24 June 2022|News
June 21-23, 2022, UNEP-IEMP, as the TEEBAgriFood China implementation leading team, joined the TEEBAgriFood Asia, Africa and Europe Regional Symposium hosted by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Symposium aims to share lessons learnt applying the TEEBAgriFood Framework towards food systems transformations across the regions. Representatives from government, academia, international organizations and the private sector across China, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia actively participated. On Day 2 of the event, Dr. LI Jun-sheng, Chair of the TEEBAgriFood China Project Steering Committee, gave his remarks at the high-level panel, introducing China’s initiatives and achievements in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration, and highlighting that a balanced development of sustainable agricultural development, ecological protection and agricultural modernization is important for the country in stepping into the new era. A screen capture showing speakers and panelists In the thematic session of Applying TEEBAgriFood in Multi-functional Landscapes, Dr. Li Li, the research union member of UENP-IEMP, on behalf of the TEEBAgriFood China implementation team gave a presentation and introduced the progress of the Tengchong pilot study with reference to the country’s agricultural context and highlighted the linkages with the national priorities. Dr. Li Li making a presentation about the TEEBAgriFood China project The 3-day symposium attracted more than 200 participations online, and instigated discussions on the mainstreaming of nature’s value into decision-making in agriculture and food systems.
08 June 2022|News
UN Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) Director, Dr. Linxiu Zhang was invited as a specialist to present the closing remark at Launching Ceremony of COMSTECH Forum on Environment and Ecosystem Restoration (CFEER) and COMSTECH International Seminar on "Land Degradation" on 6th June 2022. The ceremony was intended to commemorate World Environment Day, which was organized by COMSTECH in Partnership with UNEP-IEMP and Center for Water Research Technologies (CERTE), Tunisia. In the closing remarks, Dr. Linxiu Zhang expressed her congratulations on the successful launching ceremony. She pointed out that healthy ecosystems were critical and such a standpoint had been echoed clearly and sufficiently by almost every of the speakers. Then her observations and reflections on the key messages conveyed on the ceremony were shared, including needs for action on collaboration and cooperation globally, the importance of synergy and nexus approaches, and responsible individuals for the large-scale changes. Finally, she showed her glad to witness the establishment of COMSTECH Forum on Environment and Ecosystem Restoration, and claimed that UNEP-IEMP would be willing to collaborate with the new organization. Dr. Linxiu Zhang presenting the closing remark online The ceremony began with inaugural session with Ambassador Shahid Kamal, Advisor (Climate Change), COMSTECH. During the ceremony, several specialists addressed speeches based on their research about land degradation worldwide. For more information about the ceremony, please visit COMSTECH’s website.
30 May 2022|News
On May 23, 2022, the project " African Forest Disturbance and Its Effects on Carbon Sink", led by Professor Ronggao Liu from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, was launched virtually with participation of international and Chinese experts. The project is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under the joint agreement between NSFC and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and will be jointly implemented in 2022-2026 in cooperation with the UNEP-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) and other African partners. The kick-off meeting was chaired by Professor Xiaohan Liao, Deputy Director General of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of the UNEP-IEMP, delivered an opening remark. Dr. Zhang expressed that UNEP will assist and support the project in the science-policy interface, joint capacity building and technology transfer, and bridging South-South cooperation. She also welcomed this project to provide invaluable contributions towards the digital transformation in developing countries as identified by UNEP Medium-Term Strategy 2022-25, the implementation of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and the database of the World Environment Situation Room. Professor Ronggao Liu, Co-PI of this project, introduced the project objectives, work plan and related progress. This project will analyze the dynamics of forest in Africa and the drivers of disturbances, and assess carbon dynamics under disturbances. It will share a series of forest monitoring datasets and develop African forests remote sensing monitoring systems for application and promotion in African pilot countries (e.g. in Ghana, Madagascar, Kenya etc.). The project will overcome the monitoring technical challenges such of surface and mountain shadow, optimize the algorithm to finely depict the tree cover in savanna ecosystems, and reflect forest cover changes in Africa. The invited review panel made valuable comments and suggestions for the project implementation and next steps. These invited members are Professor Qiao Wang, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Mr. Zhongxin Chen from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Professor Jingming Chen, fellow of the Royal Canadian Academy of Sciences, Ms Xia Li, Director of the China-Africa Environmental Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Mr. Xingliang Chen, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Forestry, and Mr. Lianming Sun, Director of the Africa Office of the Global EnergyInterconnection DevelopmentandCooperation Organization. The expert panel believes that the project is forward-looking, has solid science foundation and great practical value for African countries. They gave relevant suggestions from the perspectives of remote sensing monitoring accuracy and ground verification, data products sharing platform, China-Africa cooperation policy context, and the mechanism for forest remote sensing monitoring system application.
