UNEA-5.2 Side Event: Mapping Nature for the Sustainable Development Goals

This dynamic side event explores how spatial insights from UN Biodiversity Lab (UNBL) can be used to support governments and other stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of nature-based solutions to support the achievement of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and 2030 Agenda.






2 March 2022

6:15PM EAT (Nairobi time)

Contact event organizer


Languages: English and Spanish
Type: UNEA-5.2 Side Event

Contributors: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Impact Observatory (IO), Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía de Costa Rica, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) of Uganda, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Event summary 

Nations are making ambitious commitments to stem the tide of biodiversity loss and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. These efforts interlink with the themes of UNEA-5.2, the UN Common Approach on Biodiversity, and the emerging CBD post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. But with limited resources and competing priorities, governments do not always know how to prioritize action. Join us to explore how spatial insights from UN Biodiversity Lab (UNBL) can support country-led implementation of nature-based solutions to address the most pressing issues raised at UNEA-5.2.

Offering rich networking, featuring announcements from partners, and providing small group engagement to virtually ‘travel the world’, this event captured what it means in practice to move from data to action.

Event objectives

Offered in three ‘bite-sized’ segments, the side event empowered participants to join for one or all of the topics most relevant to them:

  • In Part 1, participants learned about UNBL’s central features and gained access to training material to catalyze national use.
  • In Part 2, participants engaged in small groups with experts powering UNBL’s data.
  • In Part 3, participants learned from thought leaders pioneering use of UNBL to support national action on nature and sustainable development.

As a whole, the event introduced participants to UNBL 2.0, built knowledge about data layers available, explored how countries are already using the platform, and created space for networking.

Important documents


Official UNEA Event Page
UNBL Microcourse on Learning for Nature
Upcoming NASA ARSET Advanced Training on UN Biodiversity Lab

Event recordings

Part 1:

UNBL trailer

Introduction to Mapping Nature for the SDGs


UN Common Approach - Corli Pretorius
Introduction to UN Biodiversity Lab 2.0 - Annie Virnig

Part 2: UNBL data

UNBL data provider breakout rooms

UNBL partners video


Global Mangrove Watch - Pete Bunting
Impact Observatory - Joel Paque
Joint Research Center - Gregoire Dubois

Part 3: UNBL use cases

ELSA trailer

UNBL use case breakout rooms


ELSA National Action Plan
GEF Small Grants Program and UNBL
Using UNBL for National Reporting in Uganda

Closing remarks:

Discussion forum

This discussion forum provides a dynamic opportunity for you to discuss and reflect on the content of the UNEA-5.2 side event with fellow participants. We invite you to introduce yourselves and share your thoughts and ideas with each other here.

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Randall Santamaria

Hello from Costa Rica, I am director at Huaravito Reserve, pura vida! We use the Sistema Nacional de Monitoreo de la Cobertura y uso de la Tierra y Ecosistemas (SIMOCUTE) for forest status and land use in Costa Rica. I am learning how to use the UN Biodiversity Lab maps and database.

Last edited 2 years ago by Randall Santamaria
Lea Phillips

How do you use spatial data to inform your work? If you are not using it yet, how would you like to? Drop your answer below!