Natural Resources and the Environment, UNEP

Reimagine. Recreate. Restore

From forests to peatlands to coasts, we all depend on healthy ecosystems for our survival. But their degradation is already affecting the well-being of 40% of the world’s population. This World Environment Day 2021 (June 5) calls for urgent action to revive and heal our damaged ecosystems. Join the “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore” campaign led by the UN Environment Programme and welcome the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a 10-year global rallying cry to make peace with nature, end poverty, combat climate change and prevent a mass extinction.

UNDP partnered with the government of Maharashtra (India) to conserve the enormous biodiversity wealth of the coastal district of Sindhudurg.
Photo:UNDP India/Prashanth Vishwanathan
Restoring natural habitats can help to address climate and biodiversity crises.

Restoration call for area ‘the size of China’ to protect falling biodiversity and food insecurity

3 June 2021 — An area of land roughly the size of China needs restoring if the planet’s biodiversity and the communities who rely on it are to be protected, UN agencies said on Thursday.

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Staggering health needs emerge in Gaza, following Israel-Hamas conflict 

2 June 2021 — Senior UN health agency officials on Wednesday called for unhindered humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip, citing growing concerns about urgent health needs there. 

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COVID crisis to push global unemployment over 200 million mark in 2022

2 June 2021 — The economic crisis caused by the COVID pandemic is expected to contribute to global unemployment of more than 200 million people next year, with women and youth workers worst-hit,...

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.

Act Now

The ActNow campaign aims to trigger individual action on the defining issue of our time. People around the world have joined to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.

Decade of Action

With just 10 years to go, an ambitious global effort is underway to deliver the 2030 promise—by mobilizing more governments, civil society, businesses and calling on all people to make the Global Goals their own.

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.

More from the
United Nations

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

report cover showing many faces AIDS

Forty years on we can end AIDS

Four decades after the first cases of AIDS were reported, new data from UNAIDS show that dozens of countries achieved or exceeded the 2020 targets set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016. The report shows that countries with progressive laws and policies and strong and inclusive health systems have had the best outcomes against HIV. UNAIDS urges world leaders to adopt a bold political declaration on HIV at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS, being held 8-10 June, and to commit to achieving a new set of targets for 2025 to end AIDS by 2030.

landscape with human figures planting trees drawn over it Natural Resources and the Environment

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

There has never been a more urgent need to revive damaged ecosystems than now. Ecosystems support all life on Earth. The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet - and its people. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. It can help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent a mass extinction. It will only succeed if everyone plays a part.

health worker holding vaccine syringe Health, Economic Development

A new commitment for vaccine equity and defeating the pandemic

In an op-ed ahead of the G7 Summit, leaders of the IMF, the World Bank, WHO and WTO state that there will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis and that access to vaccination is key to both. Despite impressive progress on the vaccination front, increasingly, a two-track pandemic is developing, with richer countries having access and poorer ones being left behind. They call for a stepped-up coordinated strategy, backed by new financing at an estimated $50 billion, to vaccinate the world.

Health, UNFPA

Menstruation: break the stigma

A survey conducted by UNFPA ahead of Menstrual Hygiene Day, reveals that first menstruation for women and girls in Arab states is often accompanied by fear, shame, lack of information, and even stigma and mistreatment.

Science and Technology, UNCTAD

Scaling up life-saving technology

Uneven access can hamper technology’s contribution to the UN’s SDGs and worsen global inequalities. But public-private partnerships can help reverse the trend and ensure new technologies, such as solar-powered electric grids, reach the poorest communities.

Natural Resources and the Environment

State of Finance for Nature

By taking profits of nature-based solutions, we can vastly improve human well-being and prosperity. This year’s report calls for investments in nature-based solutions to triple by 2030 and to increase four-fold by 2050 from the current level.

Intellectual and Cultural Property

What once was lost is now found

Misplacing personal possessions is a universal phenomenon. Looking to provide a new solution to this age-old problem, a Tokyo-based startup developed a smart tracking tag and app to help people keep track of their belongings.

What we do

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

Structure of the
United Nations

The main parts of the UN structure are the General Assembly, the
Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, 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 United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations 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

The Middelgrunden Off Shore Windturbines located in the Øresund Straight separating Denmark and Sweden. UN Photo

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 António 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.

young children smiling at camera

The UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020 arrived at a time of great upheaval and peril. To secure a world where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet we need a multilateral system that is inclusive, networked and effective. "Our Common Agenda" will build on the 12 commitments contained in the UN75 Declaration.

Did you know?

As the world’s only truly universal global organization, the United Nations has become the foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone.

Watch and Listen

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

UNEP reports on Madrid’s drive to connect a series of existing woodlands, creating a 75km-long green belt around the city. Once complete, the forest will cover 35,000ha. It will help the city improve its air quality, counter climate change, and create a wealth of recreational opportunities for residents.

Global Day of Parents

Parenting has never been an easy job – and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder. UNICEF presents this special message from Olivia Colman to parents doing everything they can to support their families.

"What's in my bag?" with Natalia Vodianova

What does supermodel and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Natalia Vodianova have inside her bag? Watch as she shows us the essential items women just can't live without.

UN Podcasts

A small bay

Putting the environment at the heart of farming

In this month’s episode, IFAD celebrates World Environment Day through developments protecting the environment; Africa Climate Week and innovations from East and Southern Africa; and the International Day of Family Remittances, a day celebrating a vital source of funding for people living in rural communities in the developing world.

Other features include a new report on nature-based solutions in agriculture, the environment as inspiration for a UN Human Rights Champion, the changes to environmental policies in Afghanistan and organic farming in China, and a new group called Chefs 4 the Planet.

Latest Audio from UN News

The United Nations in Pictures

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

Portrait of an elderly man
Photo:OCHA/Anthony John Burke

10 facts about 10-year-old South Sudan

The people of South Sudan are facing their highest levels of hunger since independence in 2011 and the renewed conflict, which began in 2013. The upcoming hungry season is expected to be the worst on record.  However, this crisis is about much more than just hunger. Conflict, displacement, flooding, loss of livelihoods, COVID-19, an inability to reach health care and lack of access to schools have created urgent humanitarian and protection needs, especially for women and children.  OCHA provides an overview of the first decade in the lives of the South Sudanese.

Angela and Romanita walk holding hands
Photo:UNDP Moldova/Ion Buga

“I really didn’t want to be a wife at 14”

An avid student, Angela Radita, finished college and applied for a librarian’s post but was rejected because she is Roma. In 2018, Angela volunteered for a UNDP-supported voter education campaign for upcoming elections, going door-to-door encouraging people to vote. The campaign engaged 11,000 Roma, but she noticed there was a disconnect between the Roma people and the candidates. That was the moment she decided to run. It wasn’t an easy path. The Roma community was not active in the voting process, which meant more education about why representation is important.