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Strengthening the national biodiversity strategies and action plans: revision and implementation

The present document is aimed at supporting and enhancing a better understanding of seven key biodiversity conventions, namely the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Convention on Migratory Species), the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention), the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the International Plant Protection Convention in the context of updating/revising/reviewing the NBSAPs and their subsequent implementation.

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Avoiding future famines: strengthening the ecological foundation of food security through sustainable food systems

The report provides detailed analysis of the many factors threatening the world’s food supplies and its ability to continue to generate calories and proteins in the 21st century. It also provides a series of forward-looking recommendations and remedies to the many grim scenarios that often accompany the food security debate.

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Barbados' green economy scoping study

The inclusion of green policy objectives in Barbados can be traced to the National Strategic Plan (2006-2025) and the Budget Speech of 2007. The process was given further impetus in 2009 when the then Prime Minister laid down the challenge of committing Barbados to become the “most environmentally advanced green country in Latin America and the Caribbean”. It was against this backdrop that the government engaged the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the establishment of a partnership to support the country’s transformation.

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Valuing plastic: the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry

The objective of this report is to help companies manage the opportunities and risks associated with plastic use. It articulates the business case for companies to improve their measurement, disclosure and management of plastic use in their designs, operations and supply chains. In order to provide a sense of scale, the report sets out to quantify the physical impacts of plastic use translated into monetary terms. This metric can be seen as the current value-at-risk to a company, should these external impacts be realised internally through mechanisms like strengthened regulation, loss of market share, or increased price of raw materials and energy. This metric can also be used to help understand the magnitude of the opportunities, and the tangible benefits to stakeholders, including shareholders, of using plastic in an environmentally sustainable way.

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Blue economy: sharing success stories to inspire change

Oceans are vital, not only to a wide array of biodiversity and ecosystems, but also to the food chains, livelihoods and climate regulation for a human population heading towards nine billion people. That is why this report shares stories that illustrate how economic indicators and development strategies can better reflect the true value of such wide spread benefits and potentially even build on them.

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Enhancing synergies across global biodiversity conventions: experiences from the global South

Over the past few years, UN Environment has led a multi-stakeholder process to identify options for enhancing synergies and cooperation among the global biodiversity conventions. To that effect, UN Environment organized a workshop on NBSAPs and synergies among Biodiversity Conventions held in Nairobi, Kenya from March 15-17, 2016. The workshop brought together national focal points, government representatives and biodiversity experts from countries the African, Caribbean, Latin America, Pacific regions as well as MEA Secretariats in an important, first-of-its-kind knowledge and experience sharing exercise. The select countries who participated in the workshop are all at various stages of the revision of their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) – a key instrument for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the national level.

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Water and sanitation interlinkages across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This UN-Water Analytical Brief analyses the central role of water and sanitation to describe the links and interdependencies between the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation and those of other Goals. It aims to stimulate United Nations Member States’ consideration of the water-related linkages within the Goals to facilitate an integrated approach to implementation. The Brief highlights the importance of mainstreaming water and sanitation in the policies and plans of other sectors, and how the management of interlinkages supports the social, economic and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Who will be accountable? Human rights and the post-2015 development agenda

This publication is intended to help fill some of the more pressing accountability gaps that impede the realization of global and national development goals. We approach this challenge from the perspective of human rights, as a universal normative and legally binding framework embodying the minimum requirements of a dignified life, encapsulating universal values that a post-2015 agreement should strive to prioritize and protect as well as essential features of a road map to take us there.

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Protecting people through nature: natural World Heritage sites as drivers of sustainable development

This Dalberg and WWF report shows that natural World Heritage sites support livelihoods for communities, and provide communities with vital protection against the impacts of climate change.

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Vulnerable marine ecosystems: processes and practices in the high seas

The management of bottom fisheries and the protection of ecosystems in the high seas have received increased attention at the international level during the last decade, and in particular subsequent to the passing of UNGA Res. 61/105 that called for actions by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations or Arrangements (RFMO/As) with the competence to regulate bottom fisheries to take actions by the end of 2008 to address issues relating deep-sea fisheries and vulnerable marine ecosystems. FAO developed, through a consultative process, the “International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-Sea Fisheries in the High Seas” that were adopted in 2008. These assisted States and RFMO/As to undertake the actions called for by the UNGA. The present publications provide an overview of how States and RFMOs to date have tried to implement the above resolution and applying the technical guidance contained in the FAO DSF Guidelines with respect to Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. It details VME processes undertaken globally in ABNJ. The publication is composed of regional chapters, describing the processes and measures adopted in the different ocean regions, pulling these together in a global overview. This will form a sister volume to the “Worldwide review of bottom fisheries in the high seas” (WWR) that was first published by FAO in 2009.

