Our Perspective

Lessons from the Past Help to Prepare for the Future

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We have seen that involving communities in the recovery process brings special commitment and speeds up recovery. UNDP Photo

In China there is an old proverb that goes: “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” As we look at how things have changed since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami we can see how UNDP has worked with partners to educate people across the spectrum, to ensure that fewer lives are lost when disaster strikes. For years, we have been working to support governments in reducing risks from disaster, in helping communities build resilience, and in assisting to set up early warning systems.... Read more

The way to stop violence against women and girls

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EVERYONE HAS A ROLE TO PLAY IN ENDING GBV, BUT WITH SO MANY ACTORS INVOLVED, WE NEED BETTER COORDINATION AND COMMUNICATIONS. PHOTO CREDIT: UNDP/PAKISTAN

An average of 1 in 3 women across the world suffer from violence at the hands of a partner, in their lifetime. Gender-based violence (GBV) disproportionately affects lower and middle income countries, poorer regions within these countries, and in particular vulnerable groups that include migrants, sex workers, and people living with HIV or disabilities.... Read more

'Later' is no longer in our dictionary

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The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI), which was supported by UNDP, World Bank and GEF, established a sustainable regime for harvesting wildflowers on 30,000 hectares of land, thereby maintaining natural habitat. Employment for certified flower pickers and packers doubled within three years. Photo: FLOWER VALLEY CONSERVATION TRUST/SLINGSHOT MEDIA

When I talk about the snow leopards of Central Asia, I no longer give the Latin name, but describe them as the symbol of sustainable development for remote mountain communities. My peers are now development practitioners and my heart still skips a beat at the sight of a wild flower.... Read more

Making conservation count towards jobs and livelihoods

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Community members get on-site training in wildlife protection in Tmatboey, Canbodia. Photo: Sok Sony/WCS

If we are going to preserve global biodiversity, protected areas must make sense to the millions around the world, who rely on natural resources for their livelihoods. This is one of the key messages we have heard emerging this week from the World Parks Congress – a landmark global meeting – convened every 10 years to determine the future direction of the conservation agenda. ... Read more

Nature? Who cares?

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At the top of Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town, South Africa, there is one of the most remarkable flowers you’ll ever see. Jamison Ervin / UNDP

We cut down the mangroves that provide habitat for the fish that feed our families, in order to make way for a resort hotel. Or we drain the wetland that protects our cities from floods, in order to put up a shopping mall. And we accept this as the cost of development.... Read more