The formation of a new Environmental Monitoring and Governance Division signals SPREP's commitment to strengthening systematic processes and tools to significantly improve environmentally sound and sustainable decisions.
The overall aim for the Environmental Monitoring and Governance Division (EMG) under the SPREP Strategic Plan 2011-2015 is to ensure that country members "will have the capacity to develop and implement transparent and robust frameworks and processes for improved environmental governance, planning, monitoring and reporting". In addition, SPREP Secretariat aims to establish an effective regional monitoring system for producing periodic regional State of the Environment reports. This means giving due attention to the need to systematize capacity development for planning and implementing policies and legislations in a more integrated, inclusive and coherent way. It emphasizes effective strategies for mainstreaming environmental considerations into local, national and regional development planning processes, such as regular environment monitoring, data collection and analysis and periodic integrated state of the environment reporting at the national and regional levels. It also requires appreciation and support for involvement of all stakeholders of environmental governance, from individual initiatives, to the roles of government institutions, civil society organisations and the wider community. The EMG Division provides the glue to ensuring integrated and balanced delivery of SPREP services for individual Members in the strategic priorities of climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems, and waste management and pollution control.
The Goal for the EMG Division as expressed in the SPREP Strategic Plan 2011-2015 is: "By 2015, all Members will have the capacity to develop and implement transparent and robust frameworks and processes for improved environmental governance, planning, monitoring and reporting, and the Secretariat will be producing periodic regional State of the Environment assessments."
Governance is the principal concept underlying the EMG Division and for the purposes of the Division, is defined as "the exercise of authority at all levels - through institutional structures, decision-making processes, policies and rules - for the purpose of attaining environmentally sustainable development."
In order to achieve the Division's Goal, governance will be addressed in the following key areas:
- Enabling Frameworks. This covers a wide array of programmes, strategies, plans, policies, and rules (formal and informal) developed at the international, regional and national levels each of which responds in one way or another to an identified environmental concern or concerns.
- Planning & Monitoring. This covers specific tools, techniques and reports used to assist in achieving sustainable development by a dynamic balancing of the needs of development with those of the environment.
- Capacity Development. This focuses on developing capabilities and competencies at the individual, institutional and country levels both within the Secretariat and within the Member countries and territories, leading to performance improvement.
- Mainstreaming and Sustainable Development. This focuses on how environmental concerns can be mainstreamed or integrated into government policy, planning and budgetary processes and on a broader level, the relationship and balance of the environment with economic and social concerns.
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