Biodiversity and ecosystems management

One million species are threatened with extinction. This has a profound impact on countries’ and peoples’ efforts towards sustainable development. The sustainability, security, and resilience of our societies and economies depend on nature and nature’s services, and the natural capital upon which all life depends. The jobs and livelihoods of more than 4 billion people depend on healthy soils and pollinator species for farming, on intact coastal habitats for fisheries, and on healthy intact forest ecosystems for timber and non-timber products.  More than 75 per cent of humanity relies on healthy forests for drinking water, for their home energy needs, and for their primary medicines.  Click here for more information on our work to help countries build resilient forests.

Nature also underpins many economic sectors, including tourism, energy, and industrial processing, to name a few. Natural capital similarly serves as the foundation for national economies, accounting for as much as 50% of national wealth in low income countries.  In addition, nature plays a vital role in climate mitigation, resilience, and adaptation. Healthy forest, agroforestry, agricultural, coastal, grassland, and wetland ecosystems potentially provide more than a third of our climate mitigation solution. These systems also buffer us from the most intense impacts of climate change, enabling humanity to cope and adapt in times of drought, floods, and storms.

UNDP also supports an integrated approach to combat wildlife crime by supporting countries to diversify rural livelihoods, manage human-wildlife conflict, strengthen protected area management, share the benefits from sustainable wildlife management with local communities, and strengthen site-based and national enforcement responses.

UNDP is proactively addressing biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation through a large portfolio of approximately 300 projects in over 130 countries with US$ 1.5 billion in funding, from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other sources, and co-financing of over US$ 6 billion. 

These national projects are supported by a range of innovative and cross-cutting global programmes including: the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), the Lion’s Share Initiative,  and the Nature for Development Programme that encompasses the Equator Initiative, the NBSAP Forum and New York Declaration on Forest Secretariat, as well as the  Green Commodities Programme (GCP) and the  BES-Net Facility.

UNDP’s work is directed by the UNDP Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework to support countries in implementing the  Aichi Biodiversity Targets as well as the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework targets to be agreed in 2020 and advance the 2030 Agenda comprised of the following signature programmes;

  • Integrating biodiversity into development, fiscal planning, and production sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism, and mining.
  • Unlocking the potential of protected areas, including indigenous- and community-conserved areas.
  • Managing and rehabilitating ecosystems for climate risk management, including ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation.
  • Increasing financing for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management and decreasing negative investments and financial incentives.

We work in partnership 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 organisations, and the private sector.

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UNDP Around the world