Biodiversity and ecosystems

Biodiversity and ecosystems, encompassing the vast variety of life on Earth and the natural systems they inhabit, are fundamental to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their importance is acknowledged explicitly in several SDGs due to their critical role in maintaining environmental balance and supporting human life and well-being.

SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land) are directly focused on the conservation and sustainable use of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, respectively. These goals recognize the intrinsic value of biodiversity and the vital services ecosystems provide, such as habitat for wildlife, carbon sequestration, and soil formation. The preservation and restoration of ecosystems like forests, wetlands, and coral reefs are essential for maintaining biodiversity, which in turn supports ecological resilience and the sustenance of human life.

The role of biodiversity and ecosystems in achieving SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) is significant. The variety of life forms, including plants, animals, and microorganisms, underpins agricultural productivity. Pollinators, soil organisms, and genetic diversity of crops are all crucial for food production and agricultural resilience. Ecosystems support agriculture not just in terms of crop yield but also in sustaining the natural resources like soil and water, upon which agriculture depends.

Similarly, SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) is closely tied to the health of ecosystems. Natural habitats such as forests and wetlands play a key role in filtering and purifying water, maintaining the water cycle, and regulating water flow. This natural filtration process is vital for providing clean drinking water and supporting sanitation systems.

Biodiversity and ecosystems are also crucial for SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being). Natural environments regulate diseases by supporting a balance among species that, in turn, can control pest and disease outbreaks. Additionally, a vast number of medical discoveries, including medicines and treatments, have their origins in biological resources, underscoring the potential of biodiversity in contributing to human health and well-being.

Moreover, biodiversity and ecosystems play a significant role in addressing climate change, linking to SDG 13 (Climate Action). Ecosystems such as forests and oceans are major carbon sinks, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Protecting and restoring these ecosystems are vital strategies for climate change mitigation. Additionally, healthy ecosystems provide crucial services for climate change adaptation, such as protecting against extreme weather events and helping communities adjust to changing environmental conditions.

However, achieving these goals requires addressing threats to biodiversity and ecosystems, such as habitat destruction, pollution, overfishing, and invasive species. It also involves balancing the needs of human development with environmental conservation, ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.

Biodiversity and ecosystems are integral to achieving multiple SDGs. Their conservation and sustainable use not only benefit the environment but are essential for food security, water purity, human health, and combating climate change. The protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems are therefore crucial steps towards sustainable development and ensuring the well-being of current and future generations.

This study has provided a spatial view of the temporal trends in gregarization in the CLCPRO countries since 1985.
This review paper highlights the significance of rewilding using reptiles for the purpose of ecological restoration and it outline the consequences for reptilian rewilding under climate change.
The paper highlights the interconnectedness of public health crises, such as pandemics, with biodiversity loss and climate change, as increased demand for materials to combat infectious diseases exacerbates environmental pressures, posing a threat to global sustainability and biodiversity.

Dynamic Aquaria, Fourth Edition: Building and Restoring Ecosystems and the Biosphere, 2024, pp 167-180

This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 13 and 14 by reviewing how to calculate species count in a high-veracity ecosystem model for use in climate resilience and aquatic conservation settings.

Biological Conservation, Volume 291, March 2024

This paper evaluates the negative impacts of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) on Indian biodiversity and highlights an urgent necessity to continue building management programs and develop government policies to protect the aquatic environment from it.

Biological Conservation, Volume 291, March 2024

This paper highlights the importance of Indigenous burning for maintaining and promoting plant diversity in fire-prone ecosystems.
Bats are among the most diverse of all mammalian species and serve as reservoirs of zoonotic viruses responsible for several recent pandemics; new technologies are providing insights into how the unique physiology and lifestyle of bats drive tolerance to virus infection.

Biological Conservation, Volume 291, March 2024

A perspective article on stress-test, commonly used in the financial sector, applied to biodiversity conservation and global change.
This paper supports SDG 15 by highlighting that the effects of loss of biodiversity due to climate change and associated changes in the distribution of venomous snakes will be most pronounced in tropical regions, where extensive land is devoted to agriculture and rearing livestock.
The paper elucidates the importance of monitoring and integrating conserved areas into area-based conservation efforts to effectively achieve the 30% protection goal by 2030, emphasizing transparency and accountability in tracking changes to protected and conserved areas for maximizing benefits to biodiversity.