Photo: UNDP Rwanda

Access to energy

UNDP's efforts in energy for sustainable development support the achievement of universal access to modern energy for the poor and enhanced quality, security and affordability of modern energy.

  • UNDP is leading a far-reaching programme that provides energy through disel and biofuel stations to 3.5 million rural dwellers in seven West African countries. The initiative has helped reduce the time women and girls devote to domestic chores, enabling them to attend school and generate more income.
  • In Mali, UNDP installed solar power in rural communities, providing energy for cooking, irrigation, solar drying and food-grade ice production. The scheme is benefitting 30,000 people and providing additional revenue for women and youths.

Tackling poverty and the environment as two sides of the same coin

UNDP supports 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.

  • UNDP is helping to protect the 160 kilometre Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor in Tanzania and Mozambique, by engaging 50,000 people in sustainable income-generation activities, such as beekeeping and fish farming.
  • In Namibia, a project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is protecting a network of natural reserves, enhancing the management of 20 game parks and nature reserves that cover almost 14 per cent of the country’s land. Through its community-based wildlife conservancy focus livelihoods have been strengthened through increased income-generating opportunities.

Helping countries and communities achieve green paths to development

UNDP is mobilizing knowledge and expertise to help countries embark on new growth trajectories designed to be more socially inclusive, as well as responsive to poverty reduction and economic diversification objectives.

  • Ethiopia, with assistance from UNDP and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), developed a strategy for green growth over two decades, aiming for middle income country status by 2025 while capping greenhouse gas emissions.
  •  In Nigeria,  more than 50,000 rural dwellers, 65 per cent of them women, have been trained to use organic fertilizers and farming methods in areas where soils were poor and depleted.

Climate change

UNDP helps African countries and regional institutions to tackle climate issues and minimize the risk of climate-related disasters by strengthening capacities of decision-makers and institutions to attract and implement climate funding. We also assist public institutions to include adaptation in their development plans and communities to become climate-resilient.

  • UNDP supported 20 African countries under the $92 million Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) to develop long-term, comprehensive and cost-effective climate change adaptation actions and resilience plans. Under the AAP these countries gained access to and applied better climate data and information, strengthened institutional frameworks and leadership capacities, developed greater abilities to access climate-related financing, and developed platforms to share related knowledge and information. As a result of these enhanced institutional and professional capacities, participating countries now have solid foundations on which transformative responses to climatic threats can be built and implemented.

  • In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we contribute to a large UN programme that aims to preserve the world’s second largest tropical forest. The UN Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) creates financial value for the carbon stored in trees, resulting in carbon offsets for standing forests.
Recent Publications
Fast Facts: UNDP and the Environment in Africa

UNDP supports countries so they can 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.

Laying the Foundations for Climate Resilient Development


This report seeks to chronicle the successes of the AAP by giving a voice to the people who have implemented the programme on the ground, including National AAP Directors, representatives of UNDP Country Offices and individuals working with local NGOs.

Consolidating Gains and Building Momentum

After four years of engagement in the AAP, 20 countries across Africa have established strong foundations in the management of their national climate adaptation agendas that, with time and continued effort, will transform them from an ad hoc to a strategic approach.

View More Environment & Energy Publications