2019's top multimedia stories and blogs

Photo: UNDP Chad / Aurélia Rusek

From inequality, to the food we eat, to climate change, our multimedia stories in 2019 looked at the most vital issues we face as a species.

Our feature on the challenges and opportunities in the Sahel region was the most widely-read story of the year.

Across the region, 4.2 million people are displaced and millions more are unable to find work, yet the potential of the Sahel is enormous. More than 64 per cent of the region’s 150 million people are under 25, and UNDP is working to ensure they have the tools and resources to bring about change.

Widening inequality; a universal issue focused on one of the paradoxes of our time. Inequality persists, and flourishes, in every region of the world, even as wealth increases and enormous gains have been made in tackling poverty. It is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) yet it is not inevitable. It stems from policies, laws and cultural norms which can be addressed.

The way we eat looked at the hidden costs of modern food production. On the one hand, diseases associated with eating too much meat and dairy are exploding, while on the other more than 820 million people lack enough food. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says a sustainable food system is key to limiting global warming. Our story investigated the ways we can change the way our food is produced and consumed.

Beyond Bitcoin explored Blockchain, an emerging technology that has tremendous potential to tackle development challenges, even though it is often perceived negatively or as “too complex” in light of the cryptocurrencies it powers, such as Bitcoin. The story investigated how important Blockchain is in supporting the SDGs and its potential to lead to a fairer world.

It is indisputable that our world is getting warmer, but what does this mean in effect? Taking the pulse of our planet, our twice-annual feature on the SDGs, takes an in-depth look at the cascading effects of climate change from extreme weather, biodiversity loss, rising sea levels and extreme heat and drought.

UNDP has an incredible pool of development experts and our most-read blogs reflect this diverse and talented team.

Artificial Intelligence is frequently in the headlines these days, sometimes portrayed in apocalyptic terms as the technology that will take over our jobs or even our lives. But what if it could also become a valuable tool in the worldwide efforts to achieve the SDGs?

The Accelerator Lab network is re-imagining development for the 21st century by building the world’s largest and fastest learning network. It will comprise 60 labs based in nearly one-third of the world’s countries. We are trying to dramatically speed up our ability to learn which development ideas work and how to apply them more widely.

UNDP’s SDG Impact initiative is developing globally agreed standards for financial asset classes that will quantify and focus their contributions towards the SDGs.

These standards will help investors and companies go beyond using the goals to map existing activities, to a more integrated practice of directing and orienting investment into activities that contribute to measurable progress.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the countries least responsible for climate change are the most adversely affected by it. But this hasn’t stopped developing nations from stepping up with their own ambitious plans to counter it. UNDP’s Mohamed Yaya laid out why Nigeria should lead.

Transforming our world #By2030. Visit us at www.undp.org

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