The Parliamentary Centre in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program, will hold a working session on the Environment and Climate Change for Parliamentarians from 7 African Parliaments from June 7-9, 2011. This falls under the activities of the Africa Parliamentary Strengthening Program (APSP) for Budget Oversight implemented by the Parliamentary Centre.

The APSP is designed and supported by CIDA to increase the capacity and authority of select African Parliaments (Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) in the budget process through training and creation of platforms for knowledge sharing among MPs and staff.

The project strategy on environment is to equip beneficiaries with increased understanding of the relationship between socio-economic and environmental vulnerability, especially vulnerability due to climate change, and build their capacity to incorporate environmental considerations effectively into all stages of the budget cycle.

Formulating appropriate policies is just the first step in addressing environmental issues in Africa and the world at large. Countries need effective institutional and legislative frameworks for good environmental governance and management to be realized at all levels of government.

For environmental policies and strategies to work and deliver the desired outcomes, adequate allocation of funds from the national budget is needed. However, due to the failure to recognize the linkage between environmental issues such as degradation and climate change and the incidence of poverty, often, neither the Executive nor the Legislature consider the issue of environment as a priority.

It is in this light that the Parliamentary Centre through APSP is seeking to draw the attention of lawmakers to the important role Parliaments can play in addressing environmental issues by integrating principles of sustainable development into national plans, policies and budgets. APSP seeks to draw MPs’ attention to the pivotal role they can play by ensuring that adequate financing and other resources are available for implementation of environmental policies.

The MPs will have the chance to enhance their oversight functions in parliament on issues related to the environment, and will be encouraged to monitor and objectively evaluate development of government policies and programs, enforcement of environmental legislations and strict adherence to ratified international treaties.

Source: Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)