Means of implementation

Sustainable Development Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


Biodiversity is a key economic, financial, cultural and strategic asset for developing countries. It is critical for economic and social development as well as for poverty reduction. The loss of biodiversity undermines the possibilities for the sustained growth of developing countries. To achieve the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the post-2015 development agenda will require cooperation and coordination with a wide range of other conventions, institutions and processes. It is critical that the post-2015 development agenda be conceived as a truly global agenda with shared responsibilities for all countries. To enhance cooperation, the CBD works with a number of partners. These include the Rio Conventions, the biodiversity-related conventions, other relevant conventions, United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations and civil society, indigenous organizations, scientific and technical research and assessment bodies, and industry and the private sector.

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 was adopted in 2010 at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which counts now 194 parties. The Strategic Plan sets forth a long-term vision, five goals, twenty targets (Aichi Biodiversity Targets) and a series of tools and mechanisms for implementation, monitoring, reviewing and evaluation.

The Strategic Plan provides a good example for integrating the three pillars of sustainable development – society, economy and environment- as clearly expressed in the formulation of its Vision. The Strategic Plan includes five goals that build on the interlinkages between human activities, well-being and biodiversity. They include: a focus on mainstreaming biodiversity into other sectors, enhancing the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services, and providing for a participatory process of implementation.

The characteristics and various components of the Strategic Plan also provide some parallels that may be of relevance in the SDGs setting. The Strategic Plan:

  1. Sets forth universal commitments for all Parties;
  2. Provides a flexible framework so that countries can contextualise the global commitments to fit their national conditions and priorities;
  3. Is primarily implemented at the national level through a national strategy adopted as a high-level policy instrument;
  4. Contains practical means for implementation, monitoring, reviewing and evaluation, and support mechanisms ;
  5. Provides a mechanism to keep progress and needs under review.


The post-2015 development agenda will require more effective, strengthened and improved modes of development cooperation to support its implementation. Scientific and technological cooperation will be fundamental for increasing innovation, strengthening environmental protection and driving social and economic development worldwide. Thus the challenge going forward is to build on the strengths of the current global partnership for development while going beyond its framework.

The majority of the world’s biodiversity resides in the global “South”, where developing countries are facing the serious challenge of sustainable development. Traditionally, North-South cooperation has been used in the efforts to cope with this crisis. However, the potential of developing countries has been growing rapidly by accumulating knowledge, experience and expertise on biodiversity in recent years. With this increased capacity, South-South cooperation can be identified as a complement to North-South cooperation to enhance technical, financial, scientific and technological exchanges and innovations for development. Another form of important cooperation is triangular cooperation, which involves two or more developing countries in collaboration with a third party, typically a developed country government or organization, contributing to the exchanges with its own know-how and resources. South-South and triangular cooperation vary greatly in approaches and modalities, yet their importance has increased manifold over the past 15 years. Beyond 2015, this collaboration is set to be an important auxiliary tool for catalyzing implementation efforts amongst developing countries.

The lack of sufficient financial resources remains one of the main obstacles to achieving the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2012 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets (COP12, Gangwon Declaration). The cost of achieving the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets is estimated at US$ 300 to 400 billion. One of the aims of the third International Conference on Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13 to 16 July 2015 is to persuade donors to provide more money.

The implementation and achievement of the SDGs will require a strategic and coordinated approach, including a long-term and integrated perspective, linking various national processes related, among other things, to data production and processing, monitoring and reporting. It will also require some vertical and spatial linkages, so that local, national and global policies and actions are coordinated and mutually supportive, as well as partnership among the many stakeholders involved in sustainable development.


  • Development cooperation beyond 2015 will have to increase and continue to support developing countries, with special emphasis on poor and vulnerable communities facing sustainable development challenges, while mobilizing additional resources to address global challenges, such as climate change and managing global commons.
  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships are key to mobilizing new resources and raising awareness.
  • More coherence across partnerships is needed to align them with countries’ priorities.
  • Access to science, technology and innovation underpins progress in all development dimensions.
  • Given their cross-cutting nature, their magnitude and the proclaimed level of ambition, achieving the SDGs will require deep structural changes and will have important governance implications. At the national and local levels, it will require cross-sectoral and participatory institutions and integrating mechanisms which can engage the stakeholders.