Our featured work

Together with our partners, we work on dozens of projects every year across the range of areas described in Our Expertise. The projects and partnerships featured here give a flavour of the best, newest and most innovative work from across UNEP-WCMC. 

Building biodiversity models

In order to plan effectively, policymakers need to understand how ecosystems and biodiversity are likely to respond to human-induced changes in the future. UNEP-WCMC is working with partners to develop three computer models of ecosystems which are designed to provide this information. 

Commodities and biodiversity

The Commodities and Biodiversity project aims to provide decision makers with the information and tools needed to balance competing demands on land for food, other commodities and maintaining ecosystem services, taking into account plausible socio-economic trends and climate change.

Climate change and protected areas

The PARCC West Africa project evaluates the vulnerability of protected area systems in West Africa to the impacts of climate change. It is developing strategies to enhance the resilience of protected areas and improve the effectiveness of their management. 

Biodiversity data for business

The Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool for Business is an authoritative website for companies seeking global biodiversity data. It is the result of a partnership among BirdLife International, Conservation International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, together with UNEP-WCMC.

Supporting delivery of global biodiversity commitments

Under a Programme of Work agreed with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UNEP-WCMC provides technical and capacity-building expertise to the Secretariat and Parties to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.


Species+ provides key information about the taxonomy, legislation, distribution and relevant trade restrictions for all species that are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), and the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.

Building a better science-policy interface

UNEP-WCMC works at the interface between science and policy, supporting the development and implementation of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Ocean Data Viewer

The Ocean Data Viewer provides unique access to a range of global marine and coastal biodiversity data. It includes links showing how these data support relevant multilateral environmental agreements. This assists governments, scientists, private sector and non-governmental organizations in making more informed decisions about marine conservation.

Using maps to support REDD+ planning

As part of the UN-REDD Progrmme, UNEP-WCMC works with developing countries to identify benefits and impacts of anticipated REDD+ activities. In Tanzania, we supported the development of maps presenting spatial information on key aspects of carbon stocks, biodiversity, ecosystem services and drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. 

Assessing the United Kingdom's ecosystems

In 2011 the UK National Ecosystem Assessment delivered a wealth of information on the state, value and possible future of ecosystems across the UK. It also identified a number of key uncertainties, some of which are being addressed by a two-year programme of follow-up research. 

Integrating biodiversity and development

By 2015 the 193 countries that are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity will revise their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). The NBSAPs 2.0 project aims to integrate biodiversity into economic and development policies by providing technical support to NBSAP revision teams in four African countries.

Mapping the world's special places

Protected Planet is the online public interface for the World Database on Protected Areas, the most comprehensive global database on terrestrial and marine protected areas. Protected Planet allows users to discover the world's protected areas through maps, photos and descriptions.


Many businesses have a complex relationship with natural resources. Companies often struggle to find relevant information on biodiversity and the latest trends and developments in environmental policy. Proteus aims to ensure that businesses plan their activities around the best available biodiversity data.

Measuring investment in forests

The REDD+ mechanism aims to provide financial incentives for developing countries to reduce CO2 emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and to conserve existing forest carbon stocks. The online Voluntary REDD+ Database summarizes information from governments and other institutions on financing for REDD+ related actions.

A partnership to monitor biodiversity

UNEP-WCMC hosts the Secretariat of the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, the global initiative to coordinate the development of indicators to track progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and other goals. The Partnership of more than 40 organizations works to provide comprehensive information on biodiversity and related trends. 

Species assessments

We provide analysis, information and capacity building to national governments on the conservation status and levels of trade in protected species. This helps them to manage the legal trade in wildlife better.