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IFAD’s approach in Small Island Developing States

This paper outlines IFAD’s strategic approach to enhancing food security and promoting sustainable smallholder agriculture development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the context of exacerbated impacts of climate change and persistent challenges to market access. A renewed approach will provide an opportunity for increasing results and impacts from agriculture and fisheries, reducing the high transaction costs of project delivery in SIDS, adjusting to an ever-changing development environment and – most of all – avoiding the overlooking of SIDS’ persistent fragility and the risk that they are cut off from development assistance.

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Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 2016. Education for people and planet: creating sustainable futures for all

The Incheon Declaration for Education 2030 has been instrumental to shape the Sustainable Development Goal on Education to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. It entrusts UNESCO with the leadership, coordination and monitoring of the Education 2030 agenda. It also calls upon the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report to provide independent monitoring and reporting of the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4), and on education in the other SDGs, for the next fifteen years. The ultimate goal of this agenda is to leave no one behind. This calls for robust data and sound monitoring. The 2016 edition of the GEM Report provides valuable insight for governments and policy makers to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG 4, building on the indicators and targets we have, with equity and inclusion as measures of overall success.

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State of the coral triangle: Malaysia

Malaysia has made a firm commitment to sustainable management and conservation of its coastal and marine resources, helping formulate and implement the Sulu–Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Initiative and the Coral Triangle Initiative. Rapid economic growth, uncontrolled tourism development, unregulated fishing, and unsustainable use of marine resources have depleted the country’s fish stocks, lost nearly 36% of its mangrove forests, and increased the number of endangered species. Despite impressive national economic gains, Malaysia’s fishers remain poor. This report assesses Malaysia’s coastal ecosystems and summarizes the country’s plans to rehabilitate marine protected areas, protect threatened and endangered species, adapt to climate change, and respond to the need for community-based initiatives.

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Toward a national eco-compensation regulation in the People’s Republic of China

The People’s Republic of China practices “eco-compensation” to promote environmental protection and restoration. This study examines the theory, practice, and legislation governing this in selected ecological areas. ADB and the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) undertook a study on eco-compensation regulations development in the country. The study examined the PRC’s theory, practice, and legislation governing eco-compensation in selected ecological areas to map out the scope and content of a national eco-compensation regulation. Pursuit of its higher agenda of ecological civilization and development of its national eco-compensation regulation will require the PRC to capture the diversity that subnational projects have tapped, integrate its experience with eco-compensation at all levels of government into a coherent national regulatory framework, and harmonize this framework with existing laws and other legal instruments.

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State of the Least Developed Countries 2016

The current report builds on the first and second editions, which considered the issues of productive capacity building as well as extreme poverty eradication in the least developed countries (LDCs) and the post-2015 development agenda. These reports provided analysis relating to the inclusion of LDC issues in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. This year’s report is dedicated to the implementation of the SDGs in LDCs using synergies with the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA). Part 1 of the report assesses progress towards achieving the goals and targets of the IPoA, particularly in the eight priority areas; reviews efforts towards this end; and identifies challenges ahead. The report argues that enhanced, coordinated and targeted support to the LDCs fulfilling ODA commitments but also going beyond, will remain critical to effectively implementing the IPoA. Part 2 of the report assesses the complementarities of the IPoA and the 2030 Agenda. It maps the goals, targets and actions of the IPoA with the SDGs, focusing on means of implementation. Furthermore it looks at how the implementation of the SDGs in LDCs can be fostered, including its mainstreaming and monitoring and followup. The conclusions and policy recommendations cover the findings in both parts of the report. As the report finds significant synergies between the IPoA and the Agenda 2030 it highlights the importance of leadership and political will and effective global partnership.

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: achieving the industry-related goals and targets

UNIDO’s vision to address today’s economic, social and environmental challenges is enshrined in the Lima Declaration, which was adopted by UNIDO Member States in December 2013. On this basis, the Organization pursues Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) to harness industry’s full potential to contribute to lasting prosperity for all. The mandate is based on the recognition by Member States that poverty eradication “can only be achieved through strong, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic and industrial growth, and the effective integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.” The present document summarizes the contribution of UNIDO’s mandate as well as current and planned future activities vis-à-vis the SDGs, with a special focus on SDG-9, which highlights and affirms the critical importance of ISID and its contribution to all 17 goals.

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The fisheries sector in the Gambia: trade, value addition and social inclusiveness, with a focus on women

This analytical report - part of UNCTAD’s activities on trade, gender and development - is intended to accompany the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) Update for 'The Gambia: Harnessing Trade for Growth and Employment', carried out under the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) for trade-related assistance for Least Developed Countries. It sets out a detailed analysis of the fisheries sector and its prospects for value-addition and social inclusiveness, with a focus on women. The intention is to capture all the information generated through the DTIS Update process, and disseminate this knowledge to a broader audience.

