Our Impact

  • 2,907 tons of Ozone Depleting Substances eliminated in the refrigeration and solvent sectors for stronger ozone layer protection
  • More than half a million people overseas have continued to benefit from post-disaster recovery assistance projects in 5 countries, funded by $17 million from the Government of China
  • 23 million hectares of land protected, equivalent to the whole area of UK
  • 1,527 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) produced across multiple sites in China including 9 new cities 
  • 50 million reached worldwide through advocacy campaigns raising awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals
  • 780,000 people in China safeguarded from exposure to hazardous chemical pollutants

Low-Carbon Transformation

Shanghai Hydrogen Refueling Station

Shanghai Hydrogen Refueling Station

Fuel Cell Technology

We are supporting China’s transition to a low-carbon society by helping to develop more effective policies and enable an environment for the advancement of “green” technologies such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). 1,527 FCVs were produced in 2018 across multiple sites in China including 9 new cities as part of UNDP efforts to shift from the demonstration of fuel cell technology to its commercialization. 33 publicly listed companies and over 41 automakers are in FCV assembly lines.

Cutting Carbon Emissions

By working with our partners and people on the ground, we have reduced CO2 emissions equal to 4 coal power plants over 1 year (14.85 million tons by 2022) by increasing energy efficiency in the motor, lighting and logistic industries. 

We have supported the establishment of the largest emission trading scheme (ETS) market in the world. By providing tailored policy and local implementation support China has successfully scaled up ETS from 7 pilot sites to a nationwide system. 

UNDP also launched its first-ever mining control project aiming to help Wuhai build a green economy.

Biodiversity and
Clean China

UNDP’s wetlands conservation site in the Altai Mountains in Xinjiang

UNDP’s wetlands conservation site in the Altai Mountains in Xinjiang

Biodiversity Conservation

Biodiversity also plays a crucial role in building resilience and China has been taking many concrete steps to meet international targets of protecting 15% of land and 90% of protected species and ecosystems by 2030, as well as increasing the resilience of the country to climate change.

UNDP has helped design China’s national park programme and has helped preserve an area roughly the size of the United Kingdom. Now 23 million ha are under effective protection, helping to preserve China’s environmental carrying capacity.

Protection from Harmful Chemicals 

With support from UNDP, chemicals causing damage to the earth’s ozone layer commonly used in Chinese factories to clean all types of screens, such as TVs and computers, will soon be phased out. 

In 2018 alone, 2,907 tons of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) were eliminated in the refrigeration and solvent sectors.

UNDP also helped to provide training for 15,953 people safeguarding 780,000 people from exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which are hazardous chemical pollutants originating from pesticides and industrial substances.

Disaster Management

Crisis Prevention and Increased Resilience

China has made significant progress in establishing an infrastructure for disaster response. At the same time China is now supporting other developing countries with development challenges confronting communities that are impacted by hazards and gradual or rapid-onset crises. 

Through Disaster Risk Management initiatives in China and abroad, 47,023 people benefited from interventions with improved capacity in reducing disaster risks and improving resilience. These interventions included trainings, conferences, emergency supplies distribution and guidelines. 

In Chengdu, the Disaster Preparedness Learning Center was established, reinforcing the commitment to knowledge sharing and disaster risk reduction practices. The center will act as a knowledge hub to promote disaster risk reduction best practices. 

We are also supporting the mapping of hazards in China and collecting post-disaster data to better respond to communities’ needs.

SDG Integration and Sustainable Investment

China has made enormous progress with poverty reduction, integrating the SDGs into development efforts.

In 2018, 13.86 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty in China, lowering the total rural poor population to 16.60 million and the incidence of poverty to 1.7%. 

Although an impressive achievement, challenges still remain to make poverty reduction inclusive and long- term. Beyond 2020, once the ‘last batch’ of poor have been lifted out of extreme poverty, new and diverse challenges will continue to arise, which China will need to address. To support this long-term vision, UNDP and the government have been working side by side.

Supporting the Most Vulnerable in Society

Throughout 2018, UNDP has been supporting the Chinese government to make sure poverty reduction supports the most vulnerable in society. Through the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we align our poverty reduction efforts with China’s poverty alleviation strategy. 

Together with CICETE, UNDP helped establish domestic service training centers and provided employment opportunities in seven provinces, further leveraging CNY 23.6 million in government funds that could potentially support thousands of women currently below the poverty line. Through this initiative, the average income of 1687 rural poor, out of which 98.3% were women, increased eight to fifteen fold. 

To make sure no one is left behind, we’ve used rights campaigns, provided legal aid, policy advice and practical training for people living with HIV, LGBTI groups, women and other marginalized groups. 

Our policy work led to the submission of three legislative bills on gender-based violence to the National People’s Congress and People’s Political Consultative Conference meeting, promoting gender equality, rights for LGBTI, and the prevention of domestic violence and in-school bullying. 

We are localizing SDGs by establishing SDG Pilot Villages. At the same time, we are working with the government on establishment of the very first 'SDG Innovation Demonstration Zones' in China as an attempt to use innovation to support the achievement of the SDGs. 

Empowering Communities

Ethnic minority groups account for 9% of the Chinese population, yet make up nearly one third of its poor. Ethnic minority women in particular are often disadvantaged, which severely inhibits their ability to engage fully in society and has led to multifaceted exclusion in the community decision making process and development. 

UNDP is working on the ground to empower ethnic minority women and promote their social and economic development by harnessing their unique cultural assets. 

