Unesco Green Citizens


UNESCO’s commitment to biodiversity: connecting people and nature for an inspiring future

Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet. It underpins human wellbeing in the present and in the future, and its rapid decline threatens nature and people alike.

Many solutions exist for stopping and reversing the decline in biodiversity. UNESCO’s diverse networks, programmes and partners have observed positive and inspiring seeds of change around the world.

Get inspired by UNESCO Green Citizens projects that act for conserving and transmitting biodiversity and get involved!

Learn more about UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme: https://en.unesco.org/mab

Education for Sustainable Development
Indigenous and Local Knowledge
Forests and desertification
Natural disasters risk reduction
Natural resource management
Participatory science/citizen science
Sustainable lifestyles
Democratic Republic of the Congo
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
#Africa #Youth

Youth Association for the Protection of the Environment in the Commune of Kita-Ouest (AJPE)

In order to save biodiversity, Djibone Sissoko mobilises young people to stop bushfires from spreading in Mali and educates inhabitants from his commune Kita-Ouest about the dangers these fires pose for animals and for the environment. He acts to raise awareness among small farmers and their families about the harmful effects that bushfires can have if poorly managed, devastating fauna and flora in their path.


Coral Vita: Restoring Our World’s Dying Reefs

Friends Sam Teicher and Gator Halpern have co-founded Coral Vita, a high-tech coral farming solution to protect the dying reefs in The Bahamas and around the world. Through high-impact coral reefs restoration, Coral Vita helps preserve reefs for future generations while spurring the blue economy’s growth locally and globally.

Coral Vita’s land-based farms integrate breakthrough methods to accelerate coral growth up to 50x (micro fragmenting) while enhancing their resiliency to warming and acidifying oceans (assisted evolution). Coral Vita’s model scales: one land-based farm can potentially supply an entire nation’s reefs with sufficient capital investment.

Alongside this novel form of high-tech coral farming, Coral Vita is deploying an innovative for-profit model to sustain large-scale restoration. Given reefs’ tremendous value, they are working to transition restoration to a commercial industry. This unique model facilitates revenue generation and better scalability than any current restoration practitioners. Coral Vita sells reef restoration as a service to customers that depend on reefs’ benefits. As the farms grow diverse, resilient, and affordable coral for restoration projects, they also function as eco-tourism attractions and education centres. Guests pay to visit the farms, where they learn about the importance of protecting reefs, and how they can help, including by adopting coral or planting them with Coral Vita’s teams and local dive shops. Students, fishermen, and community members also visit the farm to build local capacity for future jobs in the blue economy, and Coral Vita emphasizes hiring locally as much as possible.



Water for Wildlife

Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua is acting to tackle a fundamental problem: water scarcity in wildlife zones! 

The project is all about water for wildlife as one way of conservation and reducing human-wildlife conflict for competing for the same water resource. Indeed, as the number of conflicts between humans and wild animals started to rise due to water scarcity, Patrick decided to bring in an efficient solution through re-watering the dry wildlife zones. Moreover, Patrick is also looking for innovative methodologies to make sure that animals have plenty of water into the wildlife zones.


Vigie-Nature (Nature Watch)

No matter who you are, children, professionals, retired or simply nature lovers, you can help Vigie-Nature. By collecting data and monitoring biodiversity in your living area, you will help Grégoire Loïs and Vigie Nature 10 Programmes teams to fill the gap on biodiversity. Involving citizens and NGOs in a ground-breaking collaboration, Grégoire has enabled the creation of biodiversity monitoring programmes, covering wider countryside and urban areas in France.


#Africa #Women

The Widou Thiengoly multi-purpose gardens

Coumba Dady KA is fighting for positive change in Senegal through the creation of polyvalent gardens with fellow women. The garden’s final goal is to ensure food diet diversification and increased financial autonomy thanks to the engagement of these women.

The polyvalent gardens are parallel projects to the great green wall project in order to combat desertification. These gardens were set up and are managed in consultation with the women living in the villages across the Great Green Wall. These determined women have formed various Economic Interest Groups. The aim of these gardens is to allow the cultivation of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, to provide food security to different villages across the Great Green Wall. 

