Our work offers solutions for biodiversity conservation

We analyse and advise on the many challenges facing biodiversity and ecosystem services in marine and terrestrial environments

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 UN Environment Programe World Conservation Monitoring Centre . 

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Oil for Development

UNEP-WCMC, in partnership with the Norwegian Environment Agency, is working to ensure a positive relationship between oil & gas development and environmental & social responsibility in countries within Norway’s Oil for Development programme.


UKRI GCRF Trade, Development and the Environment Hub

UNEP-WCMC is the lead organisation for this global project, working together with partners towards sustainable trade in commodities and wild products

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The Development Corridors Partnership

The Development Corridors Partnership, led by UNEP-WCMC, is helping countries in East Africa to plan for a sustainable future.

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Framing the future for biodiversity

In 2020 a new global biodiversity framework will be agreed to replace the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. UNEP-WCMC is well placed to support governments and other stakeholders throughout the process of developing and agreeing the new framework.

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ABNJ Deep Seas Project

The ABNJ Deep Seas Project works to achieve efficiency and sustainability in the use of deep-sea living resources, and is jointly implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization and UN Environment

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UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre is working with the Natural Capital Finance Alliance to build the knowledge base needed by financial institutions to understand their exposure to risks associated with dependencies and impacts on natural capital. This knowledge base is made available through the web-based tool, ENCORE (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure). ENCORE enables users within financial institutions, as well as users in companies and governments, to visualise how the economy depends on nature and how environmental change creates risks for businesses.

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Ocean+ Library

Ocean+ Library is an online library that identifies 183 ocean-related resources available globally.

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Supporting the EU to address illegal timber trade

Illegal harvest of timber is a global threat to forests and biodiversity, and has considerable impacts on livelihoods and development. UNEP-WCMC provides support to the European Commission in monitoring the implementation and enforcement of legislation that aims to reduce the devastating effects of illegal timber trade.

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Protecting coral reefs

UNEP-WCMC is currently working on several global coral reef projects with UN Environment Coral Reef Unit and a number of other project partners to address the conservation challenges facing coral reefs. 

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Ecosystem restoration for people and nature

We’re helping design, implement and monitor nature-based solutions all over the world.

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Biodiversity Indicators for Site-based Impacts

The Biodiversity Indicators for Site-based Impacts project is a joint initiative between UNEP-WCMC, Conservation International and Fauna & Flora International, with support from IPIECA and the Proteus Partnership. The project developed and tested a methodology for aggregating biodiversity impact/benefit and performance data at a site level to provide indicators of biodiversity management performance at the corporate level that meets the needs of companies with site-based impacts. It has been developed to link to, and be complementary with, existing efforts to identify corporate indicators, in consultation with industry.

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Species+ and the CITES Trade Database

Species+ and the CITES Trade Database help CITES Parties to meet their international commitments and monitor trade in over 35,000 taxa listed in the CITES Appendices. They provide Parties with easy access to the information they need to issue permits for trade on a daily basis, helping to ensure that trade in CITES-listed species is legal, traceable and sustainable. 

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Improving the sustainability of wildlife trade

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

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National Ecosystem Assessments

Capacity development for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): undertaking National Ecosystem Assessments and developing Policy Support Tools for decision makers

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Commodities and Biodiversity in the Andes, Mekong and East African Great Lakes Regions

Exploring pressures and potential impacts of future commodity-driven scenarios of change taking into account plausible socio-economic trends and climate change in the Great Lakes of East Central Africa; the Greater Mekong and its Headwaters; and the Watersheds of the Andes.

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A window on the world’s marine and coastal biodiversity

National governments, scientists, non-governmental organizations and the private sector depend on current and reliable data to inform their research, conservation and business activities.

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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.

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Helping to #BeatPollution

Pollution is having a massive impact on our biodiversity, our ecosystems and our health. At UNEP-WCMC we recognise the impact pollution has on our environment and on our lives. 

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Links between the natural environment, human wellbeing and poverty

UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre has been working with a range of partners on a portfolio of projects aiming to advance our understanding of the environment-poverty relationships conceptually, empirically and methodologically.

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Building a better science-policy interface

Science–policy interfaces are critical in shaping environmental governance. UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre has developed significant expertise and long-standing experience at the boundary between science and policy in the context of biodiversity governance, including with the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

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Helping national governments mitigate climate change

Find out how UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre works with national and international partners, through the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries 

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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.

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Supporting delivery of global biodiversity commitments

Working with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat and UN Environment to improve the policy coherence and coordinated implementation of the six major biodiversity-related conventions.

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Supporting the UNESCO World Heritage Convention

UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has been working closely with IUCN to provide technical support since the early days of the World Heritage Convention.

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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. 

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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. 

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Climate change and protected areas

The PARCC West Africa project assessed the vulnerability of biodiversity and protected area systems in West Africa to the impacts of climate change, and developed adaptation strategies and policy recommendations to enhance the resilience of protected areas and improve the effectiveness of their management.

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Supporting national biodiversity planning

In 2010, the 193 countries that are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity committed to updating and implementing their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). With our programme of work on NBSAPs, we are supporting the development and implementation of these NBSAPs so that environmental policy, planning and investment integrate and support economic and development policies.

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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.

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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. 

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Supporting land use related policy development using scenarios, modelling and mapping

Supporting land use related policy development using scenarios, modelling and mapping

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Future scenarios to support policy review in the Lake Victoria Basin

Engaging stakeholders in using future scenarios to analyse the potential impacts of agricultural development in the Lake Victoria Basin

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Integrating Natural Capital into Sustainable Development Decision-Making in Uganda

UNEP-WCMC leads on this Darwin Initiative-funded project to integrate biodiversity into Uganda’s national accounting.

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Aligning Biodiversity Measures for Business

The Aligning Biodiversity Measures for Business collaboration is led by UNEP-WCMC and convenes more than 20 organisations. The aim is to form a common view on the measurement, monitoring and disclosure of corporate impacts and dependencies on biodiversity, and then to integrate credible and comprehensive corporate measurement into external reporting/disclosure and global biodiversity policy.