The climate emergency and broader environmental destruction — from forest devastation to loss of biodiversity to depleted water supplies — are challenging international aid agencies’ collective ability to support sustainable development.
Despite awareness of these growing pressures, these issues are often peripheral to how development agencies work. True, most members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) have adopted environmental safeguards and are refocusing some of their actions on tackling the climate crisis. Too often, however, development agencies overlook other pressing environmental problems, such as sustainable management of forests, land and water, and related health issues such as sanitation, indoor air pollution and urban slum improvements. In short, agencies have yet to fully integrate environmental concerns ― including climate change ― in their policies, plans, budgets and actions.
But how? The DAC examined the practices of its members — focusing on the European Union, Sweden and Canada — with support from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and identified five steps that agencies should adopt if they want to effectively tackle critical environmental challenges and threats: Continue reading