These gardens should provide enough food for self-consumption as well as enabling villagers to diversify their diet. Moreover, they have the possibility to sell their surplus crops at weekly markets. This initiative thus enables women to achieve a new social and financial autonomy, as well as to develop their expertise in agriculture.

parade for manta rays protection awareness

Planeta Océano: protecting the Giant Manta

Kerstin Forsberg is determined in engaging coastal fishermen communities of Peru in protecting the giant manta ! To do so, she created the marine educator’s teacher network as well as participatory research or community-based manta ray ecotourism. Planeta Océano engages coastal communities in marine conservation through research, marine education and sustainable development initiatives. These initiatives include:

1. Participatory research and citizen science: Local volunteers (fishermen, children, youth, among others) actively investigate local ecosystems, fisheries, and marine species, thus supporting local management efforts. Projects have included assessing shark and ray fisheries, pioneering manta ray conservation in Peru, assessing Traditional Ecological Knowledge on critically endangered sawfish, and supporting Marine Protected Areas.

2. Marine education: Incorporating and institutionalizing marine education and Ocean Literacy. Projects have included setting up Peru’s “Marine Educators Teacher Network” with over 50 schools, leading incubators for youth-lead environmental initiatives, game-based education and their Connecting Schools program, which aims to bring together students across borders through online technology and community engagement.

3. Sustainable development: Fostering environmental entrepreneurship and market-based approaches that contribute to marine conservation and socio-economic development. For example, pioneering community-based manta ray ecotourism in Peru as an alternate livelihood for low-income fishermen and local artisans.

Ultimately, these multidisciplinary and participatory efforts serve as a platform to connect multiple sectors in marine conservation, thus bringing together government, academia, youth, children, local fishermen, and many others.

Sustainable Cupuaçu in the Amazon

In the past 30 years, nearly 1,000,000 km2 of Amazonian forest has been destroyed. The local communities of Bela Aurora and Santa Luzia are restoring the forest, by planting local species, like the Cupuaçu. By following the principles of agroforestry, they turned the forest into a sustainable source of both food and income. With support from the local NGO Instituto Beraca, they are preserving the Amazonian biodiversity, transferring knowledge on sustainable agroforestry from one community to the other.

The project was conceived on three missions: to protect; to explore; to educate. These missions were the guiding elements for the construction of the project’s objective and action areas, which have the following propositions:
PROTECT – Main element of the project that aims to protect the Amazon biome from the restoration of degraded areas through the implementation of agroforestry systems (SAF) in Bela Aurora Community. The project foresaw the planting of 3,000 feet of cupuaçu (in addition to other Integrated species) in the expectation of a production of around 6 tons of seeds in 3-4 years. The strategy adopted to achieve this objective is to transfer technology between family farmers in the community of Bela Aurora and the community of Santa Luzia, in Tomé Açu, which has a history of production in SAFs.
EXPLORE – The pillar aims to systematize and disseminate knowledge from the project’s learning and results, through scientific publications, congresses, etc.
EDUCATE – Consists on conducting workshops with children and young people from the Bela Aurora community, seeking to reinforce the element of environmental education in SAF cultures. This formal moment aims to help develop a more theoretical and critical perception of reality, focusing on the role of human beings in nature, the dynamics of trees in the forest and the importance of preserving biodiversity to maintain the balance of the biome. Within the initiatives aimed at implementing the SAFs, Six training workshops were planned, which involve activities to raise awareness of the importance of restoring degraded areas, preserving the environment and agro-ecological production with family farmers in Bela Aurora.


Pristine Seas underwater cinematographer Manu San Félix swims through a school of thousands of black stripe salema at Isabela Island.

Pristine Seas Protection Project

Ocean life has a critical role in supporting all life on Earth. That is why Enric Sala founded National Geographic Pristine Seas, and together with partners and local communities have inspired the protection of 22 places in the ocean covering a total area of more than 5.8 million square kilometers — nearly half the area of the United States. Pristine Seas seeks to explore, document and inspire the protection of the last wild places in the ocean.

The project team works with partners, local communities and governments to help create marine reserves, using their unique combination of exploration, research and storytelling. These reserves have both local and global benefits. Local benefits include enhancing the sustainability of local fishing, perpetuating local cultures and lifestyles, developing ecotourism opportunities, enhancing coastal protection from storm surge, increasing food security, and improving livelihoods. Global benefits include mitigation of climate change via ocean carbon storage, as well as protection of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services.

