Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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Biodiversity for Sustainable Development

Llamas Greenhouse Credit UN PhotoEvan Schneider

22 May 2015 – Today, we observe the International Day for Biological Diversity. In 2015, we showcase the essential value of biodiversity for sustainable development and human well-being.

“The variety of life on Earth is essential for the welfare of current and future generations. The conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biological diversity can help solve a range of societal challenges,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states.

For example, “Protecting ecosystems and ensuring access to ecosystem services by poor and vulnerable groups are essential to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.”

Recognizing this, it is important to emphasize the role of biodiversity in the UN’s post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Biodiversity’s value for sustainable development post-2015

Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but also includes genetic differences within species and the variety of ecosystems.

Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. As a result, our personal health, and the health of our economy and human society, depends on the continuous supply of various ecological services that would be extremely costly or impossible to replace.

In this context, it is important to look ahead and underscore the relevance of biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development.

“Any sustainable development framework must provide the enabling conditions for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, for more equitable sharing of benefits, and for reducing the drivers of biodiversity loss,” Mr Ban asserts.

He continues, “The sustainable development goals and the broader post-2015 development agenda, which are under negotiation now, provide an opportunity to mainstream biodiversity and promote transformational change in how economies and societies use and regard biodiversity.”

The Convention on Biological Diversity

The importance the UN attributes to biodiversity is highlighted by the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Having entered into force in 1993, and to this date including 193 parties, the Convention has three main objectives, namely:

  • The conservation of biological diversity
  • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
  • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources

More information

For more information on today’s observance, do consult the factsheets on how biodiversity is the foundation for sustainable development as well as how it is supporting development.

Are you committed to global action to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss? Make your voice known on social media by using the hashtags #IDB2015 or #BiodiversitySustainsDevelopment.

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