Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Biodiversity—the diversity of life on Earth—is defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources, including diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems. Biodiversity thus includes not only the millions of different species on Earth, it also consists of the specific genetic variations and traits within species (such as different crop varieties), as well as the various types of different ecosystems, marine and terrestrial, in which human societies live and on which they depend, such as coastal areas, forests, wetlands, grasslands, mountains and deserts.
Biodiversity is essential for sustainable development and human well-being. It underpins the provision of food, fibre and water; it mitigates and provides resilience to climate change; it supports human health, and provides jobs in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and many other sectors. Without effective measures to conserve biodiversity and use its components in a sustainable manner, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be achievable.
Given the need for biodiversity and healthy ecosystems to achieve the 2030 Agenda, it is not surprising that many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include targets that reflect their important role. The role of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems is thus reflected not only in SDG 14 (life below water), and SDG 15 (life on land), but also in many other goals and targets. For example, there are critical biodiversity dependencies for SDG 2 on zero hunger. Target 2.3 calls for a doubling of agriculture production and, according to the Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), more than three-quarters of the world's food crops rely at least in part on pollination by insects and other animals, with between US$235 billion and US$577 billion worth of annual global food production relying on direct contributions by pollinators.
An analysis of how biodiversity supports the achievement of all SDGs, published jointly by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological diversity (CBD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Development Programme, is available online.