Biodiv Sci


The achievements and experiences of UNDP-GEF biodiversity projects in China

Chaode Ma1,Xinhua Zhao1,Cheng Zheng2,Fei Leng1   

  1. 1. United Nations Development Programme China Office
    2. UNDP China Office
  • Received:2020-03-31 Revised:2020-06-16 Published:2020-07-30
  • Contact: Chaode Ma

Abstract: The Global Environment Facility (GEF), the financial mechanism to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), has had seven global replenishment periods. When implementing GEF projects, some common challenges usually encountered include: projects not being sustainable, excessively high expectations on project design, and a requirement for complex implementations. As a GEF international implementing agency, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) collaborated with the Chinese government to optimize the project design. They were able to take comprehensive actions against challenges usually faced and were able to accomplish several goals in conserving biodiversity. The following strategies and achievements serve as successful examples and best practices contributing to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Strategic Action Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020: (1) By leveraging the 5-10 times of matching fund from the Chinese government for biodiversity-related work and emphasizing the importance of conserving biodiversity at all levels of governments, they were able to enable financial, institutional and environmental sustainability. These projects supported the national strategic planning and five-year plan, facilitated the incorporation of laws and regulations focused on biodiversity, explored mechanisms for financing projects, optimized policies, and enabled the importance of biodiversity to be a key focus for the country. Consequently, the concept of “Ecological Civilization” is now playing leading role in policy making. (2) Consulting with stakeholders during full project cycles from designing to implementation and setting objectives in a SMART way to increase project effectiveness. (3) Using successful practices from other counties and exploring innovations and demonstrations in ways suitable for China. (4) Providing enough trainings and resources to comprehensively build capabilities of institutions and personnel focused on conservingbiodiversity. Additionally, provide trainings and resources to help develop China’s ‘soft’ and ‘smart’ skills in technology, management, coordination, and collaboration. (5) Using various technological platforms to communicate, promote, and raise public awareness of the importance of maintaining biodiversity and to lay the foundation for long-term sustainability. This paper combines the practices of the GEF biodiversity projects jointly implemented by UNDP as an international implementing agency, along with relevant ministries and governmental institutes in China, and summarizes their achievements and experiences. Here, we aim to provide references for designs and implementations of relevant global projects. These references can be used for the formulation and implementation of related projects globally in the future and contribute to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, to achieve the vision of “living in harmony with nature by 2050”.

Key words: Global Environment Facility, United Nations Development Programme, biodiversity, achievements, project management