10 Feb 2020 News Ecosystems and Biodiversity

2020 is a super year for nature and biodiversity

Nature-based solutions offer the best way to achieve human well-being, tackle climate change and protect our living planet. Yet nature is in crisis, as we are losing species at a rate 1,000 times greater than at any other time in recorded human history and one million species face extinction. In addition to important moments for decision makers, including the COP 15 on Biodiversity, the 2020 “super year” is a major opportunity to bring nature back from the brink.

All year we'll be highlighting updates from around the United Nations System, from partners and from others helping to to call attention to the fact that the future of humanity depends on action now.

03 Apr 2020 12:34

Coronaviruses: are they here to stay?

Photo by Cheng Feng/ Unsplash

In recent decades, zoonotic diseases–those transferred from animals to humans–have gained international attention. Ebola, avian influenza (or bird flu), H1N1 flu virus (or swine flu), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Rift Valley fever, sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), West Nile virus, the Zika virus­–and now, the novel coronavirus COVID-19–have all either caused or threatened to cause major pandemics, with thousands of deaths and billions in economic losses. Learn more

27 Mar 2020 08:42

Celebrate your love for the ocean, virtually

Photo by IYORBank CoralReefs/ TheOceanAgency
Photo by IYORBank CoralReefs/ TheOceanAgency

Remote diving is the new remote working.

Schools, events and activities in so much of the world have come to a standstill in the wake of COVID-19, with little or no movement recommended. But that does not mean we cannot still enjoy the world and mysteries that abound below and above its surface.

The Ocean Agency, a partner of the United Nations Environment Programme, is inviting parents and their little ones to experience the ocean and its astounding life forms from the comfort of their homes through a little armchair travel. Learn more

26 Mar 2020 04:00

Coronavirus: "Nature is sending us a message"

"Our immediate priority is to prevent the spread of #COVID19," said United Nations Environment Programme chief Inger Andersen on Twitter.

But in the long term, it's important to tackle habitat and biodiversity loss.

"Never before have so many opportunities existed for pathogens to pass from animals to people," she added.

Read the full article in the Guardian

25 Mar 2020 04:00

Water is one of our most precious natural resources

As explained in this video from Elizabeth Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, climate change is projected to change the availability, distribution and quality of water and have an impact on our health and food security.

While biodiversity needs water, biodiversity is critical to maintaining both the quality and quantity of water supplies, and plays a vital but often under-acknowledged role in the water cycle.

24 Mar 2020 04:00

Understanding origins of zoonotic diseases is important

Photo by Shutterstock
Photo by Shutterstock

As United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen said on Twitter "Understanding origins of zoonotic diseases is important."

This World Bank Blog post explores the links between wildlife and human health, and whether illegal trade in pangolins could be at the heart of the Novel Coronovirus COVID-19 pandemic.

23 Mar 2020 07:48

Online learning alert

UN Biodiversity

The United Nations Biodiversity Lab is an online platform that allows policymakers and other stakeholders to access global data layers, upload national datasets and analyse these datasets in combination to provide key information on the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets and on the nature-based Sustainable Development Goals .

A new training organized by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, will teach participants about global biodiversity-based uses of remote sensing.

Classes starts 24 March

This training is also available in French and Spanish.

17 Mar 2020 13:19

Pandemics and biodiversity loss

A new online post from the World Economic Forum looks at how the increasing frequency of disease outbreaks is linked to climate change and biodiversity loss.

It says that new technologies offer hope in the search for countermeasures—but protecting the natural world must play a part, too.

12 Mar 2020 12:04

Wildlife Crime

wildlife crime

On land and under water, nature is under threat because of poaching and overexploitation. Organized crime and corruption are among the many drivers of biodiversity loss. Addressing them requires targeted action and international cooperation.

Through its Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime works with 31 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, where biodiversity is under severe threat, to help curb trafficking, illegal exploitation of natural resources and corruption. It supports governments' efforts to manage these resources sustainably, to the continued benefit of local communities.

10 Mar 2020 08:39

Not all animals migrate by choice


A campaign raising awareness of the illegal wildlife trade organized by the office of the United Nations Environment Programme in India and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India has been honoured with an advertising award.

Images created in support of the WildforLife campaign feature four highly endangered species identified as being particularly vulnerable to international trafficking: tiger, pangolin, star tortoise and tokay gecko. They were chosen as they are highly endangered due to illegal trading in International markets.

Additional species will be feature in future phases.

05 Mar 2020 07:09

World Wildlife Day, on 3 March

Photo de groupe - Lancement coalition mondiale pour la biodiversité - 3 mars 2020  M. Dagnino - Institut océanographique de Monaco

On the occasion of World Wildlife Day, on 3 March, the European Commission and the Oceanographic Institute – Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation organized a high-level ceremony to celebrate the coalition of "World aquariums against plastic pollution" at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

The initiative celebrated the role of aquariums in raising public awareness about plastic pollution from exhibitions to debates to beach clean-ups to artistic displays. Many are also taking steps to eliminate all single-use plastic items.

