The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has unveiled a robust environmental strategy to address unprecedented levels of global biodiversity loss. The new strategy entitled “The Future We Want: Biodiversity and Ecosystems – Driving Sustainable Development”, was adopted during the Eleventh Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India and calls for a significant scaling up of investments in 100 countries by 2020.
As part of the plan, UNDP will work with national governments to protect biodiversity and manage ecosystems across 1.4 billion hectares of land and bodies of water, comparable to the area of Australia, India and Argentina combined.
UNDP's Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework 2012-2020 seeks to harness the positive opportunities provided by biodiversity and natural ecosystems, as a catalyst for sustainable development. It recognizes the real value of biodiversity and ecosystems to society in relation to secure livelihoods, food, water and health, enhanced resilience, conservation of threatened species and their habitats, and increased carbon storage and sequestration. It calls for innovation, drawing on the potential of nature, to achieve multiple development dividends.
The Framework seeks to leverage the organization’s status as a trusted partner of governments and its unique ability to link work on biodiversity and ecosystems with that on poverty reduction, governance, and crisis prevention through integrated programming.
Under this new strategy, UNDP will work with governments to find new ways to finance biodiversity management through domestic revenue, innovative financial mechanisms, and donor funding from a range of sources. This includes the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which serves as the financial mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity and has been a major driver for conservation in the past two decades. The funding will be used for projects which foster economic growth, create jobs, protect endangered species and habitats, and help build resilient communities that maintain natural areas for agricultural support and as a buffer against natural disasters such as droughts and floods.
The new UNDP strategy on biodiversity has three focus areas:
•Integrating biodiversity and ecosystem management into development planning and production sector activities;
•Unlocking the potential of protected areas so that they are better managed and financed, and can contribute to sustainable development; and
•Managing and rehabilitating ecosystems for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Braulio Dias, “The launch of UNDP’s new Framework is very timely. I believe it will be vital in guiding UNDP’s support to countries to speed up implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. We have a window of opportunity between now and 2020 to help countries shift the course of development to maintain and enhance their natural capital, and UNDP’s work will be crucial in this regard.”
UNDP manages the largest portfolio of biodiversity and ecosystems work in the UN system, with 512 projects in 146 countries, worth US$1.5 billion in funding from the GEF and other sources, and US$ 3.5 billion in co-financing from a range of partners.
For more information go to www.undp.org