IIED logo


Environmental Mainstreaming
Integrating environment into development institutions and decisions

Main Menu
Environment Inside
Goals and Challenges
Environmental Mainstreaming in Development Initiative
Issue Paper

Country Learning Groups and Surveys

Conferences, Workshops and Events
Key Literature
User Guide Project (2008-2008)
Contact Us
Poverty Environment Partnership
Archive content from the NSSD website

Environment Inside - 19. Advocating, engaging and communicating environmental mainstreaming


[Chapter to be developed]

Successful environmental mainstreaming requires that all key stakeholders (including citizens and marginal groups) have sufficient knowledge about environment and sustainable development issues, and are informed about the policy, strategy, plan, initiative or decision concerned. Communication can be inhibited by a range of factors including the language and medium by which information is provided (especially in countries with a diversity of language speakers), the freedom of the media, and the state of communications infrastructure. It is critical, therefore, to develop a well-planned strategy for communication (that includes advocacy as a key element) that can reach across and permeate all processes iteratively and particularly target key stakeholders. A model for such a strategy is suggested by UNDP (2008).

Figure 19.1: Steps for a mainstreaming communications strategy


Steps for a mainstreaming communications strategy
* Specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and timely

(Source: UNDP 2008)


Those involved in environmental mainstreaming need to sell their proposition to different target groups, in ways that create incentives for non-environment groups to respond positively. This means both avoiding language that is too environment-specific and developing positive arguments that relate primarily to those groups’ own goals and aspirations (as well as some that relate to key fears). Examples of how to pitch the overall intention of environmental mainstreaming include, for example (Bass, 2008):

  • ‘developing a green, low-carbon economy’
  • ‘making poverty reduction irreversible’
  • ‘improving country resilience’
  • ‘securing the environmental foundations for development’
  • ‘reversing the downward spiral of environment and poverty’
  • ‘policies for better environmental governance’
  • ‘improving cross-sector environmental benefits and reducing costs’
  • ‘integrating poor people’s environmental needs’
  • the focus being on integration – a hybrid outcome, and not a one-way environment-into-development outcome.1


1 ‘Mainstreaming’ in Spanish and French is best translated as ‘integration’ – perhaps a better term in English, too

Resource Menu
  1. Purpose of EM
  2. Policy framework & mandates
  3. Targeting EM
  4. Main EM issues
  5. Challenges
  6. Concepts and principles
  7. Skills and capabilities
  8. Needs assessment
  9. Capacity development
  10. Institutionalising EM
  11. Environment-poverty-development linkages
  12. Outcomes to achieve
  13. Entry points of EM
  14. Country Evidence
  15. Influencing policy processes
  16. Budgeting and financing
  17. Implementing measures
  18. Influencing national monitoring system
  19. Advocating & communicating EM
  20. Stakeholder responsibilities
  21. Monitoring and evaluation
  22. Key steps in EM
  23. Tool Profiles
  24. Key literature
  25. Case materials
Copyright 2007 IIED