UNDP

Women in a sewing workshop

Nafasova Mukaddas is helping to create a sustainable future, literally, one stitch at a time. She has been involved in sewing clothes for the past five years, and her services are in great demand as the next-closest seamstress is 37 kilometres away. She and her husband were able to access small grants through the UNDP-supported, GEF-financed project. The project operates with the understanding that to protect significant biodiversity across the country, work to support local communities is a necessity.

diver harvesting seaweed

For the past thirty years, the Small Grants Programme (SGP) has been providing financial and technical support to civil society and community-based organizations on innovative community-driven initiatives that address global environmental issues – such as biodiversity loss, climate change mitigation and adaptation, land degradation, international waters, and chemicals and waste management – while improving livelihoods. SGP was sparked by the idea that the active participation of local communities in dealing with critical environmental problems holds the key to promoting effective stewardship of the environment and achieving sustainable development. Mariko Wallen harvests seaweed on her and Louis Godfrey's farm in Placencia, Belize.

wind turbines on the ocean

Ahead of the UN Ocean Conference, UNDP checks in with the Special Envoy for the Ocean, who reminds us: “No healthy planet without a healthy ocean, and the ocean’s health is measurably in decline.”

Aerial view of a small uninhabited island with beaches and vegetation

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) don't have the luxury of time. They are on the frontlines of climate change, feeling the impacts first and most severely, even though they contribute less than 1 percent of global carbon emissions. Many SIDS have made strong political commitments to net-zero carbon emissions and a climate-resilient future. Against this background, Rising Up for SIDS, UNDP’s integrated SIDS offer, aims to respond to their most pressing needs, building resilience through climate action, boosting the blue economy and accelerating digital transformation.

planting in sand dunes

Nature-based solutions like habitat restoration, reforestation, coastal protection and invasive species removal create jobs at over 10 times the rate of fossil fuels.

The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet's oxygen, it is home to most of Earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein and nutrition for more than 3 billion people. Despite all of this, the ocean is at risk, facing a multidimensional crisis driven by overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. UNDP cautions this is time for action.

Two fire fighters shoot water on a burning building from the ground.

24 February 2022 marked a devastating day for the people of Ukraine – and the world. Despite the chaos of war, the country’s State Emergency Service immediately sprang into action, with over 70,000 personnel helping to rescue people from under rubble and from fires caused by daily shelling and evacuating people to safer locations. UNDP quickly transitioned to help meet emergency needs – by contributing protection and firefighting equipment, generators for emergency power, food supplies and specialized tools for removing debris.

divers working on coral reef nursery

The southwest coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest and most populated island, is flanked by the country’s longest fringing reef system, affectionately known as the Coral Coast. Namada is one of four traditional villages in the Korolevu-i-Wai District that will benefit from the Investing in Coral Reefs and the Blue Economy programme. Partly funded by the Joint SDG Fund, the programme supports the customary fishing rights owners for the Korolevu-i-Wai/Koro-i-Nasau qoliqoli (community) to operate coral-reef-associated ecotourism attractions and activities to generate revenue to support the effective management, conservation, and sustainable use of the Locally Managed Marine Area (KiW/KiN LMMA), as well as help support the communal development needs of the community, while also offering them economic opportunities.

 

men carrying plant with roots

Tafo Mihaavo is the national network of local communities in Madagascar practicing customary natural resource management. Established in 2012, Tafo Mihaavo has more than 600 members who work in ecosystem safeguarding and restoration across 22 regions. Tafo Mihaavo has developed strategies on community natural resource management to enhance the legal recognition of local community rights. Indigenous peoples and local communities are environmental stewards of many of the world’s biodiversity and cultural hotspots. With the territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities accounting for approximately 32 per cent of ecologically intact global land, studies show that global biodiversity goals cannot be met without them.

a female deer and two young deer in the woods

Phayvieng Vongkhamheng was born at the end of the Laotian wet monsoon season in 1984. From a young age, Mr. Vongkhamheng had the impression that village life and wilderness intermingled symbiotically. Mr. Vongkhamheng is now the Assistant Project Manager for the ‘Sustainable Forest and Land Management in the Dry Dipterocarp Forest Ecosystems of Southern Lao PDR’. With UNDP support, the project has been promoting sustainable land and forest management in dry forest ecosystems and protection of critical wildlife habitats with its biodiversity.

girls and women walking along flooded land

Rich and healthy soils are the basis of all life on Earth. Yet up to 40 percent of the planet’s land is degraded, affecting half the world’s population. Especially at risk are people living in drylands – covering 45 percent of the Earth’s surface – which are prone to desertification and the devastating impacts of climate-related shocks such as disease, drought, flooding and wildfire. Around 12 million hectares of land are lost each year to degradation. UNDP and its partners are working towards a land degradation-neutral world, to support ecosystem functions and improve food security.

A building destroyed seen from a crack in a black foreground.

The war in Ukraine is inflicting immense human suffering and devastating communities. UNDP teams are on the ground, working in partnership with the Government of Ukraine to save lives and support relief efforts. But the needs are rapidly increasing. The government says at least US$100 billion of buildings, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools have been destroyed. The war has caused half the country’s businesses to shut completely, while the other half are struggling. A prolonged conflict could push nine out of 10 of Ukrainians into poverty or near poverty.

children in boats among houses on water

There are about 100 billion planets in our Milky Way galaxy, according to NASA. But other than Earth, few, if any, have the conditions necessary to support human life. It’s taken billions of years of transformation for Earth to reach conditions that are just right, including a stable climate that is not too cold and not too hot. Its magical features include liquid water and an atmosphere full of oxygen that allow our complex biosphere to flourish. A home looks different from one culture and geographic location to another, but we all share the same ocean, air and climate.

A woman sits in front of her computer with a map of Ukraine on the wall behind her

Resilience among ordinary Ukrainians is remarkable but if the war goes on much longer, it threatens 20 years of development gains, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), has warned. From Lviv in western Ukraine, here’s Manal Fouani, UNDP lead in the country, describing to UN News’s Daniel Johnson the many and varied challenges that the country faces, seven weeks since the Russian invasion began.

Squiggly lines of different colours represent profiles of people.

COVID-19 provided a convenient excuse for bigotry as the world witnessed xenophobic attacks against people of Asian descent. At the same time, racial and ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups suffered the greatest harm from the pandemic, due to higher infection rates and deeper economic distress. The recovery also has been marred by an imbalance of power that has left poor countries unable to vaccinate their populations. Therefore, UNDP puts great focus on ending inequality and exclusion.