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The oceans economy: opportunities and challenges for Small Island Developing States

This report underlines the importance of sustainable oceanic activities for the development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other coastal states. Both opportunities and challenges for SIDS are identified in existing and emerging trade-related sectors such as sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, renewable marine energy, marine bio-prospecting, maritime transport and marine and coastal tourism. It also points at the need to consider the formation of regional economic groupings that combine their "economic exclusive zones" under a common oceans economic space in order to be able to seize, manage and sustainably use joint resources and build common infrastructures.

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Sustainable fisheries: international trade, trade policy and regulatory issues

The expiry of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 and recent launch of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a specific goal (Goal 14) on conserving and sustainably using oceans, seas and marine resources. This accord presents a new opportunity, but also some challenges for the international community to mobilise actions. These actions must be considered within the myriad of fishing-related instruments, including fisheries partnership agreements and trade agreements, so as to concretely and significantly arrest the ‘tragedy of commons’ in fish today and instead transform the situation into a ‘triumph of commons’ for fish in the future.

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Facilitating BioTrade in a challenging access and benefit sharing environment

Legal uncertainty, lack of clarity and administrative inaction are not a good recipe to facilitate sustainable biodiversity businesses. With the entering into force of the CBD Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, there is a new opportunity to improve the synergies for access to genetic resources and benefit sharing (ABS) in the context of BioTrade, and in turn contribute to legal certainty on this particularly important matter in regards to sustainable use of biodiversity. Though historically BioTrade has moved in the realm of sustainable biodiversity businesses, particularly with biological resources and certain ecosystem services, questions remain regarding when and how genetic resources become part of BioTrade and most importantly, whether ABS policy and legal frameworks are applicable or not. Implementing the Nagoya Protocol in regards to BioTrade will require guidance as to how BioTrade and ABS positively interact and generate complementarity. When and how ABS requirements may be applicable to BioTrade is key to creating the enabling policy and regulatory environments. This scoping study offers an overview of some of the key issues and connections between BioTrade and ABS under the framework of the Nagoya Protocol, the challenges faced by interested actors and suggestions of ways to address them, including in terms of interpretation, implementing policies and legal reforms. Examples, figures and case studies are used to clarify some of the points raised and suggestions on the way forward.

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Why geographical indications for Least Developed Countries?

Since 2010 UNCTAD is supporting selected LDCs rural communities in their efforts to promote traditional products through Geographical Indications (GIs). GIs are a trade-related intellectual property right under the WTO TRIPS Agreement. The link between the territory and the uniqueness of the product is the distinctive developmental nature of GIs with respect to other forms of TRIPs. Evidence from the market and literature shows that the promotion and protection of products under GIs may results in higher economics gains, fostering quality production and equitable distribution of profits for LDC rural communities. GIs encourage the preservation of biodiversity, traditional know-how and natural resources. Leveraging on biological and cultural diversification, the implementation of GIs may represent a unique opportunity to bring together the various players along the value chain supply, including producers, government authorities and researchers.

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Trade and Environment Review 2016: fish trade

This review examines issues pertinent to the promotion of sustainable use of living marine resources in healthy oceans and seas, bringing together a collection of independent articles by 24 leading experts and practitioners on fish governance systems; fish harvest, production and consumption; unsustainable fishing practices; fish and marine ecosystems management; and fish trade. The Review provides a succinct diagnosis of some of the key challenges to be faced in addressing SDG 14, as well as novel suggestions and innovations to advance its implementation.

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Linking the thematic programmes of work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to poverty reduction and development

This report describes a consultancy carried out to determine the linkages between the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) thematic Programmes of Work (PoWs) and poverty reduction. It is well understood that the relationship between biodiversity and poverty reduction is complex and has multiple possible pathways, from ‘win-win’ outcomes (reducing poverty improves conservation outcomes), ‘win-neutral’ (conservation has no effect on poverty), ‘trade-offs’ (conservation action hurts the poor or poverty reduction damages biodiversity), or even ‘lose-lose’ situations (poverty increases and biodiversity declines). The major challenge in this regard is that production systems should enhance human well-being, be sustainable in the future without degradation of the natural resource base (biodiversity),while maintaining productivity and being equitably distributed among people, avoiding poverty. This requires an incredibly delicate series of balances. The report offers a series of recommendations and identifies 2 major critical conditions for successful implementation.

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Global Biodiversity Outlook 4: a mid-term assessment of progress towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020

Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is a periodic report that summarizes the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions relevant to the further implementation of the Convention. The fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook was officially launched on the opening day of the Twelfth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 12) in Pyeongchang, Korea.

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Establishing a workable follow-up and review process for the Sustainable Development Goals

The Open Working Group document proposes that governments will set its own national targets. They will be guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. To make the Post-2015 agenda actionable, much more thought needs to be given to the process of target-setting, different actors’ responsibilities, implementation and accountability.

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