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.

Elsevier,

Imperiled: The Encyclopedia of Conservation, 2022, pp 46-54

This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 13 and 14 by reviewing the range of ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, the human activities that threaten these services and proposing promising policy and management interventions to promote the maintenance of key coral reef ecosystem services into the future.
This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 11, 12, and 3 by highlighting the role of indigenous peoples and local communities’ cultural customs, lores, and practices in relation to managing their land and other natural resources; they need to be appropriately understood and acknowledged for public and environmental policy decision making.
This chapter aligns with Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 13: Climate Action by exploring the application of stable isotope tracing and metabolomics to monitor coral responses to thermal and oxidative stress in order to predict the fitness implications of continued sea warming.
This article considers barriers in tracking no net loss (NNL) outcomes, outline criteria of public offset registers to enable accessible and credible reporting of NNL, and show how existing registers fail to satisfy those criteria.
Elsevier,

Mark John Costello, Restoring Biodiversity and Living With Nature (Based Solutions), Editor(s): Dominick A. DellaSala, Michael I. Goldstein, Imperiled: The Encyclopedia of Conservation, Elsevier, 2022, Pages 7-14, ISBN 9780128211397

This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 12, 13 and 17 focussing on the restoration of biodiversity, which has become an international priority. Recognizing that it is difficult to determine when biodiversity has recovered, five indicators of recovery are proposed.
Elsevier,

Imperiled: The Encyclopedia of Conservation, 2022, pp 113-120

This chapter aligns with Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Goal 15: Life on Land by giving a review of the jaguar species, including their ecology, behavior, threats, and conservation status, highlighting recent initiatives to conserve jaguars.
Elsevier,

Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Volume 126, June 2022

The paper studied the evaluation index system of urban garden afforestation, ecological environment benefit and urban garden afforestation, furthering SDG 11, 5 and 9.
Elsevier,

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics, Volume 42, June 2022, 100991

The diseased state in dolphins had metabolic consequences with a shift towards protein degradation. This may constrain the way cetaceans could cope with extra stressors (e.g., human disturbances). Provides insight to how we deal with conservation policies and the impact of stressors on population dynamics.

World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on June 5th, engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue.

Elsevier,

Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, Second Edition, Volume 4, 2022, Pages 47-57

This chapters advances SDG goals 11 and 12 by highlighting the pressures posed by agricultural activities to inland water systems. It discusses each of the pressures considering the trade-offs between productivity and environmental impacts.

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