environmental screening system in DFID has been reviewed and updated. Improving environmental screening systems, however, is no guarantee that aid will be delivered in a way that does not cause or exacerbate environmental problems. In short, there is a need to establish how effectively the revised screening system has been implemented.

15. In their 2010 business plan DFID committed to "Develop and launch the new Environment and Climate Assessment to ensure that environment issues are fully addressed in DFID projects". We welcome this, but have yet to see how effective this process has been. This is not just the number of screening forms completed or boxes ticked; it is a question of how the process influences decision making and whether or not environmental screening has avoided negative and enhanced positive impacts. If there has been no regular monitoring or auditing of the effectiveness of the system, revising the system will have brought little benefit.

16. Environmental screening is only the first step in an environmental assessment process. Where appropriate, it should trigger further in depth assessment. Screening procedures should identify measures which need to be incorporated in a management plan, which forms part of the conditions for a proposal to go ahead. WWF is keen to see evidence of effective management plans which include in-depth studies and management plans.

17. DFID needs to ensure that its environmental assessment tools apply to all aid - multilateral as well as bilateral.

18. The UK has agreed with other European Member States to work on an EU wide strategy to strengthen the mainstreaming of environment and climate change in European Development Cooperation. [1] The strategy is due to be finalised and adopted at the end of 2011. The UK needs to play an active role in ensuring an ambitious strategy is developed with mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, and for sharing good practice amongst donor agencies.

19. DFID needs to ensure private sector partners also promote climate smart development and utilise environment and climate assessment procedures. For the private sector to be a genuine driver of pro-poor and sustainable development there needs to be a policy environment that encourages responsible activity and addresses market failures (eg environmental costs).

20. DFID has led work at the OECD to develop guidance on the use of policy appraisal tools such as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). This is intended to give environmental considerations due weight in strategic decision-making. What evidence is there that DFID uses this Guidance in its own strategic decision-making or in policy development with other partners including developing country partners? How does DFID apply SEA to aid modalities such as Direct Budgetary Support?

21. We welcome DFID’s commitment in the 2010 Business Plan to ‘Make DFID programmes more climate smart’, and recognise that DFID has been a leading organisation in this regard. We are keen to see how this is being implemented across DFID and with DFID partners.

Internal Capacity on Environment and Climate Change:

22. The 2006 EAC inquiry concluded that "Sustainability and environmental issues are complex and cross-cutting, and-we reiterate-vital to development. They stand little chance of being addressed properly if DFID does not have sufficient capacity and expertise to ensure the environment is properly integrated to its work. The situation must be remedied as a matter of urgency." Since 2006 the Environment for Development Group of DFID has been disbanded and the environmental professional cadre has become the ‘climate and environment’ professional cadre. This has increased the numbers of people working on environmental matters, notably climate change. WWF are keen to understand the influence of this cadre on senior decision making in DFID, for example, what decisions have been made or changed as a result of their interventions?

Climate Change and Environment – complementing or competing?

23. DFID should be applauded for taking the challenge of climate change seriously. For example combating climate change is a priority identified in the 2010 DFID Business Plan and Strategic Reform Plan and was the central theme of a recent speech by the Secretary of State. But has this been at a cost to wider environmental considerations?

24. Whilst the priority and focus on climate change has not removed or negated other environmental threats and challenges, it could be argued that by focusing on climate change, DFID has, in reality, further marginalised broader environmental sustainability and natural resource considerations.

25. Well managed natural resources can increase resilience to climate change and improve the lives of poor people. Climate change impacts play out through changes in the environment, such as new patterns in the water cycle. Climate change also exacerbates other stresses such as environmental degradation and pollution. Ecosystems are most resilient when they are intact, healthy and naturally diverse; as such they can help buffer some of the impacts of climate change and help build the resilience of the poor. This means the careful protection, use and management of ecosystems is vital. Forests for instance can protect agricultural land and villages from soil erosion and flooding; mangrove swamps provide soft protection to storm surges and coastal erosion. Despite the clear link between climate change and the environment, there is little evidence that these issues are effectively linked within DFID. For example there seems to be some resistance in DFID to making the links between biodiversity, ecosystems, natural resource management and climate change adaptation.

26. The DFID ‘environmental programme’ is dominated by climate change adaptation. This is a rearguard and necessary action where considerable joined up development and environment work is needed. However, this should not take attention away from prevention and the precautionary principle of investing in wiser natural resource management. Increasing resource scarcity as well as the direct impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems will have development impacts that need to be understood and addressed in decision making – limiting these impacts as far as possible. For example integrated sustainable natural resource and adaptive management processes, is now a good "low regret" strategy for investment. It is not clear that DFID recognises this.

DFID – Leaders on Environment and Development integration?

27. In the past DFID and the previous Overseas Development Administration were widely recognised as an international leader in understanding and advocating the links between environment and poverty reduction, with clear recognition of the contribution natural resources management makes to development.

28. DFID now has less of a leadership role, partly because the links between environment and poverty are now broadly recognised by bilateral and multilateral agencies, and partly because these issues no longer seem to be a priority in DFID’s aid programme.

29. The Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP) and the Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI), both supported by DFID, have helped to maintain recognition of the importance of environment in poverty reduction programmes. However these are largely "outsourced" by DFID and it is not clear to what extent DFID uses, and has mainstreamed, their findings. It would be interesting for DFID to evaluate the outcomes of PEP and PEI in terms of how the lessons learned have been taken into account in its own work, as well as to know the future plans for these initiatives.

30. The general consensus amongst peer professionals is that DFID’s participation in environmental forums has declined, for example engagement in EU and PEP meetings. DFID could do more to take home the lessons learned in these joint initiatives.

31. WWF supports DFID’s funding of United Nations Development and Environment Programmes (UNDP and UNEP). We encourage DFID to take on board recommendations from the work it funds, for example, UNEP’s Green Economy workstream. We also welcome DFID’s funding of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), and hope that DFID will incorporate the recommendations and findings into its business model.

32. DFID has shown leadership in some sectors such as its involvement in the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), and its support for the EU action plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), including the EU-wide regulation against the trade in illegal timber. Fishing and construction are other areas where DFID should be looking to apply similar lessons.

Recommendations

33. DFID’s new climate and environment assessment systems needs to be incorporated at the design phase of policies and programmes, have an influence on strategic choices, and be incorporated into country strategies. The new assessment systems need to look for opportunities that bring benefits as well as those that mitigate risk, in relation to the environment and climate change.

34. To support its commitment to ‘climate smart development’, DFID needs to look at the investment portfolios of multilaterals they support. For example, exploring the ratio of fossil fuel to non fossil fuel investments in the World Bank lending portfolio.

