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India: Conserving the Gulf of Mannar’s biodiversity

The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, off the south eastern coast of India, is home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of marine species. Much of the Reserve’s biodiversity depends on the coral reef, which houses numerous species of fish and supports the livelihoods of close to 150,000 fismore

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In Nepal, a simple solution brings light to rural communities

“Access to electricity has really changed our lives,” says Kunja Maya Tamang, 40, who lives in Nepal. “We don’t have to depend on daylight to finish our household chores. My kids can study even in the night. Our income has also increased with improved crop yields.” Creating electricity for the planemore

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Biodiversity projects improve lives in China

Yu Zerun, a farmer from Daping village in the Sichuan province, Western China, used to harvest rare medicinal plants in protected areas of the Upper Yangtze River Basin, an area internationally recognized for its biodiversity value. The caterpillar fungus Yu Zerun traded at the local market providedmore

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Peru: Improving cook stoves and access to energy

Cooking on a wood fire has always required a great deal of effort for 48-year-old Pilar Valladolid. She is supported in this duty by her 8-year-old daughter, Pamela. Together they have to walk more than an hour to collect the firewood they will use to cook with during the coming days, just as Pilar more

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New techniques help farmers adapt to climate change in Sudan

Ahmed Eldaw, like his fellow farmers and pastoralists in northern Sudan, used to practice a form of subsistence agriculture that depended solely on the erratic floods of the Atbara River. During periods of exceptionally high flooding, he could expect to grow enough sorghum to provide for his family more

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Lao PDR: Diversifying crops to cope with climate change

For Ki Her, the head of Kioutaloun village in mountainous northern Lao PDR, and 95 percent of the population who grow rice, the change in the weather over the past five years presents significant challenges. With shorter but more intense rainy seasons, followed by longer dry seasons, farmers are stmore

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Zambia: Villagers turn their backs on overfishing

Sebi Nafukwe, who never had any agricultural experience before, is busy harvesting rice for the first time in Mbete village, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Zambia. She is one of 700 women who have turned their backs on fishing from the lake after overfishing made it difficult to turn a profit. more

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Tanzania: Clay stoves make life easier for rural women

Until January of this year, Stella Fungameza – a 30-year-old mother of three children –wandered into the forest twice a week for 12 hours, bringing home up to 30 kilograms of firewood from each her trips. Now Stella can cook with half the amount of firewood thanks to an energy project piloted by themore

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Solar power in Mali: A miracle for women

Less than one percent of rural communes in Mali have electricity. But in Sirakorola, the administrative centre of a commune located 120 kilometers outside the capital city of Bamako, solar power is synonymous with economic boom. "Ever since we had the solar panels installed, women haven't been more

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Rain water harvesting improves lives of Tanzanian farmers

In recent years, residents of Tanzania's Kilimanjaro region have seen their livelihoods threatened by climate change-induced water shortages. The Kilimanjaro region has always been one of the driest in Tanzania, receiving less than 400 mm of rainfall annually. The average annual rainfall for the coumore

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Strengthening education in Bangladesh

It is 8:30 a.m. in the village of Matiranga, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. School is about to begin and, unlike in years past, the children arriving for their preschool and primary school classes know they will have no trouble understanding what is said in their lessons. The Hill Tracmore

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Georgia: Microloans offer new starts in war-torn regions

Dali Chilachava and her family fled their home village in Abkhazia, Georgia, after separatist conflict broke out in the region in 1993. For 12 years they endured extreme poverty, until a microfinance programme helped them to start a small business growing and selling lillies. In regions of Georgiamore

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India: Transforming poor rural women into successful business managers

Ten years ago Pushpa Devi Maurya joined a self-help group to make ends meet in the village of Chak Padri in the state of Uttar Pradesh, northern India. Today this 35-year-old mother of two manages the bulk milk chilling centre set up by the milk producers’ company near her village. The centre collecmore

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Timor-Leste: Bringing out the rural woman vote

By John Fenech, third place of UNDP's storytelling contest Senora Mendonça Côrte-Real, a grandmother from the capital city of Dili in Timor-Leste, is now the country’s oldest registered voter after having finally been given the chance to exercise a democratic vote for the first time at the ripe oldmore

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Reducing maternal death in Eritrea

In the market town of Senafe, in southern Eritrea, Fethawi Berhane has just undergone three days of painful labor and complications during childbirth that resulted in the death of her baby, despite the best efforts of a traditional birth attendant. Fethawi herself is lucky to have survived, given thmore

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Gender-based violence awareness program opens eyes in Rwanda

Emmanuel, a pastor in northern Rwanda, had always considered himself a model husband. That is, until he attended a gender-based violence awareness programme in his community that showed him he had been violent to his wife to a degree that is considered illegal. “When I learned that my behavior was nmore

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Chor Vichara, Cambodia, weaves a better future for herself

The eldest child of a local school teacher and a homemaker, Chor Vichara, 22, dropped out of school at 16 so that her two brothers could pursue their studies. She then went to work at a garment factory in Phnom Penh, 40 kilometres from her home. At the factory she earned about US$70 a month sewing smore

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Veterinary skills help empower women in rural Pakistan

Muhammad Bibi’s life in the Punjab province of Tehsil Mian Channu, northeastern Pakistan, took a sudden turn when her husband had a heart attack and was unable to work. Without warning, she became the sole provider for her six children and her spouse. At the time, the few goats that Bibi's family owmore

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Mangoes in mali: Changing lives and a nation's economy

On a spring day in southwest Mali, a group of Malian women holding corners of a blue and turquoise cloth turn their heads to the sky. In seconds, the green mangoes that hang from the tree branches above will be prodded by a stick, knocking them into the colorful cloth. Anyone who has tried a Maliamore

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UNDP-IKEA partnership helps women change rules in India

For most of her life, Shiela Devi had few options. Growing up in an impoverished village in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, she ate her brothers' leftovers, did chores at home while they went to school, and married at age 15. At 35, Shiela was completely illiterate, had no source of income,more

UNDP's Annual Report
New Partnerships for Development

Our 2013-2014 Annual Report spotlights results from actions across core dimensions of development, from jobs and food security, to well-run elections, to crisis recovery, to the management of finite natural resources.

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