Latest Highlights/News

Biodiversity provides the essential foundations for our very existence, livelihoods, and prosperity. It provides us with clean water, air, soil, food, medicine, and resources for jobs and growth. It underpins global tourism – one of the world’s fastest growing industries with tremendous potential for contributing to sustainable, inclusive, and equitable development. Biodiversity enriches our lives and culture with its many surprises and breathtaking wildlife, instilling in us a sense of wonder, excitement, peace and happiness. We, of course, are a part of biodiversity, too, sharing this finite and astonishingly beautiful planet with all other species, great and small. 

Poetry, like literature, philosophy, music, design and all the creative arts, is often inspired by nature - landscapes, wildlife, and the natural world we live in. Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry that also takes nature as its focus. It is based on a system of three lines and a set syllable pattern. The first and last lines of a haiku have five syllables and the middle line has seven syllables. This 5-7-5 pattern provides a simple structure around which moving images can be woven together to reflect a common respect, admiration and love for all living things on our shared planet. This simplicity of haiku helps convey the profound beauty of the world around us.

UNDP, in cooperation with GEF and CBD have prepared a collection of haikus to help celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, 2017, and this year’s theme of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism. Download Inspired by nature: Celebrating biodiversity with Haikus here:

Here is a sample, written by Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Facility:

Once in a lifetime
Let nature inspire us all
We’ll rise up and act


Blue Solutions and GRID-Arendal partnered with The Nature Conservancy and the Reef Resilience Network to run a five-day training on Integrating Ecosystem Services into Coral Reef Policy and Management on March 5-10, 2017. Experts, managers and practitioners from different countries and agencies gathered in Kona, Hawaii to learn how to evaluate ecosystem services and communicate the benefits they provide to people, in order to guide sound decision making and effective management. The workshop included a field trip to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and Kiholo Bay, where participants applied their new skills to assess and value the ecosystem services these places provide.

Read more about this exciting training and Blue Solutions' Training Portfolio.


The Community of Practice on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EBA) invites you to participate in their regional contest on Demonstrating evidence of Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Cases in Latin America and the Caribbean.

UN Environment REGATTA and Practical Action are interested in documenting good examples of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in Latin America and the Caribbean, where implementing EbA technologies and practices contribute to adaptation to climate change. The objective of this contest is to document and disseminate successful stories on the implementation of EbA technologies and practices. Ten case studies will be selected to be included in the publication of the book: "Evidence on Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Cases in Latin America and the Caribbean."

Send your case study by 20th of April 2017. Click here for more details on the regional contest and application process, and for any questions please contact Dr. Lili Ilieva:


The BMUB-IKI funded global project "Mainstreaming EbA," implemented by GIZ, is currently carrying out a short (10 question) online survey seeking to collect information about applied methods for assessing and measuring EbA benefits (social, environmental, economic) delivered by ecosystem services, especially on storm damage protection, flood protection, drought control, control of landslides, waterflow regulation and water storage. The aim is to identify best practices and lessons learned that can serve to enhance future work to strengthen the ability of decision-makers to mainstream EbA into policy and planning processes.

GIZ is hoping to learn about studies which:

  • Assess, evaluate or measure the benefits and impacts of ecosystem based adaptation (EbA);
  • Compare or contrast EbA benefits and impacts with those of ‘grey’ adaptation infrastructure; and/or
  • Assess, evaluate or measure ecosystem services which relate to climate adaptation (e.g. watershed protection, drought mitigation, flood control, coastal protection, disaster-risk reduction, etc.).

These could be any type of study, for example: technical investigations, project planning or appraisal processes, advocacy or awareness campaigns, training and capacity building exercises, case studies or academic research. They might have been carried out by projects, international organisations, government agencies, NGOs, research institutes, universities, consultants or the private sector.

Results will be compiled as a publicly available sourcebook of EbA-relevant valuation methods but also feed into a toolbox of EbA-relevant methods being set up in coordination with the IIED/IUCN/UNEP-WCMC implemented project "Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA): Strengthening the evidence and informing policy."

Click here to participate in the survey.


The IPBES Expert Group on Scenarios and Models is conducting a survey to identify a variety of policy and management options that can promote biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people and human well-being. Respondents' input will be used both for a short term activity to improve existing scenarios and models for the global assessment and the fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook and for long-term activities for developing a new generation of IPBES scenarios in support of the work of IPBES and decision-makers at all levels. Click here to participate in the survey.


