Human life depends on the earth as much as the ocean for our sustenance and livelihoods. Plant life provides 80 percent of our human diet, and we rely on agriculture as an important economic resource and means of development. Forests account for 30 percent of the Earth’s surface, providing vital habitats for millions of species and important sources for clean air and water; as well as being crucial for combating climate change.
Today we are seeing unprecedented land degradation, and the loss of arable land at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. Drought and desertification is also on the rise each year, amounting to the loss of 12 million hectares and affects poor communities globally. Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 percent are extinct and 22 percent are at risk of extinction.
The SDGs aim to conserve and restore the use of terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, drylands and mountains by 2020. Halting deforestation is also vital to mitigating the impact of climate change. Urgent action must be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which are part of our common heritage.
Goals in action
900 ISLANDS 6 provinces, 1 project: Enhancing clean & climate-resilient water systems in the Solomon Islands
"The people in Tuwo" - a beautiful island community on Fenualoa Island, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands – "didn't know much about what climate change is, they thought a supernatural force was eating their coastline." MORE >
We are happy to announce the premier of our new documentary "Driving The Change". It's about the challenging journey of a remote community in Papua New Guinea, who - despite many difficulties - managed to bring economic development to its people, providing them with livelihood opportunities, water, electricity and many more. MORE >
The smell of diesel hangs in the air as the ‘iron buffalo’ tractor grumbles to life, breaking the serenity of the cool morning underneath the green forest canopy and signaling to the gathered villagers it is time to set off. The shopping trip has begun. ‘Shopping’, or community harvesting of non-timber forest products in the dry forests of Southern Lao PDR is a natural part of life for rural communities who have been coexisting with these dry forest for hundreds of years. MORE >
We can rediscover the beauty of our planet every day - if we just look in the right places. A smile around the corner, rice paddies that shimmer in endlessly varying shades of green, or a mountain range at the horizon. Lao PDR and Timor-Leste are two places to get inspired by the natural beauty of life, created and sustained by the simplest of elements, water. MORE >
Under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Programme, the Equator Initiative supports the work of local and indigenous communities in creating sustainable development solutions worldwide. They have found innovative ways to combat the effects of climate change, and the Equator Prize—awarded to 20 communities this year—recognizes these efforts. This short from Perspective Film Production highlights the work of six of the recipients. MORE >
Indonesia has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation. Efforts to slow down the loss of tree cover have included a moratorium on the clearing of certain primary forests and peatlands, but limited law enforcement capacity has hampered progress. MORE >
The UNDP has been working with the Government of Indonesia under the UN’s Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) scheme, funded by the Norwegian government, to tackle deforestation by improving livelihoods around the forests. MORE >
In the workshop, local conservation practitioners, such as Raquel and Donna, were trained on how to sustainably manage NLNP. Part of their work was to develop conservation and income-generating programs for their respective municipalities, which is part of Biodiversity Finance Initiative’s (BIOFIN) localization activities. MORE >
An effort by the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme to protect medicinal plants and natural forests in My Phuong commune, Bac Kan province. MORE >
In 2014, Vietnam produced 1.4M tons of coffee, which represents 15% of the world total production. Coffee is a strategic resource for Vietnam, worth an annual $1.5 billion and employing more than 1 million people in the country. However, this rapid development has made coffee a threat to its mother forest. MORE >
Poisonous chemicals aren’t common tools of the trade in most workplaces. But in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara, where independent gold mining is prevalent, workers are exposed to mercury every day. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia is supporting the elimination of mercury in unregulated mining operations. MORE >
To promote community benefits through sustainable use of genetic resources from Bhutan’s pristine biodiversity, UNDP, Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have joined hands to support the Access Benefit Sharing project. MORE >
At first glance, Dzedokha village in south-west Bhutan might not seem all that favorable for a lucrative industry. With 2,672 residents, this mountainous village is off the beaten track and is only accessible via a farm road, that too, mostly impassable during monsoon. MORE >