35. The capacity on environment and climate change within Whitehall and within country offices should be assessed and, linked to the need to effectively mainstream and address these issues across all teams and country/regional offices of DFID.

36. Within DFID climate change needs to be addressed as an ‘environment issue’ as well as one of economy, energy and finance.

37. DFID should be adopting the recommendations and findings of work it funds on environment-development issues, eg from PEP, UNEP and TEEB.

38. Social and environmental safeguards need to be at the heart of DFID’s new private sector strategy.

Further Questions

39. What is the current DFID policy or strategy on the environment? In reality has changing the ‘environment’ cadre to the ‘climate and environment cadre’ reduced environmental and natural resources management capacity? Have environmental/ natural resources issues benefited from being linked to climate change, or been diluted and what is the impact of this? How much environmental expertise is provided to DFID’s developing work programme with the private sector?

40. Has DFID obtained and updated its assurances that multilateral and bilateral partners, including the developing country partners it supports, have effective environmental assessment systems/ or procedures of their own that are actively implemented? Are there checklists available to show how this is carried out?

41. Given DFID’s championing of transparency as critical to good governance, have climate/environmental assessments engaged with those people and communities interested and affected by the proposals? How many proposals have been subjected to in-depth scrutiny because of environmental concerns? Where is the evidence that the environmental screening is actually avoiding negative environmental impacts and enhancing positive environmental opportunities? Has DFID reviewed and monitored UK aid to ensure it is used in appropriate ways from an environmental standpoint and is compatible with sustainable development?

42. Does the new climate and environment screening system have a financial threshold (previously it was £1 million)? If this is still the case, it is cause for concern as significant environmental impacts may be missed.

43. Why is environmental screening not publicly available? We welcome DFID’s new transparency guarantee and would like to see DFID also being transparent about its new climate and environment screening.

44. What influence does the climate and environment cadre exercise at truly strategic levels within DFID? What interface is there with professional environmental associations and between environmental professionals within DFID to maintain skills sets and capacities?

D. QUESTIONS 2: HOW WELL THE AID PROGRAMME MANAGES THE TENSIONS BETWEEN BOOSTING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION;

Green Development and Low Carbon Development – Welcome rhetoric

45. The 2009 DFID White Paper states that "We will strive to support economic growth, without which developing countries will remain reliant on other countries for aid. But the current crisis also allows us the opportunity to address economic and environmental sustainability together. We will lead the world in ‘green’ development, ensuring that sustainable development and the fight against climate change and its effects are at the heart of what we do. We will promote job creation, and a responsible role for the private sector in supporting poor countries to improve their infrastructure, expand markets and trade with the rest of the world – with a new focus on environmental sustainability." This indicated DFID’s recognition of the key challenges of environmental sustainability. It would be good to know what status this White Paper has within the current Government and to ensure that wisdom and learning captured within it are not lost and are built on as DFID moves forward under the Coalition Government.

46. In recent years there has been a focus on ‘low carbon development’ which DFID defines in the 2009 White Paper. However, this focuses only on carbon and does not attempt to address other environmental limits, or wider issues of environmental degradation. Therefore, we do not regard Low Carbon Development as synonymous with the ‘Green Development’.

47. The focus on Low Carbon Development and reference to Green Development in the 2009 White Paper was welcomed by WWF. It would be good to establish how DFID is now taking these interconnected issues forward. WWF welcomed the leadership from the Secretary of State regarding climate change, where he highlighted the need for "a different sort of development, one that marries good development outcomes with low-carbon, climate-resilient growth". It would be valuable to know how this approach combines the necessary elements of ‘low carbon’ and ‘green’ development to address wider environmental issues that help build climate resilience and ensure environmental sustainability.

48. Least developed countries while not contributing to climate change are suffering some of the first and worst impacts of climate change. Support is needed which encourages these countries onto low carbon pathways and enables them to build relevant expertise in emerging low carbon markets. However, in these countries, low carbon development support should not be at the expense of support for immediate development needs, such as primary health care, education, access to energy and meeting MDG7 on environmental sustainability. Building climate resilience and meeting the adaptation needs of vulnerable people, communities and ecosystems should be a priority when allocating climate finance, and should be additional to development commitments made through Official Development Assistance (ODA).

49. DFID should be prioritising the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries, but must also recognise that ambitious carbon reduction action is needed, particularly in the key economies, in order to prevent development objectives being undermined by climate change. Where ODA is being considered for countries on a rapid growth pathway, resource prioritisation should be linked to climate threat and major emission reduction opportunities. Such policy decisions should be made in an open and transparent way, recognising that a global climate deal with environmental integrity requires all developed and rapidly developing countries to decarbonise within a very tight time frame. Each country’s actions need to be based on the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and of the polluter pays and should recognise historic culpability. It is in this area that the UK should show leadership and commitment domestically, through implementation of the Climate Change Act, based on the work and findings of the UK Climate Change Committee. By taking such action the UK Government can lead the way internationally on zero carbon planning and action. DFID should be supporting such action across Whitehall, particularly with the FCO and DECC.

50. While Low Income Countries (LICs) are a priority, there is, however, a strong case for DFID to fund work in middle income countries which have high levels of poverty, and to provide strategic funding on issues like reducing emissions from forests in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia, from which lessons can be learned for DFID and the wider development community. WWF was included in DFID’s Latin America Programme Partnership Arrangement (LAPPA) and our experience was that real impact on the lives of the poorest can be achieved in this region where 132 million people survive on less than US$2 a day and 57 million on less than US$1 a day.

51. The Cancun agreement asked for developed countries to prepare low emission development strategies and plans, and encouraged developing countries to prepare similar plans "in the context of sustainable development". WWF believes these are important steps towards transition to a low carbon future and in building trust between countries, however work is needed to bring these plans into practice. We hope that developed nations will develop zero carbon action plans (ZCAPs), similar in structure to the UK's Climate Change Act, while developing nations could implement low carbon, climate resilient action plans (LCAPs) - we set out our proposals in the attached briefing document "Agreeing a low-carbon future in Cancun".

Growth and Wealth Creation; or Sustainable Growth and Wealth Creation?

52. Economic growth is seen by DFID as the primary route out of poverty. For example the recent speech by Andrew Mitchell (13 October 2010) "Our generations, for the first time ever, have the huge opportunity to help people to move beyond mere survival. To a place where people and economies can grow. Where the private sector can unleash its immense development potential; where individuals can create their own wealth; and where countries can begin to rely on their own economies and not on the cheques or the charity of others." The current narrative about wealth creation in DFID needs to be focussed on "sustainable wealth creation" which can bring long term poverty alleviation. This will not be achieved by undermining the natural resource base and degrading the environment.