In Guizhou and Yunnan, the poorest regions of the country, with high concentrations of ethnic minorities, the income of 25,820 Yi and Miao women doubled by engaging the private sector in the development of local entrepreneurial skills and promoting alternative livelihoods. 

China's Global Engagement

The Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an international cooperation platform focused on connectivity that aims to advance global development. By now, the Initiative's geographic scope has expanded to include countries from all parts of the globe. As of the end of 2018, China has signed 170 cooperation agreements related to Belt and Road development with over 100 different countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the South Pacific region, and with 29 international organizations. 

UNDP’s Engagement on the Belt and Road Initiative 

We work with countries participating in the initiative to advocate and support measures that call for the sustainable implementation of the BRI. We do this by linking it to the SDGs and facilitating it to harness technology, financial, and human resources for sustainable and inclusive development as well as to advance low-carbon development. UNDP is committed to achieving mutually beneficial outcomes for Belt and Road partner countries, focusing on underlying analysis and research on its economic and development impact and advocating for a green BRI. In addition, we also promote sustainable financing and investments, and knowledge and information sharing across partnering countries. 

South-South Cooperation

Every country has different development needs and challenges. South-South cooperation identifies and implements mutually beneficial solutions between developing nations. UNDP implements projects to promote the practice of experience-sharing and offer a range of policy choices for different countries

UNDP implemented roof reconstruction project in the Commonwealth of Dominica - BEFORE

UNDP implemented roof reconstruction project in the Commonwealth of Dominica - AFTER

UNDP implemented roof reconstruction project in the Commonwealth of Dominica - BEFORE

UNDP implemented roof reconstruction project in the Commonwealth of Dominica - AFTER

UNDP's South-South Engagement

In 2018, UNDP facilitated China’s development assistance to respond to the demands of developing countries. 

In Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Commonwealth of Dominica, more than half a million people have continued to benefit from post-disaster recovery assistance projects funded by $17 million from the Government of China 

Through Trilateral cooperation with the governments of China and Malawi, we launched a Small Grants Scheme to reduce disaster risks and strengthen resilience of local communities, helping 23,000 vulnerable households and 10,000 communities in Malawi with flood preparedness. Given the success of the project, the model will be scaled up and applied to all disaster-prone districts in Malawi. 

Innovation, Technology, Advocacy

Transformational Impact

UNDP China is in the forefront of leveraging innovation and technology for development. 

In Xinjiang, as part of efforts to phase out dangerous pollutants, UNDP has been testing alternative technologies in cotton pest management, designing, testing and promoting a green, effective and affordable pesticide. In 2018, 4,000 farmers received training in demonstration areas on the adoption of integrated technical models of biological control and the use of new technologies. 

UNDP also introduced a new drip irrigation technology for 210 hectares of sugarcane farms at a village-based pilot in Guangxi leading to the provincial government’s target of an upscaling to over 333,000 hectares to be completed by 2020. In increasing farmers’ resilience to drought, this practice doubled farmers’ income and improved water efficiency to approximately 70%. In 2018, we organized a study tour for the EU Water Project of UNDP Uzbekistan, showcasing this technology and helping water managers and practitioners learn from China’s experience. 

UNDP released the Technology for Philanthropy under the Sustainable Development Goals report, identifying solutions that effectively apply technology to philanthropic activities. Through a series of case studies, from medical instruments made of paper to biodegradable products made of cassava or sugarcane to replace single-use plastics, the report intends to help the Chinese philanthropy sector to understand and use technology for social good.

Global Advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals

UNDP is a leading advocate for the SDGs. Our SDG public-awareness campaigns in 2018 focused on encouraging youth to move from simply understanding the SDGs to taking actions to achieve them, leveraging partnerships to reach over 50 million people worldwide. 

As part of these efforts, we partnered with LinkedIn to produce "H5 Quiz: The Hottest Offer this Summer" - a gamified SDG advocacy campaign to promote the alignment of young people’s career pursuits with the SDGs. The campaign received 42 million views on Weibo. 

UNDP also teamed up with the Chengdu Panda Base to launch the Panda Postcard Campaign, calling on the public to design postcards of Pandas in SDG related themes. Hundreds of entries were received and 17 award-winning postcards were selected by the UN Postal Administration for global distribution.

2018 was a significant year for UNDP China. It marked 3 years since the world adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 40 years since China’s Economic Reform and Opening Up. We helped make great progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both in China and around the world.

This annual review offers an overview of some of our more noteworthy accomplishments from 2018. It summarizes major strides we have made in areas such as climate action, poverty alleviation, and biodiversity conservation through both the initiation of new projects and the continuation of old ones.

None of the achievements contained in this review would have been possible without the dedication and commitment of all the hard-working staff members at UNDP China and the cooperation with our partners and the Chinese government. I would therefore like to extend a heartfelt thank you to my colleagues, our national counterparts, UN agencies, and everyone else who worked alongside us over the past year. A special acknowledgment goes to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), our government window agency and our key implementing partner the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE), for their continued assistance and engagement on development initiatives.

Moving forward, we will look to keep up the great work we have done and build upon our 2018 progress. In particular, we aim to continue integrating the SDGs into development decisions, promote a low-carbon economy, and help China to further grow into its role as a leading development partner for the world.

Many challenges still remain in achieving the SDGs globally, but together with our partners, UNDP China stands ready and determined to address them, further paving the way to a brighter and better future for all.

Agi Veres

UNDP China Resident Representative

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner Meets with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner Meets with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner with the UNDP China Office

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner with the UNDP China Office