Pristine Seas is working to help achieve a global goal of protecting 30 percent of the ocean by 2030, thereby bolstering marine biodiversity and improving food provision, while safeguarding the ability of the ocean to help mitigate climate change through carbon storage.


Copyrights: Worldfoodorama

Jubilación Segura: social empowerment in Peru

Tristan Lecomte understands the need to develop agroforestry and nature-based solution projects. To do so, he created the PUR project which incubates and build sustainable and environmentally friendly projects. Jubilación Segura, through which he gathers small-scale, fair-trade farming families who plant trees on degraded and unused lands in Peru, following forestry models, is one of these incredible projects.  

Jubilación Segura is a project where the cooperative gathers small-scale, fair-trade, organic cocoa and coffee farming families who plant trees on degraded and unused lands in Peru, following forestry models, as well as on cultivated plots where they develop agroforestry practices.
The project also develops tree planting in the Amazonas Region which has faced high deforestation due to the extension of cattle ranching.

The objectives of the project are to:
– Protect ecosystems by developing agroforestry to ensure long-term sustainability of cocoa and coffee plantations.
– Fight deforestation and its consequences, such as soil erosion, decrease of water availability, natural disasters, landscape degradation, and biodiversity loss.
– Enhance farmers’ livelihoods by providing alternative sources of income.



Wadi Degla Virtual Museum

In a quest to raise people’s awareness regarding Egypt’s natural heritage and specifically the Wadi Degla Protected Area, a group of citizens decided to use Virtual Reality to bring people closer to nature: when technology meets sustainable development! 

As part of Nature Conservation Egypt’s environmental education program, Wadi Degla Virtual Museum is a pioneering educational experience that provides environmental, historical, and geological awareness about Cairo’s gateway to the Eastern desert in a mobile and dynamic way. This project uses Virtual Reality (VR) technology to bring the public closer to nature and educate them about one of Egypt’s fascinating protected areas in the form of three 360-degree videos that cover the following topics:
1. The Geological History of Wadi Degla
2. The Biodiversity and Ecosystems of Wadi Degla
3. The Nature-friendly activities in Wadi Degla

They offer three main educational experiences:

Experience 1: An intimate closed lecture with select participants (max.16)
What it looks like: It is a 2-hour lecture that incorporates VR videos for all participants. At the end, all participants get printed educational material.

Experience 2: An open lecture followed by a closed VR experience session
What it looks like: It starts with an hour educational lecture that is open to anyone interested in learning about the Wadi Degla protectorate. Upon entrance, every attendant gets a raffle ticket. At the end of the lecture, 16 raffle tickets are randomly selected. Those whose numbers are chosen get to experience the WDVM videos with the team. All participants get printed educational material.

Experience 3: A public booth
What it looks like: Anyone interested can experience the VR and get educational material about the protected area.

Experience 4: A customized educational experience based on your context and preference.

To ensure the sustainability of this project, they often charge for this service the institution and communities that do not suffer from poverty. Compensation is based on a sliding scale depending on the recipient’s ability to pay. A small percentage of the fees goes towards maintaining the project’s equipment while the majority goes towards sponsoring a free event at another institution that cannot pay.


Load More
You are excited to participate ?
Or you Are...
excited to participate ?
An NGO that seeks to support local projects?
developing a local and sustainable project for the planet?
a private company seeking to stimulate or finance significant projects?
committed media, ready to highlight citizens' innovations?
decision-makers looking for good practices from local communities?
all together, we can incubate change

Discover meaningful projects

Choose your preferred project to embark on

Contact the project owner

Discover inspiring initiatives around the world and find innovative solutions

Duplicate the proposed sustainable solutions

Establish new partnerships

Find inspiration and discover new ideas

Connect and share experiences with other innovators around the world

Contact us to propose your project

Discover the innovations carried out by citizens in your CSR fields of action and in the regions of your choice

Support through funding or by providing skills in your areas of expertise

Contact the project leaders

Find inspiring stories of engaged citizens to enrich your editorial work

Help local projects increase their impact and make them known to your audience

Contact the project managers

Discover citizen initiatives around the world

Invest in local projects aligned with your strategy for sustainable development

Contact the project managers