Indo-German Environment Partnership Programme (IGEP)

Project description

Title: Indo-German Environment Partnership Programme (IGEP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: India
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), Government of India
Overall term: 2012 to 2015

India. A sensitive, mountainous urban habitat. © GIZ


The scale and speed of urban and industrial development in an emerging country like India present diverse opportunities for the improvement of people’s living standards. This transformation comes at a cost, however, with the demand for material goods growing rapidly and placing natural resources, such as raw materials, land and water under increasing pressure.

The Indo-German Environment Partnership Programme supports the Indian Government in its efforts to meet these challenges. The programme’s main aim is to ensure more efficient use of resources and better climate protection measures, and thus to promote sustainable development.


Decision makers at national, state and local levels are developing environment and climate policies that support inclusive economic growth that does not depend on resource consumption.


The programme cooperates with public and private-sector actors at the national, state and local levels, according to their respective areas of responsibility. It aims to develop sustainable solutions to challenges relating to environmentally relevant infrastructure in densely populated urban areas and industrial zones, and in specific industrial sectors.

The programme addresses the following areas:

  • Sustainable urban environments, with approaches that comprise improved waste management, climate adaptation measures, policies to encourage more conducive conditions, and good governance at the municipal level
  • Sustainable industrial development, with activities, for example, in investment zones and industrial parks, solid waste and wastewater management, the application of environmentally sound processes, climate protection measures and disaster risk management
  • Environment and climate policy, providing support for policy-level interventions in the field of urban and industrial development, and encouraging resource efficiency, inclusive growth and a low carbon economy

A number of crosscutting measures complement the activities and thematic components described here. Capacity building measures at training institutes help ensure the partners’ staff are adequately prepared for their new activities. In order to encourage progress in terms of gender equality, all components include equal opportunities measures.

Results achieved so far

In the state of Andhra Pradesh, sewage works have been commissioned in industrial parks, and sustainable operation models have been introduced. A successful pilot project is being transferred to seven other communal sewage works, with a potential total daily output of up to five million litres of purified water. Not only is this good for the local enterprises, which are better able to meet environmental targets, but it also improves environmental conditions for the residents – about 300,000 people in the case of the first facility. As far as possible the purified water is used for irrigation, thereby reducing the pressure on water in the region. If this successful model were introduced to all 320 industrial parks of Andhra Pradesh, it would provide approximately 300 million litres of purified water every day.

The programme is supporting the Government of Andhra Pradesh in developing India’s first industrial parks to be managed exclusively by women. These will be home to some 170 enterprises providing around 12,000 jobs. The programme provides advice on planning activities that meet sustainability criteria, as well as on the establishment of environmental infrastructure and the provision of business services. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh wants to extend this innovative concept to include the rest of the state, creating 23 more such parks.

With the support of the programme, the city of Nashik and the cement manufacturer Ambuja have agreed that municipal waste will be burnt as fuel in the cement works, thus giving it an environmentally sound application. This provides a substitute for fossil fuels while saving storage space, which is in short supply. Around 70 tonnes of waste are now burnt in Nashik on a daily basis. There is huge potential for the broader dissemination of this innovative means of utilising solid waste for thermal energy: India has 120 clinker-producing cement works which would be able to consume a significant proportion of its non-recyclable municipal waste.

Thanks to the programme’s efforts to improve the management of municipal waste, around 100,000 people in Tirupati and another 250,000 in Shimla now benefit from sustainable waste disposal systems and live in cleaner urban areas.

At present, the programme is developing a climate action plan in cooperation with the city administration of Nashik. In the event of an emergency, some 1.5 million people would now benefit from improved disaster preparedness and climate adaptation measures.

The Ministry of Urban Development is now planning to introduce an awareness raising course on climate protection for municipalities, for which it will collaborate with the National Institute of Urban Affairs and a number of training institutions throughout the country. This course was developed as part of the programme.

India. Urban habitats need environmentally friendly development. © GIZ

Informal settlements are usually excluded from the water supply, sanitation system, waste management and urban development measures. As well as unhygienic living conditions, this also causes environmental problems for the areas around the settlement. Studies carried out in Raipur and Tirupati have documented their adverse impact on water resources. The programme provided support for a participatory process in which action plans were developed for connecting hitherto poorly serviced districts to the municipal supply and disposal systems, thereby improving the quality of life in these quarters.

In the textiles and paper industries of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, steps have been taken to introduce environmentally friendly processes. At the same time, the staff of the regulatory authorities have been prepared for their new advisory and supervisory tasks.

At the national level, the programme advises the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

  • For the first time, revised legislation on waste management is to be aligned with the principles of a closed-loop recycling system. This means that it will become mandatory in future to utilise waste for energy generation and to meet recycling quotas for materials. If these laws are introduced and implemented successfully in all the federal states, they could have a significant impact on the consumption of resources and environmental protection. To complement this, the programme also supports the Ministry of Urban Development in its efforts to update national guidelines on municipal waste and, in so doing, to improve implementation of the new legislation on waste.
  • A national initiative has been designed to help ensure that resource consumption and efficiency remain important topics on the policy agenda (agenda setting). Among other things, this should drive the development of innovative policy instruments that will promote resource efficiency in manufacturing and in the reclamation of secondary raw materials.