MARRAKECH, Morocco, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on Monday launched a flagship program on climate, ecosystems and livelihoods to help developing countries achieve development goals and meet climate targets while improving people's livelihoods and protecting the environment.
The initiative, supported by China, was launched during a high-level event on the sidelines of a UN climate conference.
The program, aiming to seize the "power of integration" of sustainable development goals, will be led by the UNEP's International Ecosystem Management Partnership.
It will help protect the most fragile ecosystems, such as drylands, river basins and coastal zones in Asia, West Asia and Africa.
The program will be rolled out in three phases, from assessment in 2016-2018 to development in 2019-2021 and scaling up in 2022-2025.
The first phase will see a thorough survey of three types of "hotspots" -- fragile ecosystems, biodiversity-rich areas, and communities vulnerable to climate change and ecosystem degradation.
During the duration of the program, the UNEP's International Ecosystem Management Partnership will provide assistance in monitoring and assessment, capacity building, technology demonstration and science for policy.
The forum, co-organized by China, Morocco, and the United Nations, brought together senior UN officials and ministers from more than a dozen countries.
Participants will discuss the role of South-South cooperation in addressing climate change and building the capacity of developing countries and explore ways of financing for climate efforts and sustainable development.