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 book chapter addresses goals 3, 12, and 15 by exploring the ability of African medicinal spices and vegetables to tackle malignant diseases.
ICIS,

Chemical Business, 5 January 2017

Carbon dioxide is becoming a valuable raw material for chemical industry
It is a sign of the maturity of the green and biobased chemicals sector that major producers and technology providers are making moves to join the entrepreneurs and start-ups that have been driving the technology forward. This positive trend supports the advancing of SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy.
To advance goal 14 (life below water), age and growth studies have been carried out on fish so that scientists and fisheries can better understand exploitation rates and assess stock levels.
The Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs aims to inspire all business — regardless of size, sector or geography — to take leading action in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It illustrates how the five leadership qualities of Ambition, Collaboration, Accountability, Consistency, and Intentional can be applied to a business' strategy, business model, products, supply chain, partnerships, and operations to raise the bar and create impact at scale. The Blueprint is a tool for any business that is ready to advance its principled approach to SDG action to become a leader. This chapter relates specifically to SDG 14.
The Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs aims to inspire all business — regardless of size, sector or geography — to take leading action in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It illustrates how the five leadership qualities of Ambition, Collaboration, Accountability, Consistency, and Intentional can be applied to a business' strategy, business model, products, supply chain, partnerships, and operations to raise the bar and create impact at scale. The Blueprint is a tool for any business that is ready to advance its principled approach to SDG action to become a leader. This chapter relates specifically to SDG 15.
Increasing interest in deep-seabed mining has raised many questions surrounding its potential environmental impacts and how to assess the impacts’ significance. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is charged with ensuring effective protection of the marine environment as part of its responsibilities for managing mining in seabed areas beyond national jurisdiction (the Area) on behalf of humankind.
The state of nature report has revealed that more than half of UK wildlife species studied have declined since 1970. This decline has been linked to intensive farming practices although farm leaders have disputed the findings. Understanding these issues and the role of agriculture will contribute to the advancement of SDG 15.5 to take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
Elsevier, European Journal of Soil Biology, Volume 75, 1 July 2016
Many studies have investigated whether microbiota has been adapted to decompose a given litter type but we have limited information about the specific role of microarthropods in litter decaying processes. This experiment studied functional redundancy of microarthropods in a litter decomposition system by interchanging mesofauna among three different litter types. The study hypothesized that total microarthropod densities would be lower in foreign litter type than in original ('home') litter; and litter with foreign mesofauna would decompose slower than with native one.
This book chapter advances SDGs 3 and 14 by detailing the most common aquatic contaminants.
Background One of the most important consequences of climate change could be its effects on agriculture. Although much research has focused on questions of food security, less has been devoted to assessing the wider health impacts of future changes in agricultural production. In this modelling study, we estimate excess mortality attributable to agriculturally mediated changes in dietary and weight-related risk factors by cause of death for 155 world regions in the year 2050.

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