53. Decisions on development programmes and policies need to be based on the best available knowledge and understanding of political, cultural, social, economic and environmental factors. It is essential to recognise that developing countries need to grow their economies. However, it is important to understand the costs and consequences of trading the environment for short term gains - long term sustainable poverty reduction can be jeopardised, along with future climate resilience.

54. It is not clear yet that DFID recognises or manages the tensions and trade offs between economic growth and environmental protection. For example the 2010 DFID Business Plan does not assess potential trade offs between the 6 DFID objectives.

55. At present Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the primary measure of development and growth. However, GDP does not incorporate the quality of growth, equity issues, environmental costs or the status of the natural environment. WWF encourages DFID to include wider measures of development progress that incorporate sustainable development and use indicators that include the health of national natural resources.

Example: The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF)

56. The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) was set up with substantial funding from, amongst others, the UK to improve the climate for inward investors to help drive growth in several African countries. This growth needs to include environmental considerations, but has DFID stipulated or monitored how environmental considerations will be integrated into the work of the ICF for Africa? For instance what environmental assessment procedures are in place? Does the ICF set environmental standards for both investors and host countries, such as land registration, licensing, customs controls to prevent illegal trade?

One Planet Development?

57. WWF’s Living Planet Report 2010 [2] indicates that we are currently using 50% more natural resources than the earth can sustain. The highest biodiversity loss is in the poorest countries, in part driven by demands from richer nations. 20% of the world's population consume 80% of ecological resources; if everyone lived as we do in the UK, we would require almost 3 planet’s worth of resources. People in high income countries on average use three times the level of natural resources of those in middle-income countries, and five times those of low-income countries. By mapping the human development index against the ecological footprint of different countries, the report demonstrates that development does not have to be dependent on increasing consumption. The need to decouple development from a pattern of growth fuelled by high consumption is clear; we need a development model where an adequate standard of living for all is achieved within the resources of our one planet.

58. This argument is echoed in the 2010 UNDP human development report "perhaps the greatest challenge to maintaining progress in human development comes from the unsustainability of production and consumption patterns. For human development to become truly sustainable, the close link between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions needs to be severed." [3] In 2000 DFID’s publication Achieving sustainability: Poverty elimination and the environment, tackles the difficult issue of consumption – showing that DFID really was ahead if its time. However, these arguments and issues are not yet embedded in DFID’s current approach to development.

59. The concept of a Green Economy has gathered significant momentum since the 2008 financial crisis. As with ‘green development’, the concept broadens the notion of a sustainable economy beyond the low carbon agenda, to include a comprehensive and integrated consideration of impacts and dependencies on the full range of ecosystem services. While this is a welcome development, it requires a consensus on what a green economy means and how it should apply in different economic and environmental contexts. Currently developing countries are concerned that the social dimension of sustainable development is not given sufficient weight and that new environmental standards for production might penalise industrial growth in developing countries.

60. DFID has an important role to play in building and demonstrating links between greening the economy and poverty alleviation in its priority regions. It should also promote an equitable policy framework for the global transition to a green economy, whereby advanced economies take appropriate responsibility for the environmental and social consequences of the products they consume. DFID needs to ensure financial mechanisms include the protection of natural assets in developing countries, by for instance Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES), in order to recognise the contribution of these assets to poverty alleviation, secure local livelihoods and sustainable rural development.

Recommendations

61. There is an urgent need for a new development paradigm that recognises quality of life for all people within the limits of our one planet. To achieve this development and growth need to be decoupled, which requires DFID to assess its whole business model and approach to development. As part of this change DFID needs to clarify how it views Low Carbon Development, Green Development and the Green Economy.

62. DFID needs to recognise that the environment underpins all 6 of the objectives set out in its 2010 Business Plan. It needs to acknowledge the synergies and potential trade off between the different priorities set out in the Business Plan and identify how to manage potential trade offs. The current narrative on wealth creation needs to be around ‘sustainable wealth creation’ and DFID needs to have indicators wider than GDP for measuring wealth and development progress.

Further questions

63. Does the DFID Growth and Investment Group or the Private Sector team have the necessary expertise to ensure the sustainability of the growth that it promotes? Is there evidence that environmental consideration of projects and programmes is undertaken with the private sector partners (tri sector partnering)? Will environmental criteria and safeguards be embedded in the reformed CDC?

E. QUESTIONS 3: THE EXTENT TO WHICH UK AID PROGRAMMES ADDRESS THE ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES OF POVERTY, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION ARE PRIORITISED IN THOSE PROGRAMMES.

Causes of poverty

64. Poverty is rooted in social, political, and economic systems which cause social inequity and unequal and/or unsustainable access to resources - including natural resources. Throughout the developing world, it is the poorest people who rely most on natural resources to meet their basic needs through agricultural production and gathering resources such as water, firewood and wild plants for consumption and medicine. Thus over exploitation, depletion and contamination of natural resources directly threaten the lives and livelihoods of many. It is important, therefore, to recognise that environmental management is a means to reduce poverty.

65. The MDGs are a priority in DFID’s strategic plan. The MDGs have been criticised for focusing on the symptoms of poverty rather than the causes. DFID should be leading the way in promoting a post 2015 framework for development goals that focus on the factors that trigger and exacerbate poverty – including access to natural resources.

66. We would strongly encourage DFID to ensure bilateral aid programmes tackle the causes and drivers of poverty as well as the consequences. These causes may be complex, take a long time to change, and be difficult to measure and evaluate. Nevertheless this investment is essential if poverty is to be reduced in the long term and results are to be sustained.

DFID MDG priorities

67. Unfortunately MDG 7 and the environment were not priorities for DFID in the run up to the MDG summit in September 2010. However, we welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister’s reference to biodiversity and natural resources in his speech at the summit, which we hope was in recognition of the critical role of these assets in underpinning the attainment of all the MDGs. The UK Government seems to wish to keep climate change separate from the MDGs which we regard as a weakness given the central importance of tackling climate change to achieving the MDGs. We recommend that DFID prioritises MDG 7 and environmental sustainability as a cross cutting factor in their approach to all MDGs.

Sector Priorities: Marine and Fisheries

68. In the last few years DFID's work on international fisheries has focussed on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. Emphasis has been on the UK Action Plan on IUU fishing and the Baseline Study on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), both of which are valuable strategic pieces of work. The Baseline study on the CFP published by Defra, July 2010 is a commendable report but the recommendations need to be adopted by UK Government to enable progress on reducing IUU fishing. From 2010 DFID's flagship fisheries programme is the "Partnership for Africa Fisheries", led by NEPAD, which aims to build stronger policy and expertise within the African Union.

69. WWF recommends that the UK Government encourages a holistic approach to national/ sub-national marine planning, which integrates threats such as oil/gas developments with fisheries management and deals with the potential of cumulative impacts both to the ecosystem and the ability to harvest natural resources. Strengthening artisanal fisheries management and fishing methods with a view to moving towards less damaging fishing practices and sustainable harvesting of natural resources is a further area DFID could support.

70. The collapse of coral reefs that support both inshore and offshore fisheries may well have a catastrophic impact on those who depend on fishing for food and livelihood, this needs to be better understood in DFID. DFID also needs to develop its understanding of the impacts of climate change on international fisheries and poverty reduction. 

71. Capacity is a limiting factor in DFID’s engagement in the marine and fisheries sector, DFID has recently lost its very limited technical capacity on fisheries and it is not clear what is planned for the future.

Sector Priorities: Forests

72. WWF also compliments DFID on its work on forests. For example DFID has played a leading role in the Forest Law and Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan, where progress and success have been through engagement on the supply and demand chains and on legislation. This success was highlighted in a report by Chatham House [4] which provided evidence of progress on tackling the trade in illegal timber. We welcome the proposed new DFID programme on Forests, Governance, Markets and Climate, with its recognition of the need for more funds to support developing countries to reduce deforestation; the need for improved forest governance; and consideration of commodities (beyond timber) that drive deforestation.

73. There are potential gains from DFID working with the EU as a means of achieving scale and efficiency, for example, through collaborative working and joint funding, as has been achieved through the FLEGT Action Plan

74. We feel that a key constraint on DFID’s work on forests (and rural development, agriculture and environment more broadly) is whether or not it retains an adequate core base of expertise. There has been a general trend over the past 10 years to reduce capacity but WWF believes there is a need to maintain, and in some areas rebuild, expertise if DFID is going to meet its commitments.

75. In our experience, there is a constructive approach to cross-Whitehall working on forests (between DFID, DECC and DEFRA) – for example, in helping meet climate change, biodiversity and poverty reduction objectives, which should ensure policy coherence. This, along with engagement from NGOs and the private sector, has helped to achieve progress on forests. The Chatham House report [5] scores the UK highly on both the coordination process for relevant government departments and multi-stakeholder consultations processes. Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a further example where the departments appear to understand each others’ agendas and carry coherent messages across government. We would emphasise that this relies on maintaining expertise on forests within each department.

Sector Priorities: Sustainable Agriculture

76. WWF welcomes DFIDs recent focus on agriculture. Natural systems and biodiversity are the platform for agriculture; however we are not sure that DFID fully acknowledges this. Sustainable agriculture requires new approaches to land and water use planning, maximising the potential of small holders and sustaining the ecosystem services which underpin agriculture and food security. It is also critical to address unsustainable consumption and production patterns. Any food and farming strategy needs to be based on securing the basic human rights of adequate food and good health, and on reducing the global environmental impacts of food production and consumption. [6]

77. We recommend that DFID has a clearer focus on sustainable agriculture, and ensures that its investments in agriculture are ‘climate smart’ and do not overexploit ecosystem services. DFID needs to look carefully at the findings from IAASTD, The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, to which they are signatories. This report stresses that low input agro-ecological approaches to agriculture should be given priority. To date donors have been slow to respond to the IAASTD findings.

78. Policy frameworks and incentives that favour large scale agriculture can hinder the potential contribution which smallholder agriculture can make to food security, to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and to environmental protection. Donors need to work together, and across government departments to ensure that incentives, polices and subsidies that damage the interests of small holders are removed and replaced with mechanisms which support sustainable farming.

F. QUESTION 4: WHETHER FINANCING MECHANISMS UNDER GOVERNMENT INFLUENCE (EXPORT CREDIT GUARANTEE DEPARTMENT SUPPORT, THE GOVERNMENT’S SHAREHOLDING IN BANKS, INVESTMENTS BY THE COMMONWEALTH DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ETC) FULLY SUPPORTS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD.

The Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD)

79. The ECGD was responsible for 2.1 billion of support to UK export industry in 2009-10 [7] . While the ECGD has argued that it gives this support with due environmental safeguards [8] , there have been several projects in the last ten years with well documented damaging environmental impacts. Particularly notable are the Bakhu-Tibilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, through the environmentally sensitive Borjomi National Park in Georgia, and the Bonny Island Gas extraction project in Nigeria [9] .

80. At present 89% of the ECGD’s business is supporting Airbus, yet the limited amount of carbon reporting required by the ECGD has excluded the air industry [10] . Although less than 50% of the ECGD’s business is directed toward developing countries [11] , it is of concern that commitments to environmental impact assessments have been weakened since the introduction of the letters of credit scheme and the abandonment of the business principles in 2009/10. This means that projects under around £10 million or of less than 2 years duration require no assessment at all.

81. The ECGD argues that it has adopted the OECD Common Approaches, and that it will work within the international community to strengthen these standards. However at the same time the OECD advises its members to establish their own standards, and in most cases other countries have these in place [12] . WWF would encourage individual countries which undertake the best assessments to continue to promote high standards domestically, while maintaining a basic minimum across the international community. Although it is argued that such a "unilateral" approach by the UK would be bad for UK business, this is clearly not the case in the US, Canada and Germany, all of which have higher environmental scrutiny standards than the UK

82. Over the years various Parliamentary Committees have recommended strengthening the ECGD’s environmental safeguards, for example, the EAC in 2007-8. [13]

83. Given the emphasis of the ECGD toward fossil fuel extraction and carbon intensive industries often in developing countries, it is almost certain there will continue to be a high environmental cost in increasing dependency on high carbon technology with increased CO2 emissions, over and beyond any local environmental impacts. However weakened reporting and impact assessments over the last few years make this difficult to assess in any meaningful way.

84. We welcome the Coalition Governments pledge to "ensure that UK Trade and Investment and the Export Credits Guarantee Department become champions for British companies that develop and export innovative green technologies around the world, instead of supporting investment in dirty fossil-fuel energy production." [14] We would also like to see policy coherence across government whereby similar approaches are taken to supporting multilaterals to investment in green technologies rather than fossil fuels.

85. WWF-UK continues to recommend that:

Ø environmental impact assessments are carried out on all the projects the ECGD support;

Ø a policy of reporting annually on the CO2 emissions of carbon intensive projects to Parliament be adopted;

Ø the ECGD develops a strategy to move its support to low-carbon, green technology industries, in line with the Coalition Governments policy.

