UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals and targets acknowledge the critical role that a healthy environment can play in addressing current challenges including poverty, climate change, food and water security. It recognises that the natural world must be urgently protected, both for its own sake, and for it to be possible to fulfil the needs of more than 9 billion people by 2050.

SDGs poster ENGPhoto: UN

IUCN actively engaged in the negotiations since the Rio+20 Conference to ensure that the 2030 Agenda would promote sustainable development in all its dimensions: a true integration of the environmental, social, and economic aspects. Acknowledging the need to ensure policy coherence at the global level, IUCN promoted building upon existing commitments, like the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and called for the inclusion of governance aspects, and for ensuring accountability in its monitoring mechanism.

IUCN seeks to contribute to the delivery of the SDGs through its Nature 2030 Programme, which takes a longer-term view to ensure alignment with 2030 Agenda as well as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. IUCN works towards the achievement of the environmental targets within the SDGs while recognising that relationships between living nature and the remainder of the SDGs are critical, and that the current suite of global problems are interconnected and interdependent, requiring systemic solutions to address all of the SDGs in an integrated manner.

IUCN’s policy work with the SDGs includes:

  • Engaging the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) to develop and implement the global indicator framework for the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda. It serves as the custodian agency for 5 of the 231 official SDG indicators for Goals 14 (Life below water) and 15 (Life on land) to national governments and the United Nations Statistics Division.
  • Championing nature's role in sustainable development in its engagement in the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and providing reliable science to assist governments and other actors in tracking progress towards meeting the SDGs.
  • Contributing to international policy events dedicated to following up on one or more of the SDGs, including the UN Ocean Conference, UN Water Conference, and the Conference on Strengthening Synergies between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda, among others.

High-Level Political Forum 2024

The High-Level Political Forum on the implementation of Agenda 2030 (HLPF) is a yearly meeting geared to bolster actions towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This year the focus is on SDG 1 (End poverty), SDG 2 (End hunger), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 16 (Peace, justice, and strong institutions), and SDG 17 (Partnership for the goals). The goals under review present an opportunity to highlight IUCN’s cross-cutting work on food and agricultural systems, climate action, and the potential of nature-based solutions for the achievement of the goals.

IUCN is highly invested in the forum and has already submitted its input for 2024, building also on last year’s report “Seven years to save nature and people: a proposed set of policies and actions for the SDG Summit”. Furthermore, earlier in March IUCN was also invited to participate in a roundtable on Climate action and Biodiversity during the European Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (UNECE Regional Forum 2024), which outcomes will feed into the HLPF process.

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News | 24 May, 2024
IUCN’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations presents Letters of Credentials to the Secretary General
On 22 May 2024, the International Day for Biodiversity, the Permanent Observer of IUCN to the…

IUCN at the UN Water Conference

From 22 to 24 March, IUCN participated in the UN Water Conference, which took place at UN Headquarters in New York.

The UN Water Conference was the first at the UN to focus on water in almost 50 years, and provided an opportunity for the global community to accelerate action to achieve SDG6 on clean water and sanitation, as well as other water-related goals and targets, including those that relate to various climate and biodiversity processes under the Rio Conventions.

Led by the Director General, IUCN’s delegation participated actively in the Water Conference to showcase its work as a unique Union of State and non-State Members, demonstrate its expertise and impact in the areas of water governance, transboundary waters, and Nature-based Solutions. 

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Large event | 10 March, 2023
IUCN at the UN Water Conference
From 22 to 24 March, IUCN participated in the UN Water Conference, which took place at UN…