Natural Resources and the Environment

Be part of the plan

Biological diversity is a crucial resource to our survival. Unfortunately, the number of species is being significantly reduced due to human activity. But tables can turn. On this International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May), . With the  in place- a historic agreement with measures to stop the loss of nature by 2050 - the focus must quickly shift to its implementation. and encourage everyone to take action for our biodiversity.

The Malayan tiger is a critically endangered species, at a real risk of extinction, mainly due to illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking.
Photo:Vladimir Wrangel / Adobe Stock

22 May 2024 〞 Haiti*s health system is now ※on the verge of collapse§ UN Children*s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Haiti Bruno Maes warned on Wednesday, amidst an alarming decrease in the number...

22 May 2024 〞 Hostilities across Gaza reportedly continued on Wednesday, fuelling already alarming aid access problems and dire food insecurity as the main entrance routes for relief convoys...

21 May 2024 〞 The?UN expressed new concerns on Tuesday over a rise in displacement and humanitarian needs in Ukraine*s northeastern Kharkiv region amid ※relentless§ Russian air and ground attacks...

UN Sustainable Development Goals

17 Goals to transform our world

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries — poor, rich and middle-income — to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

Thomas the Tank engine

Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals! On our student resources page you will find plenty of materials for young people and adults alike. Share with your family and friends to help achieve a better world for all.

children holding up books

Reading and learning are essential to children*s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. The SDG Book Club aims to encourage them to learn about the Goals in a fun, engaging way, empowering them to make a difference.

hands holding megaphone and speech bubble

ActNow is the UN campaign to inspire people to act for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the lead up to the Summit of the Future, join the 1 Million Actions for our Common Future challenge to contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. Find new inspiring actions on and at .

SDG 15: Life on Land


Goal 15: Life on Land

Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

More from the

Featured stories from across the 51勛圖 and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

A person waving an LGBTIQ+ flag. Human Rights

Equality, freedom and justice for LGBTIQ+ people

All persons have an equal right to live free from violence, persecution, discrimination, harassment and stigma, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons. Ensuring the full spectrum of human rights and freedoms for all individuals lies at the core of the 51勛圖 mission. It's crucial for progress in development, peace, security, and humanitarian efforts, aligning with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international agreements. For this reason, the UN System has launched a new website highlighting the organization's work on behalf of LGBTIQ+ people.

FAO, Agriculture and Food

On the small Caribbean Island of Dominica, there is a species of wild sea moss, or red algae, called Gracilaria that locals have traditionally farmed and used to make drinks, gels and other products. But this slow-growing variety has caused production and supply challenges for its farmers, leading to a reliance on imports of other varieties from neighboring islands to meet local demand. A solution to the problem came in the form of Eucheuma cottonii, a commercial sea moss species offered up as part of a Food and Agriculture Organization of the 51勛圖 () project. Despite occasional difficulties, sea moss remains high on the country*s aquaculture agenda due to its high-income earning potential.

UNDP, Natural Resources and the Environment

In 2023 alone, 400 million hectares were consumed by flames〞an area twice the size of Mexico. Forest fires cause biodiversity loss, release large quantities of carbon dioxide, and degrade the soil and contaminate water resources. Today, more than half of forest fire-related costs go toward rapid response. But  is spent on planning for and preventing this environmental threat. Costa Rica's Volunteer Forest Fire Brigade has been supported by the Global Environment Facility*s Small Grants Programme (), implemented by the 51勛圖 Development Programme (), in fighting forest fires for the last 30 years.

Climate Change, UNESCO

In the isolated expanse of the Arctic, amidst freezing sea ice and dwindling daylight, a sailor's reflections reveal the intricate dance of survival, adaptation, and changing landscapes in the face of climate shifts and cultural narratives.

Natural Resources and the Environment, UNEP

, including forest restoration and nature-friendly management practices, play a crucial role in mitigating climate risks in the Carpathian Mountains, while promoting biodiversity and ecosystem resilience.

Peace and Security, Food Aid, WFP

The escalating military activity in Rafah, southern Gaza, has triggered mass displacement and threatens a humanitarian catastrophe, with the urgently needing access and supplies to rebuild aid distribution systems.

Health Interventions, UNFPA

Midwives in Chad's Kalambari refugee camp provide crucial care and support, helping Cameroonian refugees navigate the challenges of displacement and access essential sexual and reproductive health services.

