Sustainable development

UNDP helps countries to simultaneously reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development that leads to transformational change, bringing about real improvements in people’s lives.

We promote an integrated approach to achieve sustainable development that tackles the connected issues of multidimensional poverty, inequality and exclusion, and sustainability, while enhancing knowledge, skills and production technologies to reduce risks and sustain development gains.

We help countries build their capacity to integrate environmental considerations into development plans and strategies, including through managing and sustainably using natural resources; ensuring that natural wealth is used to improve people’s lives; promoting economic recovery and livelihoods, and better targeting policies and social protection for those in need.

Our goal

Our goal is to strengthen capabilities and opportunities to reduce poverty and marginalization – focusing on the most vulnerable and excluded population groups – in ways that are sustainable from economic, social and environmental standpoints.

Thanks to an innovative public lighting project, these students in Fezna, Morocco feel safe on their way back from school. UNDP supported the installation of advanced solar power systems in isolated desert towns as part of the country’s new ‘sustainable oases’ programme.

At UNDP, we encourage a shift to sustainability, where economic growth benefits poor and marginalized groups, and avoids irreversible environmental damage. Over the past four years, we mobilized nearly

US$2 billion in funding for sustainable development.more

Our stories

  • Bringing the land to life
    Mar 3, 2017

    For transhumant pastoralists in Kenya, sustainable land management is a comprehensive approach to address land degradation, with benefits for both the environment and the people who depend on it.

  • Heaven on earth
    Feb 7, 2017

    Mauritius is home to some of the most unique, rare and threatened animals and plants on the planet. Dedicated individuals and organizations have been working tirelessly to save these precious jewels for several decades.

  • Small island, big results
    Jan 31, 2017

    The Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago extends along the central northern coastline of Cuba for 465 kms, from Punta Hicacos in the west, to Nuevitas Bay in the east. This ecosystem is a treasure trove of remarkable biological wealth that is among the richest in Cuba and the wider Caribbean.

  • Communities come together to protect water and biodiversity in Colombia
    Jan 27, 2017

    Working with community members and the local government, a UNDP project assesses vulnerability to climate change and proposes adaptation measures based on conservation of the ecosystems that ensure the water supply. The project seeks to expand and preserve the natural wealth of this site and improve the living conditions and economic well-being of local families.

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Programmes and initiatives

  • Ebola Crisis in West Africa

    If the outbreak is not contained soon, most of the economic and social gains achieved since peace was restored in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea’s democratic transition began could be reversed.more 

  • Responding to the crisis in Gaza

    By the end of August, more than 475,000 people had been displaced from their homes, unable to return to their destroyed neighbourhoods. The situation in Gaza is unusual as restrictions imposed on the territory’s borders have made it difficult for residents to flee to neighbouring countries.more 

  • Responding to the crisis in Syria

    Four years into the conflict in Syria, close to 60 percent of the population is either internally displaced or has fled the country. The fighting has now drastically rolled back the region’s human development achievements —perhaps by decades.more 

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