- Poverty Reduction and the Millennium Development Goals
- Democratic Governance
- Environment and Energy
- Crisis Prevention and Recovery
- Documents and Publications
- Millennium Development Goals Reports
- Regional and Country Programme Documents
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Topics and Special Initiatives
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Congo (Democratic Republic of)
- Congo (Republic of)
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
Environment and Energy
Human security and environmental stewardship are two sides of the same coin. Africans, and especially the poor, depend on the region’s environment, biodiversity and ecosystems for basic necessities such as energy, food and shelter.
Africa will be the continent hardest hit by climate change because it faces more severe climatic consequences than other regions – including extreme weather events --, its economies rely on climate-dependent sectors such as agriculture and its adaptive capacities are limited.
Environmental and land degradation will constitute additional challenges. For instance, Africa accounts for over half of global deforestation, while experts warn that two thirds of arable land on the continent may be lost by 2025.
The most vulnerable suffer a double burden: They are more affected by environmental degradation and less resilient towards its resulting threats such as unclean water, indoor air pollution from unhealthy cooking and poor sanitation.
Finding ways to make human development truly sustainable for a billion Africans and generations to come will be a central challenge for the region. Such a development path must safeguard ecosystems while also enabling economic and social progress.
UNDP's mission and work on the ground
UNDP helps developing countries to expand access to reliable and modern sources of energy in order to reduce poverty and to improve the health of their citizens. For instance, we help to connect communities to safe and affordable off-grid electricity and support them to embrace and develop renewable energy sources.
We also help countries to build the strategies, institutions and mechanisms necessary to achieve development paths that are environmentally sustainable while promoting economic growth, boosting human development and reducing poverty.
In addition, UNDP helps African countries and regional institutions to tackle climate issues. We build the capacities of decision-makers and institutions so they can attract and implement climate funding. We help public institutions to include adaptation in their development plans and communities to become climate-resilient. UNDP also supports countries so they can minimize the risk of climate-related disasters.
Read more on UNDP's environment-related work in Africa
Read more on UNDP's climate-related work in Africa
Protecting the Rights of Informal Slum Dwellers through Improved and More Inclusive Urban Governance
[4 September] Cities hold enormous potential for humanity, bringing greater and more equitable access to services, promoting economic growth, reducing impact on the environment and advancing human development. However, lacking transparent, accountable and capable governance, cities quickly become poverty traps – imprisoning millions in the depths of despair, facing severe vulnerabilities, extreme poverty, insecurity and disease.
Rio+20 a groundswell for putting our world on a sustainable course, says UNDP Chief
[20 August] The outcome document of June’s “Rio+20” UN Conference on Sustainable Development reinforced global commitment to tackle social, economic and environmental challenges together , Helen Clark, former New Zealand Prime Minister and current head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said today
Interview on the Sahel
[22 June] Food insecurity, drought, conflict and governance issues converge to plunge millions into a serious humanitarian and development crisis in the Sahel.
Food security must be at centre of Africa's development
[15 May] Sub-Saharan Africa cannot sustain its present economic resurgence unless it eliminates the hunger that affects nearly a quarter of its people, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) argues in the newly released Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future.