Without appropriate measures, the degradation of the environment witnessed by most African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries over recent decades could prevent them from achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). EU-ACP cooperation therefore prioritises environmental protection and disaster risk reduction, with a focus on measures protecting ACP countries against environmental shocks such as droughts and floods.
The overall aim of these activities is to contribute to sustainable management of the environment and natural resources. Efforts focus on tackling the loss of biodiversity, combating desertification, deforestation and the depletion of marine resources as well as on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in line with the EU Approach to Resilience .
As these issues are not confined to national borders, programmes covering all ACP regions complement national and regional programmes to provide support on a broader geographical scale. Activities aim at implementing the major multilateral environmental agreements, namely:
- the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- the Hyogo Framework for Action – Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (UNISDR).
The EU works to strengthen the capacities of ACP countries to fulfil their obligations under these agreements.
The EU’s commitment to achieving the MDGs also includes activities in the environmental field, in line with Goal 7, which aims to ensure environmental sustainability.
Various projects and programmes in the field of sustainable management of the environment are underway in the ACP regions.
In addition to these targeted measures, Strategic Environmental Assessments are carried out to detect programmes and projects with potential negative environmental impacts.
Africa and the EU agreed to unite their efforts to address environmental challenges and development of a 'Green Economy' in the framework of the Africa-EU Partnership on Climate Change and the Environment, including the support to the AU's Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy . Environmental concerns are also covered by the Joint Partnership on the MDGs.
Addressing environmental opportunities and vulnerabilities is one of the three dimensions of the EU Strategy for the Caribbean. The EU stepped up its support for environmental management and mainstreaming of disaster prevention, putting the emphasis on climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as on ex-ante disaster risk reduction measures such as risk identification, assessment, management and financing, early warning systems and communications and integration of DRR into recovery.
The EU Strategy for the Pacific targets sustainable management of natural resources and mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction. Pacific countries receive support to deal with the consequences of natural hazards, of geological nature or climate-related, in a preventive way, as well as to deal with rising sea levels, diminishing fish stocks, coral bleaching, unsustainable logging, land degradation and increasing pollution and waste, all amplified by the effects of climate change.
Programmes and projects
- ACP-EU Natural Disaster Facility
- ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme
- Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA)
- Global Index Insurance Facility
- Capacity Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements
- Nile Basin Initiative
- Monitoring for the Environment and Security in Africa (MESA)
- Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)
- Establishment of a forestry research network for ACP countries (ACP FORENET)
- Governance, marine resources management and poverty reduction in the West African Marine Ecoregion (WAMER)
- Strengthening Fisheries Management
This programme assists ACP sub-regional organizations and countries to reinforce their disaster risk management capacities. This is being achieved by addressing the identified needs in terms of institutional capacities of the respective entities, knowledge management and information sharing as well as the related legal and regulatory DRR frameworks, sector policies and regional and national action plans.
The programme addresses prevention, mitigation and preparedness to natural hazards in ACP countries. It will improve countries’ resilience and the preparedness by mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction, risk identification and assessment, early warning systems and communications, risk transfer and integration of DRR into recovery.
Implemented by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the programme aims to improve management capacity to ensure the effective management of biodiversity and protected areas as well as the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources (ABS). The EU provides financial support to implement BIOPAMA in ACP countries.
Insurance applications are increasingly recognised as effective instruments in reducing risks related to natural disasters. By covering part of the financial risks related to such ´external shocks´, insurance can assist in preserving livelihoods, thereby preventing a decline into poverty. The objective of this project is to expand the use of index insurance as a risk management tool in ACP countries.
The purpose of the programme is to enhance the capacity of ACP countries to comply with the Multilateral Environmental Agreements and related commitments, thereby improving how they manage their environmental and natural resources. This will address poverty alleviation from a sustainable development perspective.
The initiative seeks to achieve sustainable socioeconomic development through the equitable use of the common Nile Basin water resources. Its purpose is to ensure cooperation and joint action between the Nile Basin countries, promote economic integration and ultimately eradicate poverty.
The African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) programme will come to an end in June 2013. MESA will bridge AMESD with the follow-up ‘Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa’ Initiative.
MIKE is a monitoring system put in place to provide the information necessary for making appropriate management and enforcement decisions, and to build institutional capacity for the long-term management of elephant populations.
ACP FORENET seeks to facilitate collaboration between forest research organisations of selected ACP countries to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of their tropical forests to meet economic, social and environmental demands at local, national and global levels.
The project aims to contribute to poverty reduction and improved food safety in coastal communities in the West African Marine Ecoregion by improving governance and promoting good practice in sustainable use of marine resources.
Building on a previous initiative for strengthening fisheries and biodiversity management in ACP countries, the programme contributes to the sustainable and equitable management of fisheries in ACP regions, thereby achieving poverty alleviation and improving food security.