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.

IUCN plate at UN HQ in New YorkPhoto: Sonia Peña Moreno

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.

The High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF)

IUCN champions nature's role in sustainable development in its engagement in the HLPF and provides reliable science to assist governments and other actors in tracking progress towards meeting the SDGs.

Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs)

IUCN engages in the 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 five 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.

IUCN: A key partner for sustainable development

With its universal nature, every stakeholder has a role to play to ensure that we truly transform our world by 2030.

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 post-2020 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.

Credit: Azote for Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University (CC BY 4.0)

For example, producing more food for the growing human population (SDG 2) will require freshwater supplies for adequate irrigation (SDG 6). The availability of freshwater will depend on healthy ecosystems (SDGs 14 and 15), which are increasingly impacted by climate change (SDG 13). Protecting these ecosystems will require strong institutions, governance and cooperation from the local to the international level (SDGs 16 and 17).