Our Perspective

'Later' is no longer in our dictionary

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The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI), which was supported by UNDP, World Bank and GEF, established a sustainable regime for harvesting wildflowers on 30,000 hectares of land, thereby maintaining natural habitat. Employment for certified flower pickers and packers doubled within three years. Photo: FLOWER VALLEY CONSERVATION TRUST/SLINGSHOT MEDIA

When I talk about the snow leopards of Central Asia, I no longer give the Latin name, but describe them as the symbol of sustainable development for remote mountain communities. My peers are now development practitioners and my heart still skips a beat at the sight of a wild flower.... Read more

Making conservation count towards jobs and livelihoods

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Community members get on-site training in wildlife protection in Tmatboey, Canbodia. Photo: Sok Sony/WCS

If we are going to preserve global biodiversity, protected areas must make sense to the millions around the world, who rely on natural resources for their livelihoods. This is one of the key messages we have heard emerging this week from the World Parks Congress – a landmark global meeting – convened every 10 years to determine the future direction of the conservation agenda. ... Read more

Nature? Who cares?

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At the top of Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town, South Africa, there is one of the most remarkable flowers you’ll ever see. Jamison Ervin / UNDP

We cut down the mangroves that provide habitat for the fish that feed our families, in order to make way for a resort hotel. Or we drain the wetland that protects our cities from floods, in order to put up a shopping mall. And we accept this as the cost of development.... Read more

Growth at the cost of life’s diversity? That’s bad economics.

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If economic growth is achieved at the expense of the natural capital of a country, that is not development. Photo: UNDP India

If economic growth makes people suffer (and consequently be worse off), sanity decrees that it is not development. It is for sure not sustainable, inclusive and equitable development. ... Read more

The Sydney World Parks Congress Shapes the Future We Need

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Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve (SNNR), in Qinghai Province, China, holds the headwaters of the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong Rivers and tributaries that supply water to billions of people downstream. Marc Foggin

Solutions to problems is exactly what UNDP is bringing to the World Parks Congress.... Read more