DFID support for International initiatives

86. WWF commends DFID for its support to several key international initiatives that have improving natural resource governance at their heart (for example The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the World Bank hosted Communities and Small scale Mining (CASM) initiative, The Kimberley Certification Process Scheme and associated the Diamond Development Initiative, the Inter Governmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), the OECD’s Due Diligence Framework for Conflict Minerals etc). This support has been reinforced through public commitments in G8/G20 communiqués, and DFID also committed to support the Natural Resources Charter in its White Paper 2009 - the latter including environmental management as a key precept. DFID need to ensure they retain capacity and expertise to engage on these issues.

87. It would be useful to know to what extent DFID is currently supporting the implementation of these initiatives and what level of engagement is planned in the future. WWF is concerned that the UK’s involvement is declining. Yet as corruption, conflict and the mismanagement of natural resources are antithetical to sustainable development, WWF would wish DFID to maintain its influence at these initiatives.

G. QUESTION 5: THE EXTENT TO WHICH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION HAVE BEEN MAINSTREAMED IN THE GOVERNMENT’S AID PROGRAMMES, INCLUDING HOW WELL DFIDS SYSTEMS TAKE ACCOUNT OF DEFRA’S POLICIES ON BIODIVERSITY AND  DECC’S POLICIES ON CLIMATE CHANGE.

Mainstreaming Environmental Protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation

88. DFID should be applauded for prioritising the climate change agenda. However whilst its work on climate change had increased, there appears to have been a decline in work on other environmental issues. However both environment and climate change are far from being mainstreamed in DFID, and without a high level policy commitment to environmental mainstreaming we are unlikely to see any change.

DFID on the Environment – implementing research findings

89. DFID has done extensive research on the role of environment within Development. It would be helpful to identify the key findings from the last 20 years of DFID (and ODA) research and assess the extent to which the recommendations have been integrated within DFID.

90. We welcome the focus of the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) research programme. Implementation of research findings and using research to leverage change remains a challenge. DFID needs to be clear about how ESPA will influence policy and practice as DFID has always been stronger on research in this area than on policy or practice.

DFID on the Environment – Substantial documents, but where is the action?

91. As the 2006 EAC review sets out, DFID has in the past produced a strong set of publications on environment and sustainability issues. For example:

Ø The 1997 White Paper Eliminating World Poverty: A Challenge for the 21st Century, was strong on environmental issues recognising "that environmental protection is an integral part of the development process."

Ø In 1998 DFID had a Policy Statement on the Environment, and had a Manual of Environmental Appraisal. The policy statement commits DFID to sustainable development and made the links between environmental management and poverty elimination.

Ø DFID’s 2000 Achieving sustainability: Poverty elimination and the environment, is, again, an excellent publication.

Ø Also in 2000, DFID Commissioned an Evaluation "The Environment: Mainstreamed or Sidelined?" http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Documents/publications1/evaluation/ev626.pdf.

Ø In 2001 DFID co-funded Biodiversity in Development Biodiversity briefs and guidelines with the EC and IUCN. DFID also provided funds in 2001 for IIED’s ‘Living off Biodiversity: exploring livelihoods and biodiversity issues in natural resource management.’

Ø As a contribution to the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development Process DFID jointly prepared an excellent publication ‘Linking Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management: Policy Challenges and Opportunities’. This discusses the relationship between growth and the environment and the need to integrate environment issues into economic policy and decision making.

Ø DFID’s excellent 2006 policy paper ‘DFID’s approach to the environment’ is still highly relevant. However, it is unclear how influential it has been, and how it has been used.

92. A brief analysis of the four DFID White Paper’s to date shows that focus on the environment has waxed and waned in DFID, and is still far from being mainstreamed [15] .

Policy Coherence with Defra and DECC

93. There is the need for greater policy coherence across Whitehall. For example on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Defra is the lead agency on CBD but there is significant overlap with DFID and DECC. It is not clear how DFID is responding to the outcomes of the CDB COP in Nagoya last October, where a new strategic plan was agreed. It is also unclear how necessary synergies and coherence are promoted between the departmental leads for the UNFCCC and the CBD.

94. Defra also takes the lead for issues relating to UK consumption, however, as the WWF Living Planet Report demonstrates, consumption in the UK and Europe has an impact on poor people in poor countries. Again, DFID needs to work with Defra on issues of UK demand and consumption and the impacts of this around the globe.

95. Low carbon development, green development and green economy are all areas where there is clear added value from the departments working closely together. It is also an area where the UK Government could show leadership by pursuing a policy of procurement that prioritises ‘green’ goods and services sourced from developing countries.

96. Environment and climate change need to be mainstreamed into all decision making processes across Whitehall. The recent study from The Economics of Environment and Biodiversity (TEEB) provides a strong case for the economic imperatives of ecosystems and biodiversity in the same way that the Stern Review did for climate change, and the UK Government needs to be responding urgently to the findings.

97. DFID used to provide significant support to DEFRA in its engagement with UN Commission on Sustainable Development. It was through this forum that much of the work on Poverty and Environment was successfully advocated – especially at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002. It is of concern that DFID has played no significant role in the UNCSD programme for several years in spite of having been allocated a lead role in Westminster in certain parts of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation post 2002. It is particularly important this situation is redressed in the run up to the 2012 Rio+20 Summit.

98. One example of policy incoherence seems to be the way DEFRA and DFID view climate change. The Chief Scientific adviser at Defra, Bob Watson suggests "we should be prepared to adapt to 4°C" http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/aug/06/climatechange.scienceofclimatechange In a scenario where temperature increase in many developing countries may well be way above 2°C, some of the rhetoric from DFID around climate change as an "opportunity" for poor people looks increasingly precarious. DFID needs to look at the implications of a 4-6°C temperature rise.

Recommendations

99. DFID needs stronger leadership on environment and climate change with strong and consistent messages coming from both Ministers and officials of DFID. There needs to be policy coherence across Whitehall, with cooperation between DFID, DEFRA, FCO and DECC on their overlapping agendas. The systemic links between climate change, the environment and development need to be at the forefront of coherent UK policy making. DFID should be more pro-active in making the links between biodiversity and development, and work closely with DEFRA to achieve this aim.

Further questions

100. In 2006 DFID produced a policy paper entitled "DFID’s approach to the environment". What is the current status and level of influence of this guidance? Has it been updated or superseded?

101. In 2000, DFID Commissioned an Evaluation "The Environment: Mainstreamed or Sidelined?" Ten years on this Evaluation should be repeated once the new positions and policies of DFID have been agreed.

H. QUESTIONS 6: WHETHER THERE ARE DIFFERENCES IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF DFID’S BILATERAL WORK COMPARED WITH UK-FUNDED MULTILATERAL AID OR WITH OTHER PROGRAMMES WHICH ASSIST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.

