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Development needs to do more in managing and investing in natural resources

New York, July 18 — The loss of biodiversity and the collapse of ecosystems, coupled with extreme weather events and natural disasters not only pose a significant risk to human security but are an  overall risk multiplier to societies, resulting in environmental refugees, conflict and social instability, according to panelists at UNDP’s corporate side event— ‘Nature for Life: Accelerating SDGs Progress by Investing in People and Planet,’ organized at the helm of this year’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF).

The high-level side event highlighted how investing in natural resource governance can help bridge the peace and development agendas, accelerate SDG progress, and help ensure greater sustainability, stability and security for all. Participants voiced that the Progress on SDG 15 has not been fast enough to stem wide scale losses in the natural capital that sustains all life on earth— we cannot achieve the other SDGs without a healthy planet. If we want to secure a pathway to the 2030 goals, we must act now.

Moderating the panel discussion, UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner said, “We need to rebalance the way we look at development.” He highlighted that the solutions for nature lie not within the nature but outside—in what we humans do and in our decisions. “We are all architects and designers and we need to make nature for life a design principle for implementing the SDGs,” he further stated.

The high-level delegates representing Mongolia, Senegal, Egypt, Sahel, global conventions, the private sector and civil society shared their initiatives, opportunities and challenges around land degradation, development and security, and the urgent action needed to reduce the loss of critical natural habitats and biodiversity. The event also highlighted the important role that the States can play in protecting the land rights of indigenous peoples, putting environmental policies in place and combining renewable energy with agriculture to restore the land. Simultaneously, the need to unleash the potential of private capital, and strengthen the public and private sector partnership was emphasized upon.  

The event concluded that there is still time to put nature at the front of the 2030 Agenda – to use nature to achieve development, and to sustain life itself. By showcasing initiatives that address the links between natural resource management, jobs and livelihoods, migration, and peace, we can increase awareness and advance efforts to replicate, adapt, and scale up nature-based solutions and actions.

The High-level Political Forum is the central platform of the United Nations for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It provides for the full and effective participation of all Member States. The Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) during the ministerial meetings at the HLPF aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This is also an opportunity to seek support to strengthen policies and to mobilize multi-stakeholder partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP, sangita.khadka@undp.org; +1 212 906 5043

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