Biodiversity for Sustainable Development

SDG 13

Contributions of Biodiversity to SDG 13: Climate Action

According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, climate change is likely to become one of the most significant drivers of biodiversity loss by the end of the century. Current global warming is already affecting species and ecosystems around the world, particularly the most vulnerable ecosystems such as coral reefs, mountains and polar ecosystems. Furthermore, it has impacts on the ecosystem services on which people’s livelihoods depend, such as rainfalls and soil fertility which are essential to agricultural production. Human, animal and plant health are affected through increased transmission of vector-borne diseases.

The efforts to protect and restore habitats not only benefit biodiversity but also offer cost-effective and proven measures to mitigate and to adapt to climate change.

Ecosystems such as forests, rangelands, croplands, peatlands and wetlands represent globally significant carbon stores. Their conservation, restoration and sustainable use is included as a part of many Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, and is therefore a critical element for the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, a global commitment toward the mitigation of dangerous changes to the Earth’s atmospheric temperature and climate system.

Biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are also important resource for increasing resilience and reducing the risks and damages associated with negative impacts of climate change. They can serve as natural buffers against extreme climate and weather events such as changing patterns of rainfalls, droughts, storms, and other disasters. Diversified and integrated production systems offer more options for adapting to a changing climate. Ecosystem based production systems reduce the reliance on synthetic inputs and the associated emissions of greenhouse gases.

Breeding drought, salt and disease resistant plant varieties, livestock breeds and fish will become important to ensure food security in the advance of climate change.

Related SDG 13 Targets

  • SDG Target 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries (related to Aichi Targets: 5, 10, 14, 15)
  • SDG Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning (related to Aichi Targets: 2, 15, 17)

Relevant Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Biodiversity values integrated
Habitat loss halved or reduced
Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Ecosystem services
Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Biodiversity strategies and action plans

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