UNEP

a ranger in Kenya looks at evidence of poaching

For ten years, Dixon Parmuya has guided tourists on bush walks around Amboseli National Park in Southern Kenya. But since COVID-19 swept through Kenya in mid-March, the country’s tourism industry has dwindled, leaving many locals without jobs and animals without protection. Most of Kenya’s programmes to protect wildlife are funded directly by tourist dollars and with visitor numbers down, money for conservation is drying up, say experts. In Africa, UNEP is working closely with governments and partners to encourage wildlife-based economies – where local communities are central to protecting the wildlife areas they inhabit, for mutual benefit of both. 

School of fish swim along seagrass.

Join UNEP’s Wild for Life virtual, immersive journey through three unique but connected marine ecosystems – mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs – that are threatened by human activity.

Close-up of two tigers

Vanishing Treasures, the UNEP partnership with the Bhutan Tiger Center aims at understanding the impact of climate change on globally endangered tigers, local communities and human-tiger conflicts.

An orangutan holds a half-eaten fruit.

New programme aims to save threatened Indonesian forests

calves in yard

The low retail cost of industrialized food can obscure its very high environmental price tag. Here are 10 things to know about industrial farming.

A woman tends to her vegetable stand at a market.

Food systems are essential to economic activity because they provide the energy that we need to live and work. United Nations agencies like UNEP, collectively, suggest rebuilding of economies after the COVID-19 crisis while transforming the global food system and make it resilient to future shocks, ensuring environmentally sustainable and healthy nutrition for all. Cracks in the global food system’s facade have long been apparent, resulting in 2020 as a year of reckoning.

A woman chops meat in an open air market.

Ebola, SARS, Zika, HIV/AIDS, West Nile fever and now COVID-19 – some of the highest-profile diseases to emerge in the last several decades. And while they emerged in different parts of the world, their common thread is that they jumped between animals and humans. They are what scientists call “zoonotic diseases”. Now, a scientific assessment led by UNEP finds that unless countries take dramatic steps to curb zoonotic contagions, global outbreaks like COVID-19 will become more common.

A UNEP partner has rescued sloths for more than a decade.

Habitat loss and fragmentation is a major threat to sloths. In Panama, a biodiverse country, a UNEP partner has rescued sloths for more than a decade.

green monkey

The 60,000-plus green monkeys of St. Kitts and Nevis are a quintessential part of the Caribbean experience for many visitors, but they are putting pressure on native species.

herder in the desert

COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it jumps between animals and people, and is therefore closely connected to the lands both inhabit. Human and economic activity is eroding wild spaces, forests and other important ecosystems, bringing us closer to “reservoir hosts”—animals and plants that can harbour diseases. In this interview, Frank Turyatunga, Deputy Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Africa Regional Office shares insights on how to better protect landscapes on the continent.

From countries taking action on policy issues to people raising their voices #ForNature, UNEP shows how World Environment Day was a major 2020 milestone featuring how biodiversity provides critical services for all of use.

Palancar Reef - Cozumel.

The task is to create a short video about why the world needs to urgently support greater ocean protection and climate action. Participate at Save the Ocean Creative Challenge

Silhouette of a man among trees.

Urgent action is needed to safeguard the biodiversity of the world’s forests amid alarming rates of deforestation and degradation, according to The State of the World’s Forests. The report, produced by FAO and UNEP, shows that conservation of the world’s biodiversity is dependent on the way we interact with the world’s forests. The COVID-19 crisis has thrown into focus the importance of sustainably using nature and recognizing the link between the ecosystem’s and people’s health.

Close-up of a bee on a flower.

UNEP reports on chronic bee paralysis, a viral disease of honeybees. It can cause rare, but severe, symptoms, including colony loss. Trade in honeybees has increased its prevalence.

A celebration of the incredible biodiversity in the national parks of Colombia, the host of World Environment Day 2020. Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, home to over 51,000 species.