27 May 2022|News
Two research studies, i.e. Gender Equality and Sustainable Development in the Mountain Areas of Asia (Exploring the Role of Gender Equality in Addressing Climate Change, Biodiversity Conservation, Ecosystem Restoration and Food Security) and Sustainable Livelihoods in Rural Areas of Nepal (Ecosystem Restoration and Conservation for Resilient Livelihoods in the Rupa Lake Watershed of Nepal) have been featured on the South-South Galaxy platform. They both present the research work of UNEP-IEMP in collaboration with partners in other Southern countries, including Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Nepal, and Thailand. The topics focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on climate change, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration and food security, as well as ecosystem restoration and livelihoods, respectively. The South-South Galaxy platform aims to promote South-South cooperation by providing access to a diverse range of knowledge and partners. Through the platform countries from the Global South, UN agencies, and other interested partners are able to connect, identify best practices, share their knowledge and initiatives, and collaborate with potential partners digitally. It is managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). UNEP is the South-South Cooperation PartneroftheMonth from mid-April to mid-May 2022, during which UNEP’s work on South-South cooperation are highlighted and publicized on the Galaxy platform and social media channels. UNEP- IEMP, as the first UNEP Collaborating Centre in the South and for the South, mobilising science to support policy setting for sustainable ecosystem management in developing countries and promoting a green economy and enhancing South-South cooperation, have been implementing a number of projects that highlight South-South cooperation. Many of them have been presented on the Galaxy platform. These include China-UNEP Partnership Promotes South-South Cooperation in Africa, South-South Cooperation to Tackle Climate Change, and Ecosystem Restoration in the Global South.
24 May 2022|News
On the eve of International Biodiversity Day, the United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) held its fifth Climate-Ecosystems-Livelihoods seminar titled " Transformation of Agrifood Systems and Biodiversity Conservation" online on 20 May 2022. The seminar was given by Dr. Shenggen Fan, Dean of Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy and Professor of China Agricultural University, and facilitated by Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP. Nearly 300 researchers, students, and others interested on the theme attended the seminar. Prof. Fan first introduced the concept of global agrifood system and pointed out the system is being impacted by a thicket of overlapping challenges, including deteriorating hunger and malnutrition around the world, increasing impacts of climate change, squeezed boundary of the Earth’s resources and environment, COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine conflict. Prof. Fan then elaborated the relationship between agrifood systems and biodiversity loss and described the economic costs of biodiversity loss, emphasizing that agricultural biodiversity was one of the keys to combating climate change and land degradation, as well as the fact that many crops were currently neglected and underutilized. Finally, Prof. Fan proposed to transform the agrifood systems to achieve win-win of food safety and health and biodiversity conservation through following three levers: improving dietary structure, reserving land for biodiversity, and changing farming practices. Figure 1 Prof. Shenggen Fan delivering a lecture online Prof. Fan’s seminar aroused a wide response from the audiences. They had in-depth exchanges with Prof. Fan on the improvement of dietary structure, nutritional security of vulnerable groups, development of organic food, effective utilization of local crops, and the role of women in the conservation and sustainable utilization of agrobiodiversity. Figure 2 Online academic lecture Transforming agrifood systems is a key to biodiversity conservation. It is also a core issue of UNEP-IEMP's Flagship Programme on Climate, Ecosystems, and Livelihoods (CEL) to adopt integrated approaches to achieve win-win of ecosystem protection and livelihood improvement. The seminar increased the understanding of global agrifood systems and its relationship with biodiversity conservation among participants, provided the opportunities of academic discussion and cooperation in relevant fields, and strengthened the communication between UNEP-IEMP and the institutions and universities in China. For more information, please contact: Dr. Yunli Bai,
30 April 2022|News
On 28 April 2022, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a report titled "A Scientific Assessment of the Third Pole Environment" successfully online and at the venue in Beijing. The UNEP-IEMP co-organized the eventtogetherwith UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ITPCAS), as a special event to observe the year 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development. Thelaunch event was moderated by Mr. Maarten Kappelle, Head of Scientific Assessments, Science DivisionofUNEP. The venue for the launch event at ITPCAS In the opening session, Ms. Isabelle Louis, Deputy Director, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, UNEP, congratulated all the experts behind this important report and praised it a product of the involvement of an interdisciplinary scientific community, providing a solid base for policies and actions to address the triple environmental crisis. Mr. Basanta Shrestha, Director of Strategic Cooperation, ICIMOD, believed that the Third Pole Environment (TPE) assessment report would be highly valued in taking forward the new strategy being developed by ICIMOD, and wished to continue the fruitful and collaborative partnership with UNEP, the TPE, and other scientific organizations. Prof. Yaping Zhang, Vice-President, Chinese Academy of Sciences, expressed warm thanks to all the contributors for the launch of TPE assessment report, and remarked that scientist and researchers around the world should think beyond boarder and continue international cooperation and interdisciplinary research to tackle challenges in the fast-changing era. Mr. Jian Liu, Director, Science Division, UNEP welcome all the participants in the launch. He said launching the TPE assessment report is not only to fill in the knowledge gaps in the region and globally,but also to help identifying options for solutions for