Voices of Impact: Speaking for the Global Commons

Stories from 25 years of environmental innovation for sustainable development

Storytelling is part of the fabric that holds human societies together – stories connect us to our humanity, providing links to what has been, and a glimpse of what might be to come.

Spanning all 25 years of UNDP’s partnership with the GEF, the stories in this anniversary publication represent a small sample of the thousands that could be told. These stories stand as evidence that our work to protect the health of the planet is bringing about real improvements in people’s lives and changes in the way governments, businesses and civil society think about the environment, develop policies and do their work.

The storytellers include people from all walks of life, including subsistence farmers, civil society leaders, captains of industry, environmental practitioners, renowned academics and government ministers. The common thread that binds their stories together is the message of transformational impact that promises a brighter future.

The topics of their stories vary widely, ranging from strengthening the governance of protected areas, to increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate-induced risks, empowering women through sustainable land management, ridge-to-reef approaches to conserving threatened species and improving local livelihoods, building models for community conservation, partnerships for improved management and governance of oceans, renewable energy solutions for greening the reconstruction of war-damaged countries, and reducing the risks to human and environmental health through improved management of harmful chemicals.

From the foothills of the Himalayas in Bhutan, to the coastal fishing grounds of Cuba, the arid plains of Kenya and the small islands of the South Pacific, the ‘voices’ featured in this book speak of the profound impacts that these projects have had on their own lives, on their communities and institutions, and on the planet itself. The stories speak of strong partnerships involving people and institutions in all sectors of society – these are the ‘Voices of Impact’, the champions of our shared heritage who are speaking for the global commons.

View