11th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals; Focus Area 14

Last updated: 5/13/2014 // Remarks from Ireland, Denmark and Norway on Focus Area 14, Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss

The sustainable management and use of ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resources is core to poverty eradication and sustainable development.  As for the previous Focus Area, we will concentrate on highlighting targets that must be included in the framework. 

It is natural to draw on the existing set of global goals for biodiversity, the Aichi targets, and we are pleased to see that co-chairs have done that. Some more specific comments on the targets:  

We support target a).

We also support target b), but would like to point out that it may need a more precise definition of what a critical ecosystem is, something that the CBD has. We strongly support the notion of sustainable use of ecosystems, as used in this target, and would recommend that it is used also in the heading of this whole focus area, together with protect and restore.

We furthermore support targets c) and d). We would like to see a more specified target, that deforestation should be reduced by x% and reforestation should take place in for instance x hectares of degraded land.

e) We maintain our support for a land degradation-neutral world and note that measurements of this can be solved at the level of indicators.

Our troika was unfortunately not cited for supporting this goal last time, but our support has been consistent.

f) is a target about benefit sharing that we support, but it has a choice of wording that is a little too broad. It covers issues that are currently the subject of negotiations on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Rather than a reference to the benefits derived from natural assets, which is sweeping, we would prefer a more precise formulation.

g) We support the target 14 g about poaching etc, but find there is a need for a wider focus. The point should also include a reference to Halting illegal and unsustainable harvesting of natural resources.

For 14h), we are glad to see the inclusion of a reference to alien species, but the formulation that has been chosen is quite impractical. We recommend a reference to reduce the impact of invasive alien species to ecosystems and marine environment.

For 14i) we propose that it should have a wider focus on including indigenous peoples and local communities, and not just in decision making, but specifically in natural resources management.

Finally co-chair, we would like to see a target on wealth accounting and valuation of biodiversity and ecosystems in relevant national strategies and national accounts. We did propose a target on this under the Focus Area on economic growth, which would be our preferred placement, but it is equally significant for this area.

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