Digital for Nature


Digital for Nature

Reliable data and inclusive digital innovation is crucial for maintaining a planet where both people and ecosystems flourish

The Power of Digital

Digital technologies and data utilization have significant potential to accelerate green transition. The true power of digital lies in its capacity to transform our mindset, actions, and value creation, rather than merely improving optimisation and efficiency, which often means excelling in the wrong areas. At UNDP, we strive to channel digital technology to reshape our understanding of the nature-human interaction, unlock access and benefit sharing to environmental finance for those in greatest need, empower local entrepreneurs through innovative business models, and foster collaborations among citizens, scientists, businesses, and policy makers through democratised open data.

A Transformative Force

As per the UNDP Digital Strategy 2.0, our vision is to create a world in which digital is an empowering force for people and planet, taking a whole-of-society approach. We leverage digital technologies and data to assist policy makers in developing data-driven solutions for nature and sustainable development across the Nature Pledge, while mitigating the unintended negative impacts such as e-waste, higher greenhouse gas emission and misinformation. UNDP will support the green and digital transformation journeys of countries in the following three ways, through the Green and Digital Twin Transition Support Programme and Digital 4 Planet Portfolio.

  • Digital strategy and data policy support to the biodiversity sector

The true power of digital transformation lies in its ability to help change the way society value nature, leading to behavior change and new business models. UNDP will support the development and implementation of a digital strategy for the biodiversity sector, assisted by a whole-of-society Digital Readiness Assessments (DRAto support countries unleash the power of digital to better collect and utilize novel data, ensure transparency, monitor nature, and implement smart environmental management between national and local actors. 

  • Digital Public Infrastructure to unlock economic shift and green finance

Innovative nature financing mechanisms, such as the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) has the potential to scale up access to finance for local communities and farmers with robust digital systems and automation. Data standards, data sharing, and interoperable systems across the public and private sector can improve transparency, for example through private sector disclosure based on TFND, and farm-to-table traceability of commodities. 

  • Empower local actors to enable data-driven policy and practice 

To deliver change at scale on the ground, digital technologies support the Policy & Practice shift through data-driven decision-making, natural resource monitoring with novel data such as earth observation or citizen science, automation with Artificial Intelligence, large-scale community engagement, and knowledge sharing. This includes sourcing and scaling up existing digital solutions especially with a south-south cooperation angle through mechanisms such as Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) and Digital X.

Partnerships and Collaboration 

Partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaboration is key to harness the power of digital and to shape the direction of the technology toward environmental sustainability. In addition to working with various partners, including space agencies, technology companies and associations, UNDP is a co-champion of two multi-stakeholder coalitions on the intersection of digital and green, which are the Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODESand the Artificial Intelligence for the Planet Alliance (AI for the Planet) to support global level collaboration on this topic. 

Global initiatives

Digital on the ground