UNDP Around the world

Biodiversity and ecosystems management

Kazakhstan protected areaToday, Kazakhstan’s wetlands are under threat. The current policy and legal frameworks have been inadequate to manage the growing demand for water, hampered by the lack of an integrated system of water resource management. Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

Demographic changes, overconsumption, and the use of technologies that damage the environment, combined with climate change, are pushing our planet to its limits. Biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are essential for improving and sustaining human wellbeing. The biodiversity losses we are now witnessing is diminishing the potential for sustainable development and undermining the very foundations of life on Earth. This is a challenge for us all, especially the 1.2 billion people living in severe poverty who depend directly on the biodiversity and ecosystem services to survive for food, clean water, fuel, medicine, shelter, and to buffer natural disasters intensified by climate change.

UNDP is responding to this challenge by supporting countries to manage their ecosystems and biodiversity, while tackling multidimensional poverty, inequality and exclusion, and promoting resilience and effective governance for sustainable development. As part of these efforts, UNDP has developed a Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework for 2012-2020 to implement the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and advance the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

UNDP’s biodiversity and ecosystems portfolio is the largest in the UN system, covering 132 countries and over 500 projects with US$ 1.5 billion in funding from the GEF and other sources, and co-financing of US$ 3.5 billion. UNDP also implements the GEF Small Grants Programme and Equator Initiative.   

UNDP helps countries secure livelihoods, food, water and health; enhance resilience; conserve threatened species and their habitats; and increase carbon storage and sequestration through a focus on:

  • Integrating biodiversity into development planning and production sectors, e.g. through UN-REDD and forest management, supply chain initiatives and green commodities, sustainable management of land and oceans, and biodiversity planning and finance.
  • Unlocking the potential of protected areas, including indigenous and community conserved areas; promoting community co-management and benefit sharing, and livelihoods based on sustainable use and ecotourism; and combating illegal wildlife trafficking.
  • Managing and rehabilitating ecosystems for climate risk management, including ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation.
    UNDP has developed three cross-cutting global programmes on: Biodiversity Policy through the NBSAP Forum; Finance through the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN); and Capacity through the BES-Net Facility.

UNDP has developed three cross-cutting global programmes on: Biodiversity Policy through the NBSAP Forum; Finance through the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN); and Capacity through the BES-Net Facility.

This work involves partnerships with governments; communities and civil society groups at all levels; the CBD and UNCCD; the UNFCCC; the GEF and donor partners; sister UN agencies, the World Bank and development banks; research and science organizations; and the private sector.