This article was originally published on IISD.


“As the UN’s High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2020 gets underway, there is growing momentum to put biodiversity at the heart of sustainable development.

The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed our complex relationship with nature. Most emerging infectious diseases are driven by human activities such as agricultural intensification, wildlife use and misuse, and human-induced landscape changes, which can disrupt the balance of nature.

Biodiversity underpins 14 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, a recent study showed that only 20% of the countries analysed mention biodiversity as a national priority for sustainable development in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of their progress towards the SDGs.

The study conducted by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) considered 30 VNRs presented before the HLPF between 2017-2019 and found that only half of the sampled countries reported on how they reflect biodiversity in national SDG implementation and review processes.

…While our analysis shows that VNRs are beginning to reflect the integration of biodiversity into national reporting on progress towards the 2030 Agenda, there is more to be done to provide tools that enable all actors to address our impacts and dependencies on nature. For example, by improving data and reporting, multi-stakeholder engagement, and policy coherence, countries can strengthen their understanding of nature-human interlinkages and use of nature-based solutions for sustainable development.

As 12 of the 21 SDG targets with a 2020 end date depend on biodiversity, this year’s HLPF will be an important moment to take stock of the progress achieved and renew global commitments.”

Read on at: IISD