Latest Highlights/News

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


This event, moderated by Midori Paxton, UNDP, discussed the BES-Net web portal as a capacity-building “network of networks” that promotes dialogue in the science, policy and practice communities for more effective management of biodiversity and ecosystem services, contributing to long-term human wellbeing and sustainable development.

Paxton said the portal is an online networking, learning and collaboration platform for policymakers, scientists, knowledge holders and practitioners.

Solène Le Doze, UNDP, identified key features of BES-Net, including: an online forum to share best practice on thematic areas; a “trialogues” feature bringing together scientists, policymakers and practitioners; and updated newsletters highlighting partnerships.

David Duthie, UNDP Consultant, presented BES-Net as “a community of collaborative curators” to navigate information on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Maria Schultz, Director, SwedBio at Stockholm Resilience Centre, underscored the role of the portal in supporting the capacity-building needs of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) community as well as for practitioner communities.

Maria van Berlekom, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), highlighted the value-added role of the BES-Net web portal in terms of its simplicity, relevant topics, and the series of services and tools it provides in offering a range of entry points for people to engage in biodiversity and ecosystem service knowledge.

Elsa Nickel, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Germany, said the BES-Net “trialogues” will have a three-fold impact in the management of biodiversity of ecosystem services in terms of: providing information on the global thematic assessments of IPBES; disseminating the findings of completed IPBES assessments; and facilitating dialogue between scientists, policymakers and practitioners on specific policy actions for implementation.

Tone Solhaug, Ministry of Environment, Norway, said the BES-Net web portal would help the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) community to understand “who to approach” and “where to get what” for biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Erie Tamale, CBD Secretariat, underlined the role that the Portal plays in supporting Bio-Bridge Initiative (BBI) to promote technical and scientific collaboration on biodiversity-related technologies and specialized know-how, which is often lacking in developing countries.

Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary, IPBES, stressed that the BES-Net web portal is a way to “strengthen and amplify” the work of IPBES, especially in terms of capacity building, and noted that the “trialogues” serve as a way to increase uptake of IPBES reports.

Tanya Abrahamse, South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), identified the capacity-building role of the BES-Net web portal as a “two way process” for sharing knowledge and expertise on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Onno van den Heuvel, UNDP, described the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) as a global programme to develop new methodologies for biodiversity finance. He noted that BIOFIN will offer a separate module on the BES-Net web portal to support countries seeking information on biodiversity finance.

In the discussion, participants identified the importance of incorporating a multilingual dimension to the portal for non-English speaking users.


This article was extracted from Issue No. 5 (Saturday, 10 December 2016) of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS), a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). To read the full issue, click here.


We are delighted to announce that the BES-Net web-portal will be formally launched during the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 13), on 9 December 2016 at 13:15 in Cancun, Mexico. More detail to come!

In the meantime, we are inviting all our network members to register on the BES-Net web-portal, to become an active member of the global BES-Net community that counts 85 organisations working in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services and more than 90 international experts standing ready to respond to questions from users.


Click here for a consolidated list of UNDP events during the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 13).


An ‘Inventory of Tools and Methodologies relevant for Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) Practitioners’ has been developed as part of the IKI funded global projects Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA): Strengthening the evidence and informing policy, implemented by IIED, IUCN and UNEP-WCMC, and Mainstreaming Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA): Strengthening EbA in planning and decision making processes, implemented by GIZ.  Both projects aim to show climate change policy-makers when and why EbA is effective - the conditions under which it works, and the benefits, costs and limitations of natural systems approaches - and to promote the better integration of EbA principles into policy and planning.

The Inventory serves two purposes:

  1. To provide a baseline for the development of a toolkit/tool to support EbA planning and/or implementation, by outlining existing tools and their utility, in order to identify any important gaps where the project can make a contribution; and
  2. To provide a basis for documenting experiences with existing EbA tools and methodologies.

The Inventory consists of two independent parts: (i) a database of existing EbA Tools and Methodologies; and (ii) a questionnaire to collect information on experience using these tools and methods.

 IIED, IUCN, GIZ and UNEP-WCMC are sharing the current draft of the inventory in order to:

  1. Gather information about tools and methodologies useful for EbA that are currently not listed in the Inventory;
  2. Gather user experiences of different tools and methodologies useful for EbA; and
  3. Gain feedback on overall perceived gaps in tools and methodologies useful for EbA.

They would be grateful if you could take the time to review the Inventory and provide them with information relating to the above, by the 30th December. Please email your feedback, or indeed any questions about the Inventory, to Alternatively, you can join the discussion on BES-Net's EbA Forum.

On Wednesday, 16 November, 2016 at 8am EST, BIOFIN and the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP) will host a finance solutions webinar entitled: "Are biodiversity offsets an option for BIOFIN Finance Plans?" The webinar will comprise: a detailed presentation on what is a biodiversity offset, followed by a short description of the situation in the US and a presentation by a BIOFIN country. An interactive Q&A session will follow the presentation to discuss questions and challenges.

This webinar is an excellent chance for BIOFIN countries to assess the possible implementation of biodiversity offsets in the country and if the solution can be included in the Biodiversity Finance Plan. For more information and/or to register, visit:


On November 7th, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) will be launching a free online course (MOOC) on the impacts of climate change in Latin America. The MOOC will be launched at COP-22, at the IAI-ICSU side-event and IAI booth.

This low-budget project was developed in collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias teaches one of the modules), the UN Secretariat of the UNFCCC (with an introduction by former Executive Secretary) and was co-funded by the Development Bank for Latin America (CAF). The MOOC is taught in Spanish by 21 Latin American scientists and targeted to a broader audience - the goal is to raise awareness and communicate knowledge while promoting the Sustainable Development Goals #4, #13 and #17.

For more information and/or to register, visit the IAI MOOC website: