Workshop on Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in Programmes and Projects in Kuwait hosted at UN House

25 Jun 2014

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The office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Kuwait recently organized a workshop on Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in Programmes and Projects for Kuwait, hosted in the United Nations House, Kuwait. Environmental issues are a highly recognized national development challenge and a priority in Kuwait, and thus the emphasis was on the process to improve environmental mainstreaming within programmes and projects of both UN agencies working as part of the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Kuwait, and of government counterparts to identify opportunities for both environmental mainstreaming across development projects and also opportunities for joint programmes between the UN Country Team, the government and other stakeholders.
Also invited to participate and facilitate discussions was The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as part of its role as the “environment arm” of the UN.
The Workshop comprised of a number of sessions, some delivered as capacity building presentations and others as working group exercises and interactive discussions.
There were 62 participants to the meeting; 37 from the UN system in Kuwait, 18 from governmental organizations and 7 from NGOs and private sector. There were 37 women and 25 men participating in the Workshop.
The main goals of this workshop were to learn how to mainstream and recognize the influence of the environment across all sectors, including health, the private sector, industry, gender, etc. It also encouraged brainstorming for future joint interventions to take place in the future in order to tackle the main environmental challenges in the State of Kuwait.
Ms. Melanie Hutchinson (UNEP) provided participants with an overview of the UN Programming Principles with a focus on mainstreaming environmental sustainability. She addressed the need for truly integrated development planning, as current plans are sectorial and partially fragmented, and reiterated that NGOs, CSOs and community-based groups can and should support the government as well as the United Nations in achieving sustainable development.
The main focus areas of major environmental challenges facing Kuwait were highlighted by the participants, and through discussions the apparent themes were a) information, advocacy and education, b) sustainable consumption and production, including natural resource management, and c) policy coordination, capacity development and organizational effectiveness.
Certificates were presented to participants at the end of the event by Ms. Dima Al Khatib and Ms. Hannan Hamadan. The Workshop itself was well-received by participants and ideas for further capacity development, alongside ideas presented by the participants’ working groups for potential joint projects and programmes were set in motion.