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Achieving the SDGs with Biodiversity: An Integrative Factsheet

The Swiss Future Earth community, led by the Swiss Academy of Sciences and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Switzerland, has published an informative factsheet on the relationship between biodiversity conservation and the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The factsheet, entitled “Achieving the SDGs with Biodiversity” presents an integrated analysis of how conservation can have far-reaching effects on large-scale sustainable change beyond just the biodiversity realm. 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are closely linked; progress toward one goal often means progress toward multiple. Biodiversity conservation has been identified as one of the strongest levers for overall sustainable change. SDGs14 and 15 aim to protect “Life Below Water” (15) “Life on Land” (15) and have multiple co-benefits on the achievement of other goals. 

The factsheet details these co-benefits of biodiversity conservation on the remaining 15 SDGs. Conserving biodiversity, for example, “contributes to maintaining the long-term social, economic and environmental resilience of local livelihoods” and is therefore crucial to ending poverty (SDG 1). Biodiversity also contributes to food security, which is necessary to eradicate hunger (SDG 2), by buffering agricultural production against severe weather, pests, and plant diseases. Notably, the conservation of biodiversity requires very few trade-offs between pursuits of various goals.

This factsheet was produced with significant input from the Future Earth community. Hannah Moersberger, Future Earth France Global Hub Deputy Director, and Future Earth Science Officer Christian Passarello are among the co-authors of the factsheet. Dr. Davnah Payne and Dr. Eva Spehn, leaders of the core Future Earth project Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment, are also co-authors, as is Dr Ariane de Bremond, Executive Director of Future Earth’s Global Land Programme. Vincent Virat, Future Earth Science Officer, prepared a presentation for the workshop from which the factsheet project was launched.