“Any threat to our environment is a threat to our health, our society, our ecosystems, our economy, our security, our well-being, and our very survival,” says a ministerial declaration of the United Nations Environment Assembly.
Particularly memorable meals and favorite dishes evoke happy moments, remind us of our childhood with their smells and flavors, or transport us to places we have never been before.
That happiness is the reason why Carmen Rodríguez gets up in the morning. A plate of colourful beans, cooked yellow yams, and a good coffee give her the energy to grow her crops in an isolated group of small mountains in the Caribbean region of Colombia known as Montes de María.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing us to think deeply about human beings’ relationship with the natural world on which we all depend for our survival.
Across South Africa, the COVID-19 induced national lockdown measures have had an immediate and dramatic impact. Since March 27, there has been a total border closure and non-essential workers have been asked to stay at home in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
"Protecting nature makes me very happy in life," says Victorin Laboudallon. "We need to protect it as much as we can, so future generations can enjoy it like I did when I was a kid."
Victorin Laboudallon, frequently considered the 'Father of Seychelles Conservation,' established the Terrestrial Restoration Action Society of Seychelles (TRASS) in 2010.
Mother Nature has provided us with all the tools we need to protect humanity from the violent and life-threatening spread of viral pandemics, rising seas, extreme weather, spiking temperatures, degraded habitats, uncontrolled wildfires, and other catastrophes built from the sheer avarice of the human race.
If only we would listen.
One of the best tools is the very ecosystems we are destroying. With decades of experience in the field, UNDP is now bringing some of the world’s pioneering ecosystem-based climate change adaptation actions to scale.
As consumer demand for wild caught seafood continues to grow, so do the pressures that lead to overfishing and collapses of global fisheries. To help overfished stocks recover, as well as to safeguard those that are still within sustainable harvesting limits, both the private and public sectors have important roles to play.
Water, essential to all life, plays a particularly important role in the lives of Tanzanians living near Mbarali River, part of the larger Rufiji River basin in southern Tanzania.
Here, farmers use water from the river to irrigate their crops. Cattle herders guide their animals to its banks to drink and graze. Fishers make a living catching fish from its waters. Still others use it as a place to wash laundry or quench their thirst.
The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in the Mexican state of Michoacán is known around the world for an extraordinary migratory phenomenon. Each autumn millions of butterflies arrive here from the United States and Canada.
While they spend the winter in the reserve they present a glorious sight — the bright orange insects cluster together for warmth on pine and oyamel trees and the branches sag under their weight.
UNDP-supported climate information and early warning systems projects have reached 9.6 million people in the past 12 years. As we celebrate World Meteorological Day, we explore the power of information to supercharge progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.
Information is power. Information can save lives. Information is the most important tool in our global efforts to address the climate crisis.