UN in Action

The United Nations is striving to help the global community combat climate change from helping farmers reduce their emissions from cattle to implementing renewable energy projects in developing countries. Learn about specific UN initiatives and projects on the ground.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD): UNEP, UNDP, FAO

REDD attempts to create financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. It is predicted that financial flows for greenhouse gas emission reductions from REDD could reach up to US$30 billion a year. This significant flow of funds could reward a meaningful reduction of carbon emissions and support new, pro-poor development, help conserve biodiversity and secure vital ecosystem services. The programme currently supports activities in 46 partner countries, spanning Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America.

Approximately 50 per cent of Bolivia is covered by forests, but an estimated 330,000 hectares of forests are lost every year. The Bolivian government has been carrying out efforts to improve development strategies, plans and regulations within the environment and forestry sectors. The UN-REDD National Programme in Bolivia is supporting the country in its efforts to achieve national REDD readiness, in coordination with the FCPF and the German Development Cooperation. Budget: $4.7 million.

Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA): FAO

Ultimately, it is the world’s farmers who will have the largest role to play in making agriculture both climate-smart and more productive. If climate-smart agricultural practices are to take hold, they must be seen by farmers as providing benefits such as, improved productivity, better livelihoods, and greater adaptability to environmental and economic change.

The MICCA Programme works to make agriculture more climate-smart and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in developing countries and to enable these farmers to contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change.

In Kenya, the MICCA pilot project team is working with smallholder dairy producers in the Rift Valley. Using a life cycle analysis and other approaches, the project team will propose and test technical alternatives for reducing the climate change footprint of the dairy industry.

Equator Initiative: UNDP

Equator Prize

The Equator Initiative works on three main action areas: 1) The Equator Prize is awarded every two years to recognize and local sustainable development solutions and honor them on an international stage. 2) Equator Dialogues are an ongoing series of community-driven meetings and exchanges to share experiences and knowledge.  3) Equator Knowledge is a research, documentation and learning program focused on local best practice in sustainable development.

Centro Alexander von Humboldt operates in one of the driest regions of Nicaragua and one of the areas most susceptible to natural disasters: hurricanes, severe droughts and fresh water shortages. The organization provides local communities with training in sustainable water management and has drilled more than 40 fresh water wells and repaired 35 community water systems.

Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program: UNDP

The Small Grants Program (SGP) provides financial and technical support to community projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods. The programme provides grants of up to $50,000 directly to local communities including indigenous people, community-based organizations and other non-governmental groups for projects in Biodiversity, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Land Degradation and Sustainable Forest Management, International Waters and Chemicals. Watch videos on the SGP’s work.

The local project team at the Jamaica Maritime Institute

The SGP has implemented 2,946 projects since 1992 to help communities actively cope with impacts of climate change. The SGP and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) have provided funding to the Jamaica Maritime Institute Trust Fund (JMITF) the project titled “Establishing the Caribbean Maritime Institute as a Learning Centre for Renewable Energy, Producing Wind Energy/Potable Drinking Water”. At the Renewable Energy Center, sea water gets desalinated to fresh water, and rainwater as well as brackish water is purified for potable supply. Renewable energy sources such as slow speed wind generators is used to power these processes and solar energy is harnessed to bag the purified water.

Climate Investment Fund: World Bank

The Climate Investment Funds are made up of four funding windows to help developing countries pilot low-emissions and climate-resilient development. With CIF support, 48 developing countries are piloting transformations in clean technology, sustainable management of forests, increased energy access through renewable energy, and climate-resilient development.

Financing from the Clean Technology Fund is helping the Middle East North Africa region achieve its goal of generating 1 gigawatt of concentrated solar power, Indonesia increase geothermal capacity by 50 per cent, and India lower carbon intensity and enhance long-term energy security through a series of energy investments.