Friday, May 22, 2015

Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals

The abundance of life on Earth is declining due to human activity. Our growing understanding of the interconnectedness of nature adds additional importance to all the life forms that comprise the world's biodiversity. This includes animals, plants, micro-organisms and the ecosystems within which they live and interact.

Each year on May 22, the United Nations celebrates the International Day for Biodiversity (IBD) which is an opportunity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Most importantly IDB is an opportunity commit to global action to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss.

In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

In 2015 IBD falls right in the middle of the decade of Biodiversity. In 2010 at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the United Nations revised and updated a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for the Decade on Biodiversity that runs from 2011 to 2020. This plan provides an overarching framework on biodiversity for the entire United Nations system and all other partners engaged in biodiversity management and policy development. This overarching international framework was revised and updated in 2012 and in the fifth national report in 2014 the focus was on implementation.

The theme for this year's IDB is “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” The theme reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which replace the Millennium Development Goals for the period of 2015-2030. This year's IDB focuses on the relevance of biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development.

The selection of this years IDB theme also underlines the adoption of the Gangwon Declaration at the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Gangwon Declaration welcomed the importance given to biodiversity in the outcome documentof the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and called for the further integration and mainstreaming of biodiversity in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

At the Rio+20 Conference in 2012 member countries of the United Nations embarked on a new path to achieve poverty eradication, economic development, social priorities and a healthy environment, building on the work of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the core elements of the “post-2015 development agenda” is a set of ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide for an integrated approach to achieving sustainable development. SDGs will operational as of January 1, 2016.

The SDGs establish a set of universal goals and targets, to be achieved through the collective action of member countries and partners. The SDGs Goal 13 focuses on the need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Sustainable Development Goals are being explored by a number of UN and non UN organizations. They were addressed by the business community at last years World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

17 Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation • Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

To see more information about translating Universal Sustainable Development Goals to country action click here.

To find out more about Biodiversity and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, click here.

To explore Biodiversity as the foundation for sustainable development click here.

Related Posts
Sustainable Development Goals to Follow Millennium Development Goals
Climate Change and SDG's Dominate the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly 
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
The Fifth Global Environmental Outlook Report (GEO-5)
Key Findings of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5)
Biodiversity Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5)

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