IUCN says that it champions nature’s role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is the UN agency whose role it is to monitor progress towards the biodiversity-related targets amongst the goals. IUCN understands that the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda, and the 17 SDGs that underpin it, recognise that the natural world and its life-giving services must be urgently protected if we are to fulfil the needs of nine billion people by 2050.
IUCN argues that the SDGs are premised on the notion that we cannot solve problems in isolation. For example, producing more food for the growing human population (SDG 2) will require freshwater supplies for adequate irrigation (SDG 6). The availability of freshwater will depend on healthy ecosystems (SDGs 14 and 15), which are increasingly impacted by climate change (SDG 13). Protecting these ecosystems will require strong institutions, governance and cooperation from the local to the international level (SDGs 16 and 17).
All this encapsulates a key point of the goals – that they have to be taken together to make any sense. You will find the full brochure here. Although IUCN does not say so, this points to the importance of all those issues that environmental educators have been talking about for years.