Bilateral and Multilateral Aid

102. Multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the EU have environmental monitoring systems that are more sophisticated than DFID’s current systems. However that does not exonerate DFID from ensuring that these other agencies are managing environmental threats and opportunities.

103. Despite environmental impact screening, the World Bank still invests heavily in fossil fuels. DFID should be using its influence to ensure that the World Bank’s portfolio is ‘climate smart’. (These points are raised in more detail in the submission by IIED and Christian Aid to this Inquiry.)

104. DFID is currently reviewing its bilateral and multilateral aid programme, and it needs to ensure that environment and climate impacts are central to this review. Through the Bilateral Aid Review process DFID should ensure that country offices are taking sustainability, environment and climate change seriously in the design of their work, and that the positive impacts of projects or programmes are not going to be undermined by environmental degradation, lack of participation and local ownership, weak governance, etc. DFID should make it clear to country offices and partners that it is interested in supporting long term, sustainable poverty reduction, not just quick wins and short term, easy to measure results.

105. We recommend that the EAC seeks a review of a sample of country strategies to see if and how environment issues are addressed.

Aid Effectiveness

106. Effective coordination of aid programmes is a legal obligation for the European Union and its Member States. The importance of coordination and harmonisation in order to deliver the EU’s response to the Paris Principles on Aid Effectiveness, and the Accra Agenda for Action is set out in the EU Code of Conduct on Division of Labour and Complementarity, and the Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness. The commitments include a reduction in the number of focal sectors supported by EU donors. How is DFID taking this forward and how will it ensure that there is adequate and appropriate support for the environment as both a focal sector and a cross-cutting issue?

107. What support has DFID given to the EC in the development of the environmental integration guidance and the handbook etc? What cognisance has DFID taken of this in its own work?

I. QUESTION 7: HOW THE UK’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE FINANCE FUND WILL BE MANAGED, AND PROSPECTIVE PLANS FOR MANAGING THE BIODIVERSITY FUNDING POST-NAGOYA.

108. WWF welcomes the £2.9bn commitment that the UK Government has made to international climate finance. We understand that this is to be funded jointly from DECC, DEFRA and DFID budgets. However, it is likely most funds will come from DFID, and therefore make up a significant portion of that department’s spend. We are as yet unclear of the exact split, how it will be managed or any agreed principles for this.

109. We would like to see better transparency and accountability on how the UK funding will be split, where the additional (beyond FSF – Fast Start Finance) commitment will be sourced, and if all or part will be counted as ODA. The £2.9 billion includes funds that had previously been announced and allocated, it would therefore be useful for the Government to provide clarity on the level of funds that have been allocated, to what, whether they are being counted as ODA, if funds are provided as loans or grants, and how these funds will be manged and disbursed.

110. We would like to see clear principles for good governance set out, with clear accounting to address any concerns over double counting. We welcome the steps that EU has made on transparency and accountability in FSF, and DFID's support for this. We would however encourage DFID - and other government departments - to be explicit about their implementing agents as well as their activities - this is important in terms of both governance and effectiveness.

111. We understand that the Governments FSF pledge is being counted as ODA. Developing countries have been strongly opposed to developed countries meeting climate finance commitments out of their aid budget. WWF and development NGOs have supported this call – it would detract from efforts to reach the MDGs, and fail to acknowledge our historic responsibility for climate change and emissions. Long term climate finance should be additional to ODA, this can be achieved by agreeing innovative sources of finance from outside the public purse - such as levies or auctioning revenues from international aviation and shipping, or financial transaction taxes. Active UK Government support for specific sources of finance would help maintain the UK leadership on climate change on the global stage. There is a pressing need for substantial and additional public finance - in excess of $100billion per year by 2020 - to meet the adaptation and low-carbon development needs of developing countries. Public money is necessary for adaptation, and should be in the form of grants. Substantial public finance will also help leverage greater private finance foccused towards clean energy technologies and infrastructure.

112. We welcome the UK Government's support for REDD+, including the £300 million announced during COP15 and the additional £100 million announced in Nagoya. WWF, alongside many environment and development NGOs, is calling for all REDD+ funds to have social and environmental safeguards in place. In May of this year more than 70 countries, including the UK Government, signed an agreement in Oslo which included agreeing these safeguards. The recent REDD+ agreement in Cancun reaffirms these safeguards. But, with funds already flowing, the safeguards have yet to be fully implemented. The UK Government can lead by example by applying these safeguards to all the REDD+ funds it provides, both bilateral and multilateral.

113. It is not clear if the UK Government is linking the related commitments it has made under the Rio Conventions (UNFCCC, CBD and UNCCCD). We understand that UK biodiversity commitments made in Nagoya include:

Ø £100m over the next four years (from the £2.9 billion for international climate change) specifically designed to deliver biodiversity benefits through international forestry;

Ø £2 million over the next four years to help establish the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services (IPP-BESS);

Ø £200,000 funding for an initiative to save the endangered Henderson petrel in the Pacific; and

Ø £400,000 towards TEEB follow-up for case studies and capacity building in developing countries.

114. The CBD COP outcomes from Nagoya recognised the important links between biodiversity, ecosystems and climate change and made some important recommendations (http://www.cbd.int/nagoya/outcomes/). It would be good to know how the UK Government intends to address these, and how it is learning from and ensuring synergies within its work on climate finance. One important Nagoya outcome "Committed to substantially increasing resources (financial, human and technical) from all sources". Relevant parties, organisations and initiatives are invited to submit information on innovative financial mechanisms by the 30 June 2011 (Strategy For Resource Mobilization In Support Of The Achievement Of The Convention’s Three Objectives, Decision as adopted - Advance unedited version, 02 November 2010).

115. Outcomes from Nagoya also "Recognize the urgent need of developing countries, in particular the least developed and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, for the provision of financial support, including new and additional financial resources in accordance with Article 20 of the Convention as well as technical assistance to address the challenges to biodiversity from climate change, especially with regards to vulnerability and adaptation, and urges developed countries to fully fulfil their financial commitments to developing countries under the Convention" (Biodiversity And Climate Change, Decision as adopted - Advance unedited version, 02 November 2010).

116. Parties and other Governments are invited to consider the guidance (set out in Biodiversity And Climate Change, Decision as adopted - Advance unedited version, 02 November 2010) on ways to conserve, sustainably use and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services while contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation. It is not clear how the UK Government is doing this to not only contribute to its CBD commitments but to ensure climate and biodiversity finance is effectively and efficiently used, to ensure that tackling one environmental limit or challenge does not exacerbate another, and to support poverty and biodiversity goals wherever possible.