GBIF invites the submission of concept notes for project funding from sub-Saharan Africa through Biodiversity Information for Development (BID), a programme funded by the European Union. The deadline for submissions is 9 April 2017 at midnight CET/23:00 UTC/GMT.

The total potential funding assigned to this call is €400,000, and applicants successful in this round will receive invitations to submit full proposals in May 2017.

This call, like those that preceded it, seeks to support projects from sub-Saharan Africa that:

  • Mobilize biodiversity data relating to protected areas, threatened species, and invasive alien species
  • Use and extend best practices for digitizing natural history collections and mobilizing other biodiversity data
  • Apply biodiversity data in support of decision-making and research
  • Develop lasting national, regional or thematic networks to support ongoing data sharing and reuse

The call offers support for two grant types:

  • National grants that establish or strengthen national biodiversity information facilities and to increase the biodiversity data available about the country to respond to national priorities. Up to €40,000 will be made available per national grant.
  • Small grants that mobilize biodiversity data relevant for biodiversity conservation priorities, with a maximum funding of €20,000.

Application process and timeline:

  • A panel of international experts with experience in the region will evaluate applications through a competitive two-stage process.
  • Applicants must submit initial concept notes using the provided template by 9 April 2017.
  • Based on the panels’ recommendations, GBIF will invite a select group of applicants to prepare full proposals, expected to be due in July 2017.
  • Following the panel’s final review and selection, funded projects will start in October 2017. GBIF expects to announce these projects publicly by November 2017.

More information available online here.


The Equator Initiative partnership is pleased to announce the Equator Prize 2017 Call for Nominations!

The Equator Prize is awarded to outstanding community and indigenous initiatives that are advancing nature-based solutions for local sustainable development. Each winning group will receive USD 10,000 and will be invited to participate in a series of policy dialogues and special events during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2017, culminating in an award ceremony at the beginning of Climate Week.

For eligibility and selection criteria, please visit the Equator Initiative website at You can find the new nomination system at The call for nominations in 8 languages is downloadable here.
Please note that the nomination deadline is 8 March 2017. This is a shorter nomination period than in previous cycles of the award.
This year’s winners will feature innovative solutions related to protecting, restoring and/or sustainably managing nature to achieve local sustainable development, such as (but not limited to) food security, water security, sustainable jobs and livelihoods, and disaster risk reduction. Crosscutting issues include advocacy for land and water rights, social and environmental justice, and gender equality.
In celebration of its 15th anniversary, the Equator Initiative will launch a web portal of local nature-based solutions to sustainable development. The platform will serve to connect communities around the world and share local solutions that work, irrespective of whether they win the Equator Prize. Participation is optional when submitting nominations for the Equator Prize.
Please contact Martin Sommerschuh at with any questions.


We are excited to announce the launch of UNDP's Ecosystem and Biodiversity Newsletter!

This newsletter has been designed to highlight UNDP's work to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, improve lives and livelihoods, and build the strong institutions and strong nations needed to engineer a resilient and diverse future.

To read the first edition of the Ecosystem and Biodiversity Newsletter, click here.

Happy reading!


“Sud Expert Plantes Développement Durable” (SEP2D) is an IRD programme looking at supporting development and international cooperation in 22 tropical countries. It aims at promoting scientific research on plant biodiversity in the countries of the South, through partnerships with economic players, civil society and actors involved in policy.

Two calls for project are still active, APPEL 2 (OPP2) and APPEL 3 (PRP), with respective dealdines of 1 and 6 March 2017.


What if we could learn from each other’s success? The EbA Solution Portal fosters sharing of field-proven knowledge and experience on Ecosystem-based Adaptation in different regions and ecosystems around the globe. It shows that inspiring and replicable solutions can be found everywhere on this planet and that EbA or “green solutions” are a state-of-the-art-reply to climate change impacts and deliver a multitude of benefits for societies, economies and environment.

This new global exchange platform under the PANORAMA initiative was officially launched at CBD CoP 13 in Cancún (for ENB IISD coverage of the event, click here). Now the portal is open to connect practitioners and decision makers and to solution providers from all countries, sectors and levels to share their stories and learn how others tackled challenges across the globe. For further information, please contact Mathias Bertram at