Skip to main content

Thematic area


Coastal Adaptation

Promoting integrated, ecosystem-based, climate-resilient management of the world’s rivers, lakes and oceans is an essential component of UNDP’s climate change adaptation service offer. The main areas of work include watershed management and catchment rehabilitation, sustainable land management, coastline protection, and promoting integrated water resource management systems. Coastal cities, small island developing states, coastal habitats, and marine environments are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of rising seas, coastal degradation, salination, and other climate impacts. To address these interlinked challenges, UNDP’s urban resilience and ecosystem-based adaptation programming is also preparing coastal communities and coastal habitats to become more resilient to climate shocks.


The GEF-financed ‘Coastal Resilience Program’ is Timor-Leste's largest ever effort to conserve coastal ecosystems, with a view to protect people's livelihoods and forge more resilient communities in the face of climate change.

With support from the Green Climate Fund and UNDP, Egypt is protecting its people and its economy from the devastating impacts of sea-level rise.

UNDP is re-imagining urban resilience to protect people and the planet from climate change and to build back greener from COVID-19.


The Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) is issuing a series of 'Ocean Challenges' or Requests for Proposals, each focused on a specific SDG14 target. Initial concepts may be submitted by public or private entities, including governments, private companies (including start-ups), NGO/civil society organizations, United Nations entities, academic institutions, and intergovernmental organizations.

UNDP will deliver on its Ocean Promise through our Ocean Programme, which comprises a range of ongoing and new projects and initiatives dedicated to tackling the ocean crisis. By 2030, 100 coastal countries (including all Small Island Developing States) will realize the maximum potential of their blue economies through sustainable, low-emission, and climate-resilient ocean use — that grows economies, creates jobs and livelihoods, improves food security, and reduces poverty, inequity and gender inequality.


Coral reefs are among the world’s most threatened ecosystems by climate change impacts, with overfishing, agricultural run-off, sewage discharge, and unsustainable tourism degrading the reefs, further decreasing their chance of survival. Studies have shown that local management of such threats can alleviate the impacts of climate change on the coral reefs. Thus, supporting and providing capital to businesses and companies for the sustainable use of ocean resources can considerably improve the resilience of reefs and the communities that depend on them. 

A Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability, jointly prepared by UNDP’s Water and Ocean Governance Programme, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and International Maritime Organization (IMO), contextualizes and sets forth a series of ten tangible proposals to shift the oceans management paradigm towards sustainability, and is intended to inform and influence possible Rio+20 outcomes on oceans.