PRSPs have become one of the most powerful vehicles for carrying forward a commitment to better ecosystem management that benefits the poor. However, the processes and content of PRSPs in many countries falls far short of the potential. Even among strategies recognized within the development community for a relatively high degree of environmental mainstreaming, PRSPs rarely go far enough in proposing measures that would empower the poor with equitable and sustainable opportunities to derive income from their environmental assets.
What can be done to ensure that PRSPs advance a propoor agenda for maximizing sustainable environmental income while maintaining the integrity of critical ecosystem functions? At least seven key issues need to be examined. (See “Framework for Upgrading PRSPs”.) In the discussion below, examples of good practice in crafting PRSPs are highlighted to show that adequate treatment of these issues in PRSPs is both possible and desirable.