policy sector.He wished the triple party collaboration between UNEP, ICIMOD and CAS continue and have more outcomes. Following the opening session, a keynote presentation made jointly by Profs. Tandong Yao, Lonnie G. Thompson, and Deliang Chen, Co-chairs of TPE, to introduce key messages from the report. As highlighted, the report provides a scientifically sound evaluation of a region with the largest complex of alpine ecosystems and freshwater systems in the world. It considers the changes that have taken place in the regional environment over the past 2,000 years, especially the changes today. It also looks to the future and underlines the importance of interdisciplinary research to address threats affecting this environment the Third Pole faces today and in the near future. Prof.TandongYao, Lonnie G. Thompson, andDeliangChen, Co-chairs of TPE, making a joint keynote presentation Six distinguished panelists joined in a panel discussion which was moderated by Mr. Matthias Georg Jurek, Programme Management Officer, UNEP Vienna Office. During the discussion, Dr. Nakul Chettri, Regional Programme Manager – Transboundary Landscapes, ICIMOD, shared experience from his work which largely on balancing conservation and development through science and policy interface and trusted partnership of diverse stakeholders. Ms. Ermira Fida, Deputy Secretary, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stressed that climate was already impacting every corner of the world including the Third Pole Environment and she saw a very strong convergence from the TPE assessment report and those released by IPCC in recent days. Prof. Shilong Piao from Peking University pointed out that to provide a clear road map in reducing the vulnerability and exposure of human and nature system to climate change, we still need to reduce uncertainty in understanding land surface process such as precipitation, temperature, and also ecosystems. Dr. Ram Prasad Chaudhary, Professor Emeritus of Tribhuvan University, Nepal, suggested to assess local and traditional knowledge on climate change by local communities that can be a useful information for conservation and sustainable use of biological resources including wild medicinal plants. Ms. Tina H.P. Schoolmeester from GRID-Arendal highlighted the global significance of the Third Pole Environment from the global linkage perspectives, and also suggested to have more efforts in communicating complex issues in clear, visual and informative manner. Mr. Rinzin Dorji, Chief Forestry Officer/Park Manager, Department of Forests and Park Services, Bhutan reiterated that the TPE report was very timely and informative to guide local conservationists in integrating protected area conservation plans. He finally called for international communities to better support the work with local communities. A screen capture showing speakers and panelists This report is the first comprehensive assessment of environmental changes in the Third Pole that aims to present the latest knowledge on climate, freshwater bodies, ecosystems and biodiversity, and human impact on the environment. It was produced by UNEP in collaboration with the UNEP-IEMP, the Third Pole Environment, and the Pan-Third Pole Environment and supported by the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research project, ICIMOD, and ITPCAS. The full report and its Executive Summary in 6 UN languages are accessible at: Related news release: UNEP Event, UNEP Story, Guangming Daily, Guangming Daily APP, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Development Gateway (CnDG), China News, China News APP, Science and Technology Daily,, Sina, China Environment News, World Environment, CCTV, Economic Daily News APP, China Youth Daily APP, Wenhui APP, Sohu, BRTV, Beijing Daily, Tencent, Beijing New APP,
27 April 2022|News
The 1stmeeting of the project steering committee of the "Improving Ecosystem Management for Sustainable Livelihoods in Cambodia and China within the Framework ofLancang-Mekong Cooperation Project", financed by the UNEP-China Trust Fund Phase 2, was organized virtually on 26 April 2022. It was participated by the steering committee members from Ministry of Environment (Cambodia), Department of Ecology and Environment of Yunnan Province (China), UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP ROAP), UNEP-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP),Lancang-Mekong Environmental Cooperation Center (LMEC), and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) with donor representative from the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center (China) as observer. This 1ststeering committee meeting had an overall objective to obtain strategic guidanceof project implementation progress and recommendations to the project team and implementing partners on the project activities. The project implementation team (consisting of UNEP ROAP, UNEP-IEMP and LMEC) as well as the extended partners from Cambodia andChina,gave presentation about the project overview, work plan, budget, progress so far, next steps and challenges. Ms. TatiroseVijitpan, Focal Point of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Portfolio, gave presentation from UNEP-IEMP, particularly in relation to the pilot activities on ecosystem management and sustainable livelihoods at the PhnomKulenNational Park in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia. Afterwards, the steering committee members and observer provided their valuable feedback. Dr.LinxiuZhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP as part of the project steering committee, congratulated the teamfor the overall fast moving of the project implementation andparticularly expressedappreciationto thecolleagues from Cambodiafor the patience, collaboration and willingness to accommodate the shortened duration of the project. Everyone is dedicated and committed to implement the project.However,she alsoencouragedthe team’s efforts to accelerate the progress and make it a successwithin the rest of project duration and underthechallenges,including the COVID-19.Her remarks ended with UNEP-IEMP’s support onmobilingexperts from China and beyond for knowledge transfer and capacity building for Cambodia. This is a way for South-South cooperation on ecosystem managementandUNEP-IEMP wouldexplore options to further sustain the South-South cooperation in future collaboration. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that a written progress would be submitted to the steering committee for guidance and recommendations at the end of June. The 2ndsteering committee meetingwill beorganizedin the latter half of 2022.
