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Biodiversity and ecosystems management

Nature underpins the Sustainable Development Goals in a profound and indivisible way. Forests, for example, are the basis for water security for billions of people around the world, provide fuel and medicines for two out of five families, and sustain more than a billion livelihoods. Yet we are rapidly losing our natural capital. Two out of five hectares of land is degraded, and two billion people lack clean drinking water, in part due to ecosystem degradation.  Coral reefs are in crisis, and by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.  The World Economic Forum has consistently highlighted the loss of natural capital as a leading global risk, with cascading impacts of drought, famine, conflict, involuntary migration and natural disasters.

UNDP is proactively addressing biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation to maintain natural capital intact, through a large portfolio of over 300 projects in more than 140 countries. 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. The  GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) supports community-based actions in 125 countries.

UNDP’s work is directed by the  UNDP Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework and centres around six key thematic areas:

  • Mainstreaming biodiversity into development, fiscal planning, and production sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism, and mining, including increasing financing for nature.
  • Unlocking the potential of protected areas, including indigenous- and community-conserved areas, including strengthening wildlife and habitats management.
  • Managing and rehabilitating ecosystems for climate risk management, including ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation.
  • Sustainable land management to safeguard essential ecosystem services and towards achieving Land Degradation Neutrality.
  • Transforming the food and agricultural commodities systems to address multiple global challenges.
  • Sustain resilient forest ecosystems to benefit local economies, protect biodiversity, and address climate change.

We work in partnership with governments, communities and civil society groups at all levels; the CBD and UNCCD; the UNFCCC; the GEF; Green Climate Fund and donor partners; sister UN agencies; the World Bank and development banks; research and science organizations; and the private sector.

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UNDP Around the world