The Poverty and Environment Program (PEP) was launched in July 2003, with funding from the Poverty and Environment Fund (PEF). PEF was established with contributions from the Governments of Norway and Sweden and from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). PEP is managed by the Environment and Safeguards Division (RSES) of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department (RSDD).
PEP is based on the recognition that poverty reduction and environmental improvement are integrally linked. It supports replicable and self-sustaining pilot interventions that have helped spark transformations in the region. Under PEP, ADB has scanned the region for innovation and then identified and funded pilot projects in a number of ADB’s Developing Member Countries. Successful projects are then replicated and/or scaled up, either through follow-on ADB (or other donor) projects or through subsequent government assistance. PEP also supports activities that strengthen the analytical basis for policy dialogue and capacity building on poverty-environment linkages.
These efforts are in line with ADB’s Long-Term Strategic Framework 2008-2020 (Strategy 2020), which establishes the environment as one of the key operational areas and identifies environmentally sustainable growth and inclusive growth as two of the three complementary and mutually reinforcing development agendas of ADB. From the very start, PEP was built on recognition of these linkages and is focused on three thematic areas: (1) Protection, conservation, and sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem services to maintain the livelihoods of the poor; (2) Reduction of air and water pollution and waste that directly impacts the health and productivity of the poor; and (3) Reduction of vulnerability to natural hazards and disaster prevention.
Between April 2004 and March 2008, ADB implemented the first phase of PEP. The regional technical assistance (RETA), approved in December 2003, focused on gaining experience, learning lessons, and generating knowledge. Phase two of PEF was approved in November 2007. The second RETA was designed to expand PEP activities to further enhance mainstreaming of environment objectives in ADB operations and business processes.