27 April 2022|News
Organized by the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center/Lancang-Mekong Environmental Cooperation Center under the guidance of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, this roundtable dialogue aimed to strengthen Lancang-Mekong countries’ policy exchange aswell as the mainstreaming of sustainable infrastructure policies and investments to facilitate theimplementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The roundtable dialoguewould also help develop the Lancang-Mekong Knowledge Hub for Low-carbon, Green andSustainable Infrastructure and promote low-carbon development in the Lancang-Mekongregion. It was participated by more than 100 participants from the governments of the Lancang-Mekong countries, UN agencies, international organisations, private sector and academia. Ms. Tatirose Vijitpan, Focal Point of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Portfolio, gave presentation under "Session 2: Ecological Infrastructure Supports CommunitySustainable Development in the Lancang-Mekong Region". Her presentation titled"Regional Perspectivesand Actions on the Ground: Integrated Ecosystem Management for Sustainable Livelihoods", gave the regional view of the significant issues in the region related to ecosystem management and sustainable livelihoods that UNEP-IEMP have been contributing to address. Particularly, it highlights the ongoing"Improving Ecosystem Management for Sustainable Livelihoods in Cambodia and China within the Framework of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Project", financed by the UNEP-China Trust Fund Phase 2, that UNEP-IEMP is in charge of knowledge generation, capacity building, and – in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, Cambodia – pilot activities in Phnom Kulen National Park, Siem Reap province. Lancang-Mekong Roundtable Dialogue on Green, Low Carbon and Sustainable Infrastructure was held online
06 April 2022|News
Ecosystem-based Adaptation through South-South Cooperation (EbA South, 2013-2020) has been selected by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to present its story, successes and lessons learned as aGood Practice Briefof GEF-funded project. The GEF secretariat has selected it from several nominations by various GEF agencies, taking into consideration approaches used to generate multiple global environmental benefits and co-benefits, and to achieve clear results and/or sustainability. This is also the first GEF brief ever written onEcosystem-based Adaptation (EbA). The project was funded by the GEF Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) as a flagship initiative for South-South Cooperation, enabling an exchange of technology transfer, capacity building, policy support and fundraising between countries in the Global South. The project catalyzed global and regional collaboration on EbA, especially sharing China’s experience and research know-how in ecological restoration and climate change adaptation. Nature-based solutions for climate adaptation were piloted in key vulnerable ecosystems, i.e. deserts in Mauritania, mountains in Nepal, and coasts in the Seychelles. Moreover, the project has brought about positive impacts with legacy in the pilot countries and beyond, including Mekong EbA South. This Good Practice Briefshares EbA South`s invaluable experiences on the two key features, namely EbA interventions for technology transfer and long-term research, and South-South Cooperation for knowledge exchange and capacity building. It also captures EbA South’s lessons on science-based interventions, adaptive management, documentation of EbA interventions, and professional interpreters for cross-culture learning. As a next step, theGEF secretariat is planning for a webinar to introduce the features and lessons learned from EbASouth to other countries and GEF agencies for their future and ongoing projects. UNEP-IEMP, as the project management unit, would like to thank our project team, steering committee and partners for all the dedication from the beginning till the end of project, plus follow-up activities and initiatives derived from the EbA South. We are also very appreciative of the GEF secretariat’s recognition of its success.