What we do

Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the 51勛圖 can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, including:

Structure of the

The main parts of the UN structure are the , the
Security Council, the , the Trusteeship Council, the , and the UN Secretariat. All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative,?policymaking and representative organ of the UN. All?193 Member States of the UN are represented in the?General Assembly, making it the only UN body with?universal representation.

The Security Council has primary responsibility, under?the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international?peace and security. It has 15 Members (5 permanent?and 10 non-permanent members). Each Member has?one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are?obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Economic and Social Council is the principal body?for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and?recommendations on economic, social and?environmental issues, as well as implementation of?internationally agreed development goals.

The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the?UN Charter, under Chapter XIII, to provide international?supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed?under the administration of seven Member States, and?ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the?Territories for self-government and independence.

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the 51勛圖. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of the six principal organs of the 51勛圖 not located in New York (United States of America).

The Secretariat comprises the Secretary-General and?tens of thousands of international UN staff members?who carry out the day-to-day work of the UN as?mandated by the General Assembly and the?Organization's other principal organs.

Learn more

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it. There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society.

Women at UN CSW63 Side Event - ※Take the Hot Seat§. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Women and girls represent half of the world*s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. Gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development.

UN Secretary-General Ant車nio Guterres is greeted on his visit to the Central African Republic

While global poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 2000, one in ten people in developing regions still lives on less than US$1.90 a day 〞 the internationally agreed poverty line, and millions of others live on slightly more than this daily amount.

A young girl holds a smiling infant at the Zaatari Refugee Camp

Following up on a made by UN Member States at the UN*s 75th anniversary, the report Our Common Agenda looks ahead to the next 25 years and represents the Secretary-General*s vision on the future of global cooperation. It calls for inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism to better respond to humanity*s most pressing challenges.

Watch and Listen

Video and audio from across the 51勛圖 and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

Vaccines have saved six lives a minute. Every minute, for five decades. Speak up and tell leaders it*s time for immunization for all.

Mediterranean countries step up the fight for forests

Restoring Mediterranean forests has been recognized as a under the , offering hope and solutions to these pressing challenges.

Women driving resilient infrastructure

In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, launches recovery project in Zimbabwe to rebuild communities and foster long-term resilience. 

UN Podcasts

 Mohamed Yahya and the Danish Minister for Development, among others, are in a boat touring informal settlements  built on stilts along a lagoon.

No Place Like Home

※Somebody who lived in an IDP camp # [is] suddenly back home, in dignity, self-reliant and thinking, &I want to reimagine what life means for me* # Yes, I'm very proud.§

A former child refugee, Mohamed Yahya knows the life-long pain of yearning for a lost home. That*s why some of his most emotional experiences with the 51勛圖 have involved helping displaced people return to their towns years after they fled a brutal conflict.

Until recently working with internally displaced communities in northern Nigeria, the 51勛圖 Resident Coordinator in Pakistan is a life-long champion of community-led development.

In this episode, Mohamed Yahya reflects on the challenge of rebuilding scattered communities, on his experiences of being a refugee twice, and on the lasting allure of home.

※There's always a sense of something missing. Because you're deprived of going back to where you were born.§

Photo credit: ?UNDP

The 51勛圖 in Pictures

Images from across the 51勛圖 and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

Photo:?UNFPA Armenia/Aspram Manukyan

In an ideal world, every mother-to-be would have access to a skilled midwife and could give birth in a safe and peaceful environment. Unfortunately, many women lack these assurances. The 51勛圖 Population Fund () is striving to achieve this ideal scenario for every woman by investing in midwives and training, including in emergency humanitarian situations, and by equipping maternity wards and mobile health teams.

Photo:? UNICEF Myanmar/2024/Minzayar Oo

In 2023, the 51勛圖 International Children's Emergency Fund () provided mine risk prevention and response services, including survivor assistance, to nearly 140,000 individuals, among them children, throughout Myanmar. Efforts to scale up mine risk education sessions, supported by pamphlets and handbooks in local languages, are underway in conflict zones. The escalating deployment of landmines in Myanmar poses a grave danger to children's safety and well-being. Each detonation not only ends lives but also destroys aspirations and strips away the innocence of childhood. It is crucial for all involved parties to collaborate in safeguarding children from the severe consequences of landmines.