UNDP Animal Ambassadors for The Sustainable Development Goals

On January 17th in Chengdu, China, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) designated two pandas to officially become UNDP’s first-ever Animal Ambassadors for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and also began a global search for 'Panda Champions for the Global Goals' as part of a global naming campaign for the pandas.

You can get involved to by visiting pandas.undp.org

How are the pandas connected to UNDP?

How are the pandas connected to UNDP?

“These pandas symbolize the plight of the world’s diminishing wildlife in the face of climate change and the loss of natural habitats. Both biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are essential for improving and sustaining human wellbeing” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark.

In fact, addressing the loss of biodiversity is one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We hope the pandas will help inspire people to engage with the goals, and raise awareness of UNDP's efforts to promote sustainable development around the world.

Demographic changes, overconsumption, and the use of technologies that damage the environment, combined with climate change, are pushing our planet to its limits, and biodiversity losses we are now witnessing are diminishing the potential for sustainable development. UNDP is responding to this challenge by supporting countries to manage their ecosystems and biodiversity and our biodiversity and ecosystems portfolio is the largest in the UN system, covering 132 countries and over 500 projects with US$ 1.5 billion in funding.


Film star Michelle Yeoh kicks off UNDP’s panda cub-naming competition to promote Global Goals

Award-winning global movie star and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Michelle Yeoh, visited the panda base to highlight the importance of the initiative and promote the competition worldwide.

“I have joined forces with these two adorable, fuzzy panda babies to get the public interested and engaged in supporting the Global Goals—because who doesn’t love pandas? Protecting their future and our shared wildlife is a responsibility for us all,” said Yeoh during her visit with her fellow UNDP ambassadors at the Chengdu Panda Base. “Our aim is to show that each and every one of us can play an active part in reaching a globally shared vision of a future without poverty, inequality or climate change.”

May 2016

UNDP-CH-Comms-Panda Campaign-Zhou Xun visit

UNDP China National Goodwill Ambassador, actress Zhou Xun traveled to the Chengdu Panda Base to meet with her newest fellow UNDP Ambassadors, the UNDP Animal Ambassadors for the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), the Qing He panda twins. Zhou Xun lent her support to the current UNDP Global Panda Naming Campaign and Search for Panda Champions for the Global Goals, as well as calling for awareness and action on the SDGs.

Currently the campaign has had over 900 submissions for name suggestions and applications to become a Panda Champion for the Global Goals. Submissions have been coming in from all over the world including Hawaii, Belarus, Philippines, Denmark, Australia, Scotland and China. Amongst the many name suggestions so far are和和(He He)and平平(Ping Ping) (和平means Peace), Pan-ki-moon, Ozone and Beam, 大使(Da Shi, Ambassador) and 联合(Lian He, United).

January 2016

On January 17, 2016, UNDP and the Chengdu Panda Base officially launched the Global Naming for ‘UNDP Animal Ambassadors for SDGs’ and Global Search for ‘Panda Champions for the Global Goals’. This activity aimed to further promote the protection of endangered wild animals across the world, and raise awareness of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

October 2015

On October 24, 2015, we celebrated the United Nations 70th anniversary at the Panda Base. UNDP and the panda base jointly organized “Discovering Twin Cubs-Global Event" to Promote Conservation Awareness of Giant Pandas in Chengdu. Patrick Haverman UNDP Deputy Country director announced Qing He’s twin cubs as global ambassadors for UNDP.

September 2015

On September 24, 2015, the Giant pandas joined in the international call to action for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Chengdu Panda Base. Giant panda KeLin’s three-month old twin girls helped raise awareness of Goal 7-Affordable and Clean Energy, a goal of wide domestic and international concern.

How To Enter

  • Search For Panda Champions for the Global Goals

    17 winners of the video contest – one to represent each of the 17 Global Goals, will be invited to Chengdu Panda Base in China to attend an event to highlight and draw attention to the Goals, helping to spread the message worldwide about this ambitious and unprecedented agenda to address the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.Visit the global website

Campaign Launch January 17 2016
Join the Campaign!
UN Secretary General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi invites you to join UNDP’s Global Panda Campaign
Naming Campaign and Search for Panda Champions for the Global Goals

Name Our Pandas

We hope our furry friends will help us raise awareness of the Goals around the world.

But first, they need a name! And that’s where you come in. Have some ideas? Let us know what you think our Panda Ambassadors should be called.

1. Visit the SDG Panda website

2. Input name suggestion and email address 

You could even win the trip-of-a-lifetime – a visit to China to meet the pandas in person as a UNDP Panda Champion for the Goals.

Become a Panda Champion 

So you’ve chosen your favourite Goal.

What next? Make us a short video (and we mean short! Any longer than 30 seconds and your entry won’t be considered - click here to see rules in full) that explains what the Goal is, and why it’s important in a fun or creative way.

Your video could just be you talking to the camera, or you could get your friends involved (but remember only one pair of names can be submitted per video for the chance to win).

Are you an animation whiz? You could even make a cartoon!

The judges are on the lookout for videos that are fun, creative, and help to explain your chosen Goal to someone who might not know what the SDGs are. Keep this in mind when planning and making your video.

Oh, we almost forgot - bonus points if your video has a panda theme!

To upload your video click here   

Find Out More
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Choose your favourite Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). If you’re thinking ‘sustainable what?’ - we’ve got you covered - you can learn all about them here.

The 2030 Agenda comprises 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or Global Goals, which will guide policy and funding for the next 15 years, beginning with a historic pledge to end poverty. Everywhere. Permanently.

Find Out More
Chengdu Panda Base

The Chengdu Panda base has made remarkable achievements in Panda conservation across China. In the 1980's the Base had only 6 sick, starving giant pandas. Since then, with support from the Chinese government and the care of the Panda Base staff, 214 cubs have been bred with 143 births and the Base now holds the world largest artificially bred population of captive giant pandas (152 giant pandas).

Find Out More
Panda’s, the Planet and the SDGs
By Patrick Haverman

Everybody knows them, they are iconic globally - a symbol for China and the environment - but very few get to see them so close. Recently I had the privilege to meet them in person - the Giant Pandas.

Read More