In attendance was the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen, who said, "UNEP is honoured to be taking over the stewardship of this initiative. By tying it to our Clean Seas Campaign  we aim to marshal the political and public will needed to reverse course."

Full remarks: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/speech/when-stakes-are-high-sustaining-all-life-earth

03 Mar 2020 18:10

What are the main threats to conserving wildlife?


United Nations Environment Programme colleagues will take part in a World Wildlife Day Twitter chat on 3 March.

Accounts to follow include:

The questions and answers will start at 10:30 a.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. CET

Hashtags: #WildChat #WorldWildlifeDay

03 Mar 2020 13:57

Reef rider Journey


To raise the alarm on the plight of some of the most biodiverse places on Earth, coral reefs, the United Nations Environment Programme's #WildForLife and #GlowingGone campaigns joined forces on World Wildlife Day to launch a new online feature to help raise awareness for the value of this underwater ecosystem and the magnificent creatures that inhabit them.

The colour palette is inspired by coral fluorescing—the bright colours corals glow trying to protect themselves from ocean heatwaves—the ocean's ultimate warning sign.

Play the interactive game Reef Rider Journey and experience a coral reef through the eyes of a sea turtle to understand its unique role in maintaining nature’s balance.

26 Feb 2020 08:55

The world is gearing up to support World Wildlife Day on 3 March

The day helps call attention to the dizzying array of the planet’s wild species of animals and plants which make up the world’s biological diversity. The richness of species and ecosystems have sustained human civilization and development for millennia, from providing food and nourishment, material for handicraft and construction to the air we breathe and the medicines that save our lives. Yet, in spite of, or precisely because of, the perceived limitlessness of the nature and natural resources, their ability to sustain humankind and contribute to sustainable development is being severely impacted by unregulated, unscrupulous and poorly managed human activities.

Events around the globe are planned to celebrate wildlife as a component of biodiversity in its many beautiful and varied forms, to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people, the threats it is facing, and to highlight the urgent need for governments, civil society, private sector and individuals to add their voices and take actions to help conserve wildlife and ensure sustainable use before it’s too late.

Follow along on social media using the hashtag #WWD2020 and see: https://www.wildlifeday.org/sites/default/files/PDF/WWD2020_SocialMediaKit2.pdf

24 Feb 2020 14:37

Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Biodiversity in Rome

Representatives from over 140 countries are meeting in Rome this week to chart a path on safeguarding biodiversity.

The negotiations will culminate in the adoption of the #biodiversity2020 framework at #COP15 in October.

Website: https://cbd.int/conferences/post2020

Watch live: http://www.fao.org/webcast/home/en/item/5217/icode/140

Twitter: @UNBiodiversity: https://twitter.com/UNBiodiversity

Related document: https://www.cbd.int/conferences/post2020/wg2020-02/documents


21 Feb 2020 08:52

The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity


The MIDORI Prize, a biennial international prize co-organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, honours three individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Nominations are accepted through 30 March 2020 via the website of the AEON Environmental Foundation: www.aeon.info/ef/en/prize/

The MIDORI Prize award ceremony will be held in Tokyo in September 2020. The award winners will each receive a monetary prize of US$100,000.

Meet past prize winners: http://www.aeon.info/ef/en/prize/midori/winner/

19 Feb 2020 11:23

Bonn Convention Updates


Looking for updates from this month's meeting on the Convention on the Conservation of #MigratorySpecies of Wild Animals (also known as the Bonn Convention)?

Latest news is here: https://www.cms.int/newsroom/?title=cop13

This is the largest Convention on Migratory Species conference ever, with over 2,500 registered participants, including representatives of 111 of 130 convention parties, and nine additional governments.

17 Feb 2020 13:17



Everyone is invited to raise their #voicefortheplanet to call for a #newdealfornature. Nature is vital for our health, our livelihoods and our well-being. World Wildlife Fund and partners are calling for all to take action to put our planet on a path to recovery by 2030. www.voicefortheplanet.org #naturematters

14 Feb 2020 09:58

WWF and partners

This week WWF and partners released a new report looking at the global impacts of natural capital depletion

Global Futures Report

See it here: https://www.wwf.org.uk/globalfutures

The report “uses new economic and environmental modelling to calculate the costs of nature’s decline across 140 countries and all key industry sectors.”

12 Feb 2020 14:30

Bonn Convention

Bonn Convention

The secretariat of the Bonn Convention and their Indian hosts are looking forward to welcoming delegates to Gandhinagar and to deciding on new conservation measures for migratory species.

Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, explains why the stakes are high here: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/big-international-gathering-will-home-migratory-species

Get all the event details here: http://cms.int/cop13

Want to get updates on Twitter? Follow @BonnConvention and see: #CMSCop13

10 Feb 2020 13:37

Video message from Inger Anderson, Executive Director of UNEP

To kick off what’s being called “Super Year 2020,” United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen vows to embrace, acknowledge, integrate, and act for nature.

More information: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/video/2020-resolutions-nature