Natural Resources and the Environment

Beehive

For centuries, bees along with other pollinators, enable the production of an abundance of a wider variety and better quality of fruits, nuts and seeds, contributing to food security and nutrition. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity. This year, for World Bee Day (20 May), FAO calls to celebrate the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems in a virtual event.

Argan trees landscape

Argan Oil is widely famous for its culinary and cosmetic use. The Argania, a tree from Morocco, and its fruits support income generation -specially for rural women-, increases resilience, improves climate adaptation, and keeps a valuable cultural heritage. This year’s observance of the International Day of Argania aims to highlight the role of Argania in reinforcing resilient communities, adapting to climate change and empowering rural women. Resilience helps communities and ecosystems overcome hardships, build endurance to climate stress and find local solutions for sustainable development. 

Little plant growing in dry soil

The 15th of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) takes place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 9 to 20 May 2022. Leaders from around the world meet to drive progress in the future sustainable management of one of our most precious commodities: land. Drought, land restoration, and related enablers such as land rights, gender equality and youth empowerment are among the top items in the conference agenda.

Sir David Attenborough is the recipient of the Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to research, documentation, and advocacy for the protection of nature and its restoration.

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.

To honour and commemorate the impact of the late Kenyan environmentalist, who championed forest issues across the globe, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) launched the first Wangari Maathai Award in 2012. Maathai was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace in 2004. Her legacy lives on with the CPF Wangari Maathai Forest Champions.

Replacing more of the plastic things we use every day with wood-based products from sustainably managed forests can help combat climate change and achieve the SDGs. FAO reminds us how vital it is to consume and produce wood in a more environmentally friendly way for the planet and its inhabitants. Let’s protect this easily renewable resource with a sustainable management of forests. Choose sustainable wood for people and the planet.

For millions of people across the world, wood helps provide safe drinking water, food and shelter - but wood can do much more and is a renewable resource when forests are managed sustainably. Join FAO in celebrating the International Day of Forests on 21 March and choose sustainable wood for people and the planet.

A snorkeler measures corals with a ruler underwater.

UNEP calls for nominations for the Champions of the Earth Award - the UN’s highest environmental honour - to recognize outstanding leaders their transformative impact on the environment.

A forestry technician marking logs for firewood with red aerosol can paint

Forests are essential for planetary health and human well-being. They provide people with goods, as well as help combat climate change and protect ecosystems. Even though deforestation is slowing, “each year we still degrade and destroy some 10 million hectares of forest”, reports UN Chief, António Guterres. For this year’s International Day of Forest (21 March), choose wood from legal and sustainable sources to help reduce deforestation while providing people with jobs and renewable materials. Join FAO’s event to know how forest-based innovations can contribute to a sustainable lifestyle.

A pair of tree climbing lions

In recognition of Covid-19’s world-altering effects, The Lion’s Share, and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme (SGP), implemented by UNDP, made a call for proposals to support communities dependent on wildlife-based tourism.  Grants and the projects they’ve facilitated, have been working to build resilience in communities in wildlife-rich areas and support the continued protection of threatened wildlife in their remaining strongholds despite pandemic hardships.

In this video, the Oscar-winning filmmaker Luc Jaquet shares with us his passion for nature conservation, his love for the frozen landscape of Antartica, and how his life changed when he started filming the emblematic Emperor penguins. Luc Jaquet shares this intimate testament in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme and reminds us of the importance of tightening and conserving the links that bind human beings to nature.

Illustration of a swarm of desert locusts.

FAO monitors the global Desert Locust situation closely and provides early warnings and alerts on the timing, scale and location of invasions and breeding. This early warning is vital.

A pine cone on a tree

Encroachment upon forested lands is one of the main threats to natural forest in Pakistan. In realizing the need for practicing sustainable forest management, the SFM project was launched and implemented by the Pakistan Ministry of Climate Change. Working with multiple partners, UNDP supports efforts to sustain resilient forest ecosystems to benefit local economies, protect biodiversity and address climate change by providing technical assistance, policy advice, and governance support to developing countries.

A World Environment Day 2021 billboard at Times Square, New York, that reads "This is our moment"

2022 could prove to be a seminal year for the environment, with high-level events and conferences scheduled, which are hoped to re-energize international cooperation and collective action. UNEP is going into 2022 with a new “Medium-Term Strategy” featuring seven interlinked subprogrammes for action. Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are fuelling the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. Several global events in 2022 aim to encourage dialogue and influence policy decisions to address the triple crisis.