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.


David E. Reichle, Chapter 9 - Ecosystem productivity, Editor(s): David E. Reichle, The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change (Second Edition), Elsevier, 2023, Pages 197-232, ISBN 9780443187759,

This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 13, 14, and 15 by examining the global distribution of carbon in biomass.

Hafsa Yaiche Achour, Sid Ahmed Saadi, Chapter 18 - African salt lakes: distribution, microbial biodiversity, and biotechnological potential, Editor(s): Mostafa El-Sheekh, Hosam Easa Elsaied, Lakes of Africa, Elsevier, 2023, Pages 501-525, ISBN 9780323955270

This content aligns with Goal 14: Life under Water by thoroughly exploring African salt lake distribution and microbial diversity
This article supports SDG 15 through its study of the effects of crop rotation on soil microorganisms and concluded that crop rotation could enhance soil microbial biomass and bacterial diversity, and the effect of crop rotation on soil phosphatase and β-glucosidase activity.
This paper provides first assessment of nutrient contents in whale faeces prior to their dissolution in seawater, which has overcome the challenges associated with getting reliable estimations of elemental nutrients from whale faeces. By combining measured faecal nutrient concentrations with the best available prey-consumption and prey-assimilation estimates, we calculated the expected contribution of minke whale faeces to nutrient pools in surface waters during summer.
This chapter aligns with Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land by describing the global tectonic processes that form mid-ocean ridges and critical seafloor habitat.

Pratima Bajpai, Chapter 3 - Biodiversity of thermotolerant microorganisms, Editor(s): Pratima Bajpai, In Progress in Biochemistry and Biotechnology,
Developments and Applications of Enzymes from Thermophilic Microorganisms, Academic Press, 2023, Pages 29-45, ISBN 9780443191978

This content aligns with Goal 15: Life on land in its discussion of hyperthermophilic microorganisms sourced from heated environments such as hot springs, and the biodiversity of these microorganisms.

Pierre Boissery, Philippe Lenfant, Gilles Lecaillon, Anaïs Gudefin, Sebastien Fonbonne, Mohamed Selfati, Najib El Ouamari, Robert Brunet, Free Espinosa, Hocein Bazairi, Chapter 7 - The ecological restoration: A way forward the conservation of marine biodiversity, Editor(s): Free Espinosa,
Coastal Habitat Conservation, Academic Press, 2023, Pages 171-191, ISBN 9780323856133

This content aligns with Goal 14: Life under Water by stressing the import of ecological restoration to preserve marine biodiversity.
This article supports SDG 15 through its review of ecologically-based farming systems.

The Lancet Regional Health - Europe, Volume 24, January 2023, 100577

The editorial calls for action to reduce noise pollution that has detrimental impact on humans, terrestrial and marine life

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Volume 274, December 2022

This article advances SDG # 15 and SDG # 14 by highlighting the value of the use of haematology in identifying changing patterns of health among seabirds which may serve as an early indicator of breeding failure, overwintering mortality, and population declines.