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.

A critical reflection on fisheries conservation in the Mekong River is offered here. Adaptive co-management helped balance conservation and livelihood outcomes. No-take zones facilitated basic fish conservation measures led by local fishermen. Fishermen perceiving livelihood benefits of conservation supported no-take zones. Long-term mechanisms to support community-led conservation initiatives are needed.
To mark International Day for Biological Diversity 2023, Elsevier, launched a free to download report that takes an in-depth look into Dutch biodiversity research in comparison to other nations.
This study systematically evaluates the successful human stewardship in managing marine protected areas to provide useful lessons for future marine conservation actions.
Elsevier,

Trends in Plant Science, Volume 28, May 2023

This opinion highlights how tapping into natural biodiversity, while incorporating information about local environmental and climatic conditions, enables crop production in marginal soils.
Elsevier,

Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Volume 565, 2023, 151916

This study provides a better understanding of the burrowing behaviour of the sub-legal size clams discarded on the sediment after being disturbed and contributes important data to improve practices for minimizing mortality of dislodged clams that are discarded on the sediment surface.
Selective copepod grazing and water mass origin impacted spring bloom composition. Diatom bloom enhanced zooplankton recruitment and deep carbon export. Spring bloom composition impacted summer plankton community. Mixo- and heterotrophic protists dominated the nutrient-poor summer months. Copepod grazers controlled the summer protist community.
This chapter aligns with Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation and Goal 14: Life below water by encompassing an overview of various biological methods for removing microplastics from water.
This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 12 and 10 by attempting to explore, analyze, and demonstrate the different traditional methods practiced by indigenous communities of the NE India, in context to NRM. It also explores various aspects of TEK and practices like indigenous farming and irrigation systems, conservation of sacred forests, age-old ethnobotanical knowledge, and cultural customs and rituals of different tribes of NE India.
One Health and the Exposome embrace a broad view of human health and its environmental drivers as well as provide various tools and modes of operation to systematically uncover pathways linking poor health outcomes with their root causes to inform interventions supporting the WHO SDG3.
Elsevier,

One Health Meets the Exposome

Human, Wildlife, and Ecosystem Health

2023, Pages 150-189

Habitat conversion and resource utilization have been identified in the One Health approach as drivers of poor ecosystem health that can lead to disease spillover events supporting SDG3.

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