Fresh water Ecosystems
DEPI coordinates the implementation of the UNEP Water Policy and strategy, which is based on the application of ecosystem approach to the management of water resources. The activity portfolio includes ecosystem restoration; assisting countries to address environmental aspects of infrastructure development; promoting resource-use efficiency and use of non- conventional sources of water; and addressing climate change impacts on fresh water ecosystems. Strengthening the environment component of integrated water resources management (IWRM) is given attention, especially in support of water reforms.
Under terrestrial ecosystem management DEPI focuses on sustainable use and management of land and forests, habitats and landscapes and the ecosystem services they provide. The Division provides advisory services, technology support, and capacity building on policy, science, advocacy and governance issues.
The activity portfolio includes the Congo Basin Forest Fund, the Great apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), and community based management of natural resources. It also covers the ecosystem approach to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) to address emerging challenges in agricultural production systems in developing countries, and reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
Great Apes as Flagship Species
The aim of the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) is to conserve viable populations of great apes and their tropical forest habitat. Launched in 2001, the partnership is a unique mix of UN agencies, MEAs, governments, civil society and the private sector. GRASP activities are geared towards poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods of the people who live around the forests on which the apes depend. For example:
• Deriving multiple benefits from “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD)”
• Transboundary cooperation and conflict resolution, supporting law enforcement and ecotourism
• Improving livelihoods of forest peoples through conservation of great apes and forests