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Implementing SDG 15: Can large-scale public programs help deliver biodiversity conservation, restoration and management, while assisting human development?

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Abstract

Among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the proposed SDG 15 promotes activities that, inter alia, "Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems". An important potential contribution in achieving SDG 15 is through public programmes designed to jointly promote human development through poverty alleviation and improvement of human livelihoods and biodiversity conservation/management/restoration. An analysis of twenty public programmes with such joint objectives yielded twelve lessons learned. In addition to financial commitments, government and intergovernmental agency input for such public programmes includes ensuring political will and appropriate legal frameworks. Local communities and civil society provide input through traditional and indigenous ecological knowledge and stewardship. Appropriate shared inputs in development and the implementation of such public programmes, with communication between local community, broader civil society, the scientific community and governments will result in: better use and management of biodiversity; alleviation of poverty; security of livelihoods and better governance systems. The Ecosystem Approach of the Convention on Biological Diversity provides an ideal framework when planning and implementing new programmes. Application of the lessons learned to new public programmes will ensure that the answer to the question posed in the title is an emphatic "Yes", and assist with the achievement of SDG 15.

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Bridgewater, P., Régnier, M., & García, R. C. (2015). Implementing SDG 15: Can large-scale public programs help deliver biodiversity conservation, restoration and management, while assisting human development? Natural Resources Forum, 39(3–4), 214–223. https://doi.org/10.1111/1477-8947.12084

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