Ecosystems and biodiversity

Using Drones to Fight Risks from Climate Change

26 Jan 2017 by Sanny Jegillos, Senior Advisor, Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDP BRH

My agency’s strong focus on innovation in the Asia-Pacific region, has resulted in some really interesting and out of the box initiatives. … Read more

UNDP Awarded the Royal Oder of Sahametrei

10 Jan 2017 by Ms. Hing Phearanich, UNDP Cambodia’s Policy Analyst

UNDP Awarded the Royal Oder of Sahametrei
UNDP was awarded the Royal Order of Sahametrei, Tepidin Class (Commander of the Order) from the Royal Government of Cambodia for its major effort to the country’s environmental conservation and protection. The Order was founded by the late King Norodom Sihanouk in 1948. It is the highest ranking medal conferred to foreigners for their distinguished service to Cambodia. … Read more

From gut bacteria to the Blue Whale, biodiversity is our strongest ally for a sustainable future

20 May 2016 by Midori Paxton

Cartoon: Reddit Media
As a species we have achieved many things – good and bad. Music, art, poetry, wine, many methods of warfare, cars, the internet, and a variety of extraordinary civilizations. But the reality is that all these achievements have happened within our home – a living planet. … Read more

If the oceans were a country…

04 Jun 2015 by Johan Robinson

If the oceans were a country it would have the seventh largest economy in the world – larger than Brazil’s or Russia’s. UNDP Photo
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care. We are being encouraged to dream of a better world and to make pledges to fulfill that dream. I like this. As a person who grew up on the coast of South Africa, I have a big dream: a healthy ocean that supports lives on Planet Earth. Why choose the ocean from among the myriad of environmental issues that plague us, you might ask? Because the ocean is the basic building block that makes all life on Earth possible. All life, the human race included, depends on healthy oceans. As the legendary marine biologist Sylvia Earle once remarked: ‘With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.” The ocean environment is unquestionably linked to human life. The World Wildlife Fund recently estimated that the total asset base of the ocean is valued at US$ 24 trillion, and the annual gross marine product (GMP) is at least US$ 2.5 trillion. To make that real, imagine that we gave every person alive in the world today US$350 every year; we’d still have … Read more

‘Not everything that counts can be counted…’

22 May 2015 by Midori Paxton

Few nations, if any, keep records of the vast array of ecosystem services and biodiversity assets. UNDP Photo
‘And not everything that can be counted counts.’ So goes the oft-quoted adage by Albert Einstein. Wise words no doubt and, despite their overuse, I make no apology for repeating them. Indeed every time I hear them, either verbatim, or paraphrased, as someone working to conserve ecosystems and biodiversity, I feel encouraged. So often, they apply to our work, to the multitude of threats that have been wrecking the natural world driven by dollars rather than sense and, most importantly to the many potential solutions that lie within our reach. Here is another quote. Rather less celebrated. Never before in print, in fact. It came from the lips of a friend, watching something small and furry, and fearing the worst upon its discovery in her lavender beds.  “What a precious vole!” she said, caring, delighted surprise all too apparent both in her face and voice. While scientists might deride the emotion when used to describe a species, we’d still agree with “precious” as appropriate, given that in terms of food chains and ecological balance, the vole is an essential piece in the complex jigsaw that comprises a viable ecosystem.  Other people might see nothing particularly precious, at all. The UNDP, practically … Read more

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