SDG 11

Contributions of Biodiversity to SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

The global urban population is expected to reach 5 billion by 2030, and over 60% of the land projected to become urban by 2030 is yet to be developed.

Ecosystems and biodiversity underpin the day-to-day functioning of cities and human settlements by delivering the basic services and conditions that enable, support and protect human production, consumption and habitation. Healthy ecosystems can provide protection and resilience from extreme weather events and disasters.

Urban planning that integrates the consideration of biodiversity can not only benefit biodiversity but can also contribute to more sustainable human settlements. For example, strategic placement of trees in urban areas can cool the air between 2°C and 8°C. Furthermore, trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and save energy used for heating by 20% to 50%.

Many of the world’s natural heritage sites are biologically diverse, and thus protecting biodiversity supports the preservation of such important areas.

Nature-based solutions to the challenges of urban well-being, such as ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation (EbA) and disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR), enable safe human settlements.

Related SDG 11 Targets

  • SDG Target 11.3: By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries (related to Aichi Targets: 2, 4, 14)
  • SDG Target 11.4: Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage (related to Aichi Targets: 11)
  • SDG Target 11.5: By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations (related to Aichi Targets: 14, 15)
  • SDG Target 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management (related to Aichi Targets: 8)
  • SDG Target 11.7: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities (related to Aichi Targets: 2, 14)

Relevant Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Biodiversity values integrated
Sustainable production and consumption
Pollution reduced
Protected areas
Ecosystem services
Ecosystem restoration and resilience

Related Resources