117. DFID's limited capacity to engage with biodiversity issues in a development context seems insufficient given the significance of the challenge. This is further compounded by DEFRA's limited international budget and profile on international issues. We welcome the increase to the Darwin Fund from £7m over next 4 years, the GEF replenishment that was agreed, and the importance that the Secretary of State at DEFRA is placing on international biodiveristy, however we would like to see stronger ministerial support from both DFID and DECC.

J. QUESTION 8: PARTICULAR AID PROJECTS/PROGRAMMES WHICH: SPECIFICALLY AIMED TO TACKLE ENVIRONMENTAL/CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES, AND DID SO SUCCESSFULLY; SPECIFICALLY AIMED TO TACKLE ENVIRONMENTAL/CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES, BUT FAILED TO MEET SUCH OBJECTIVES; AND HARMED THE ENVIRONMENT AND/OR EXACERBATED CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION/ADAPTATION.

118. We do not have specific examples of DFID projects and programmes to share in response to this question, but we look forward to the findings of the EAC inquiry. In 2009 WWF conducted a review to look at 'WWF's Legacy from the 1990s: impacts and implications'. The projects reviewed were those in the Joint Funding Scheme between WWF and ODA/DFID. While the review was asking slightly different questions to those above, it does have some relevant findings that may also apply to DFID, see annex 3.

ANNEX 1: LIST OF ATTACHMENTS

1. MDG 7: Environmental Sustainability - Underpinning poverty reduction, WWF Briefing for Secretary of State, International Development, 22nd July 2010

2. CBD: Links to International Development, WWF Briefing for Secretary of State, International Development, 18th October 2010

3. Fuller, R. (2010) Sustainable Agriculture: links to international development, WWF Briefing Paper

4. WWF (2010) Living Planet Report: Implications for international development, WWF Briefing Paper

5. DEG (2006) Eliminating World Poverty: For People and Planet, An Evidence Based Analysis For the Department for International Development White Paper Consultation Process

6. WWF submission to the White Paper on International Development, 27 May 200

7. WWF (2010) Agreeing a low-carbon future in Cancun: The need for developed countries to produce zero carbon action plans (ZCAPs) and developing countries to produce low carbon action plans (LCAPs); WWF Briefing Paper

ANNEX 2: OVERVIEW OF ENVIRONMENT – POVERTY – CLIMATE LINKS

1. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) found that over 60% of ecosystem services are degraded, with the natural resources critical for livelihood security for the world’s poorest in rapid decline [16] . The twin crises of climate change and ecosystem degradation are closely linked, with feedback loops between them and with human activities key drivers of both.

2. While we all depend on natural services and systems, the poor usually rely on them most directly and are most vulnerable to environmental degradation. For example the livelihoods most directly affected by the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity are subsistence farming, animal husbandry, fishing and forestry, all of which are key livelihoods for the world’s poor. [17]

3. Climate change is exacerbating existing stresses and pressures on ecosystems (such as pollution, deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity); this interaction makes poor people who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods even more vulnerable.

4. Many poor people live in regions that are particularly vulnerable to climate change, such as drought-prone sub-Saharan Africa, or marginal areas such as floodplains or unstable hillsides. Poor people also tend to rely heavily on climate sensitive livelihood activities such as agriculture, fishing and collecting natural resources. [18] Additionally poor people have the least capacity and fewest choices available to be able to cope with climate change-related shocks. All these factors mean that the poor are the most exposed to climate change impacts, are the most vulnerable and have the least resilience.

5. If natural resources are well managed they can contribute to poverty reduction and provide poor people with increased resilience to climatic impacts and options for adapting to climate change.

6. Maintaining ecosystem services is an imperative for poverty reduction and sustainable development. Poverty eradication and sustainable development depend upon environmental sustainability; otherwise, any development gains will be short lived. Climate change and environmental degradation are undermining development gains and climate change is seriously jeopardising achieving the MDGs. [19]

7. The environment underpins all the MDGs, especially those concerned with hunger and food security, education, gender, child mortality, health and disease. Climate change is threatening to reverse international efforts to reduce poverty despite having risen rapidly up the global agenda. Many of the impacts of climate change play out through the natural world, making MDG 7 even more vital. Nevertheless, MDG 7 is often sidelined particularly the aspects concerning biodiversity and environmental resources, sustainable use and management.

8. MDG 7 aims to ensure environmental sustainability, it covers a wide range of environmental issues including biodiversity, air pollution, forests, climate change, fish stocks, clean drinking water, sanitation and improvement of slums.

9. Whilst climate change has become a major focus for the international development community, it is only one of many environmental limits that are being breached. A 2009 paper on ‘Planetary boundaries’ [20] suggests that human pressures on the planet have reached a dangerous level. The authors propose nine planetary boundaries within which humanity needs to operate safely: Climate change; Ocean acidification; Stratospheric ozone depletion; Atmospheric aerosol loading; Biogeochemical flows (nitrogen and phosphorus); Global freshwater use; Land-system change; Rate of biodiversity loss; and Chemical pollution. The authors suggest that three boundaries have already been transgressed (climate change, the rate of biodiversity loss, and the rate of interference with the nitrogen cycle). This research implies that the international development community should be paying more attention to a wider range of environmental challenges than climate change alone.

10. This research implies that the international development community should be paying more attention to a wider range of environmental challenges than climate change alone. DFID gives the impression that it has relegated much of its natural resources/ environmental management work while pursuing climate change (adaptation) objectives. Important as they are, climate change (adaptation) programmes cannot be used as a substitute/ synonym for broader environmental / natural resources management. It has long been recognised that the complex interlinkages between development and environment require a holistic and systematic approach.

ANNEX 3: Findings from WWF’s Legacy Review

The Legacy review stemmed from a desire to learn from the past, to repeat good practice and avoid mistakes in the future:

1. We found many examples in our portfolio of projects and programmes where the legacy of our work was undermined by external factors (political, economic, environmental, and social). Stronger Situation analyses, scenario planning, horizon scanning, multi-stakeholder processes, feasibility studies and risk analyses would have helped mitigate against some of these factors. Thorough review and analysis in advance of projects would also guard against unintended consequences. For example in DFID's case a strong environmental and climate analysis would help to ensure that projects and programmes did not exacerbate environment or climate issues.

2. There were lessons for us around partnerships. The review demonstrated the necessity of involving local partners and stakeholders in planning and designing projects. If local communities help to determine the goals, objectives and activities, then a project is more likely to meet their aspirations and priorities. The review suggested that WWF should make roles and responsibilities clear, with principles of participation, transparency, accountability and integrity underlying partnerships. To help ensure we include the right partners, we should undertake a thorough stakeholder analysis during a scoping phase. We also need to be clear and transparent with donors about what is realistic. Where we work in a coalition with other donors, coordination and a common vision are crucial. These points may also be relevant for DFID in the design its projects and programmes.

