A key outcome of the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) was the proposal that the world should adopt a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), coherent with and integrated into the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015.

The Governments of Colombia and Guatemala initially proposed the SDGs. Their suggestion prompted considerable positive attention by governments, researchers and wider civil society, and the final agreement was that there would be an intergovernmental process for defining and implementing the SDGs.


Integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services into the SDGs

Building on SwedBio’s and SRC’s ongoing engagement and with the aim to inform this intergovernmental process, SwedBio organised in December 2013 a multi-actor dialogue on integrating social-ecological resilience into the SDGs, in collaboration with Colombia’s Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Research on Biological Resources, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, with the full support of the Governments of Colombia and Sweden, and in consultation with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. About 60 participants from 18 countries took part in the dialogue, coming from governmental organisations, UN organisations, research organisations and a variety of civil society organisations, including a strong representation by indigenous peoples’ organisations.

The specific aim of this Dialogue was to explore options for better integrating social-ecological resilience, underpinned by biodiversity and ecosystem services, into the future development goals and monitoring frameworks.

The Dialogue helped to generate a better shared understanding of the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services in a broad range of development issues, in the context of social, economic and environmental sustainability. The Dialogue broadened and enhanced our shared understanding of biodiversity as an important opportunity and solution for sustainable development, including poverty eradication and social-ecological resilience.


The message from Medellín

“Life on Earth, in all its diversity, shapes the environmental, social and economic processes and resources that are ultimately key to human well-being and achieving all Sustainable Development Goals. Losing biodiversity erodes the basis for sustainable development by undermining ecosystem services and social and ecological resilience, which reduces the capacity for adaptive responses in a rapidly changing world. Biodiversity should thus be integrated in all the Sustainable Development Goals and become a goal in its own right”.