Biodiversity and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
This chapter critically assesses each of the targets for biodiversity conservation listed as part of Sustainable Goal 15 (SDG 15) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The targets include ensuring forest conservation and restoration, combatting desertification and restoring degraded land and soil, conserving mountain ecosystems and reducing the degradation of natural habitats. In addition, they include urgent action to prevent poaching and trafficking in protected flora and fauna, the adoption of measures to adequately address the impact of invasive alien species and the need to take account of biodiversity conservation in local development processes and poverty reduction. It is found that the targets for SDG 15 are not well integrated with those for the other sustainable development goals, are vague and fail to pay attention to economic factors such as opportunity costs as well as economic valuation of biodiversity. India’s approach for implementing SDG 15 illustrates the limitations of the UN’s specification of SDG 15.