3. WWF’s legacy review highlighted the importance of understanding the links between environment and development. There can be trade offs between ‘conservation’ of the environment and income generation for local communities, for example with large infrastructure projects like roads or dams. How these trade offs are managed and negotiated is key. We found that our large programmes needed a more robust understanding and analysis of the links between environment and development at local, national and international levels. We also needed to better accommodate local communities’ development needs in the programme design. If we failed to integrate legitimate interests, particularly those of the poorest people, this would ultimately undermine a programme’s objectives. DFID also needs to consider potential trade offs in its projects and programmes, and ensure that the needs of the poorest are built into its programming.

4. Diversify the professional skill set in WWF was a recommendation from the review. In WWF this meant including economists, political scientists, social development specialists, monitoring and evaluation experts, as well as biologists and natural scientists. In DFID the need to include ecologists, biologists, natural resource specialists and climate change experts in their project and programme teams is likely to be a more salient recommendation.

5. One of the challenges of conducting the Legacy Review was the lack of evidence and data. It is only by revisiting projects and monitoring legacy that we can accurately demonstrate the long-term impact of projects and learn critical lessons, however this requires post project monitoring systems and funding. Having monitoring and evaluation systems while a project is underway is key if DFID is to assess how successfully it is tackling environment and climate challenges. These systems must be able to capture expected and unexpected consequences. DFID may consider revisiting projects after completion to assess the long term legacy and learn important lessons for future programming.

6. A finding that is relevant for all agencies in the development sector was the importance of appropriate exit strategies. WWF’s experience was that projects that ended abruptly with no mechanism for continuity were unlikely to leave a lasting, positive legacy. So it’s critical that we design and implement exit strategies with partners. The review recommended that we should manage the expectations of partners and stakeholders from the outset, and continuously develop the capacity of partners – their will, interest, commitment and resources – to take over project activities. Establishing conditions for sustainability may require a longer timeframe than a typical four-year project. Phased handovers, where we maintain a coaching, technical or financial role, may help.

23 December 2010


[1] Council Conclusions on integrating environment in development cooperation, 25 June 2009.

[2] see http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/wwf_lpr2010_lr_1_.pdf and summary of the Living Planet Report attached as evidence.

[3] http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2010/

[4] “Illegal Logging and Related Trade: Indicators of the Global Response” http://www.illegal-logging.info/uploads/CHillegalloggingpaperwebready1.pdf

[5] Ibid.

[6] WWF (2010) sustainable agriculture: links to international development http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/wwf_sustainable_agriculture_briefing.pdf

[7] ECGD Annual Review: http://www.ecgd.gov.uk/publications/plans-and-reports/annual-report/ann-rev-res-accts-2009-2010

[8] ECGD Mission and Principles: “take account of factors beyond the purely financial, and of relevant government policies, in respect of environmental, social and humans rights impacts; debt sustainability; and bribery and corruption” Ibid .

[9] For one of many on Bonny Island see http://www.eca-watch.org/problems/oil_gas_mining/bonnyisland/BonnyIsland130704.html For one of many on BTC see http://www.eca-watch.org/problems/oil_gas_mining/btc/ECGD_BPU_Doc_3.pdf

[10] “I t remains ECGD’s current policy to report greenhouse gas emissions in the manner described in 2008. The reporting of such emissions is an issue being considered as part of the current review of the OECD Common Approaches on the Environment and ECGD will review its voluntary commitment in the light of the outcome of the review at the OECD. ” This position was set out in paragraph 24 of the Final Government Response to the Consultation on Proposed Revisions to ECGD’s Business Principles and Ancillary Policies that was published on 1 April 2010: Correspondence with David Allwood, Chief Environmental Adviser

[10] Export Credits Guarantee Dept; 23rd Sept 2010

[11] £942 million out of 2.2 billion. Calculation done by WWF based on 9/10 Annual Report and Definition of Developing Countries as produced by OECD.

[12] Official Responses to OECD Export Credit Working Group, “Survey on the Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits Projects”, 2009

[13] EAC 11 th Report 2007-2008 Session: The ECGD should establish a programme actively to promote its services to environmental industries and to other projects that could support sustainable development. (Rec17); We recommend that the ECGD commissions an independent study into how its environmental and sustainable development standards could be tightened (Rec 23); We do not believe that the ECGD has struck the appropriate balance between protecting commercial confidentiality and ensuring due transparency … In 2003, our predecessor Committee recommended that “requests for confidentiality should be tested against rigorous criteria to ensure that only such information as might genuinely compromise clients’ commercial activities is withheld. A high degree of disclosure should become a condition of ECGD support. We re-iterate this recommendation” (Rec 35).

[14] http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_187876.pdf

[15] The 2009 White Paper makes strong references to climate change, green development and low carbon development. It is stronger on these issues than the 2006 White Paper ‘Making Governance Work for the Poor’. Indeed the 2006 EAC inquiry was damning of the 2006 White Paper stating that “ is another missed opportunity for DFID to make the environment as central to its work as it has made clear it should be in many of its policy documents and in evidence to us”. This is in contrast to the 2000 White Paper World Poverty: Making Globalisation Work for the Poor, which had a whole chapter focus ing on environmental challenges and natural resource management is a strong focus. WWF contributed to a DEG submission to the 2006 White Paper (attached), however the issues raised in this contribution were largely ignored in the 2006 White Paper. Many of the recommendations made in this 2006 submission are still relevant.

[16] Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis . Island Press, Washington , DC , USA . http://www.millenniumassessment.org/documents/document.765.aspx.pdf

[17] EC (2008) The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity (TEEB): Interim Report http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/economics/pdf/teeb_report.pdf

[18] Reid, H. and K. Swiderska (2008) Biodiversity, climate change and poverty: exploring the links, iied, London http://www.iied.org/pubs/pdfs/17034IIED.pdf

[19] See attached briefs on MDG 7 and links between CBD and MDGs

[20] Rockström, J., W. Steffen, K. Noone, Å. Persson, F. S. Chapin, III, E. Lambin, T. M. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, H. Schellnhuber, B. Nykvist, C. A. De Wit, T. Hughes, S. van der Leeuw, H. Rodhe, S. Sörlin, P. K. Snyder, R. Costanza, U. Svedin, M. Falkenmark, L. Karlberg, R. W. Corell, V. J. Fabry, J. Hansen, B. Walker, D. Liverman, K. Richardson, P. Crutzen, and J. Foley. 2009. Planetary boundaries:exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society 14(2): 32. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/