SPCBs in India have a mandate of enforcing key environmental legislation for protection of the environment under the guidance of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). A myriad of new and complex environmental regulations have come to effect, requiring significant effort by SPCBs. This called for development of focused strategies towards strengthening infrastructure and deployment of modern tools especially on monitoring and information management. It became important for SPCBs to initiate a process of strategic planning at the State level, and develop short term as well as long term action plans.

This project aimed at developing a common vision and guiding principles for strategic planning to help in drawing need based and focused action plans. Top management at SPCBs was exposed to national initiatives as well as international best practices in strategic planning. Guidance was provided on how to engage the private sector in meeting environmental infrastructure needs, identifying barriers and needed institutional and policy reforms to enable implementation of strategic action plans.

The project also aimed at fine-tuning the tool box of strategies, tactics and tasks for adoption at State level. For two SPCBs (i.e. Maharashtra and Uttaranchal), where more detailed work was done, State-specific strategic action plans (including environmental infrastructure needs) were developed following the strategic planning process. These plans served as models for other SPCBs to follow.