Linking Biodiversity to Sustainable Growth

31 May 2013

Trondheim - The Seventh Trondheim Conference on biodiversity - Ecology and Economy for a Sustainable Society - ended today with an appeal to seize the “moment of opportunity”.

For their key role in human well-being, biodiversity and ecosystem services should be integrated into the new Sustainable Development Goals for the post-2015 period, argued the conferece co-chairs, Tone Solhaug, Ministry of Environment and Ivar A. Baste, Directorate for Nature Management.

Through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a global strategic plan for biodiversity was agreed upon by governments, and forms a good basis for engaging in the process of developing Sustainable Development Goals. Governments also need to ensure better coordination and integration between environmental, economic and societal concerns, said the conference co-chairs.

"Biodiversity is our life insurance,” Norwegian Minister of Environment Bård Vegar Solhjell said . […]“Keeping in mind that this year’s conference is the largest ever with 350 participants, I believe that the results from the Trondheim Conference will serve as an important input for decisions to be made under the Convention on Biological Diversity,".

“We know that it is usually the poor and the vulnerable that are most affected, not only by recurrent and more severe natural disasters but also by ecosystems degradation,” said  UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan . “These ecosystems provide a safety net for 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty.”

The conference ended with an appeal to seize momentum in four areas: to invest in biodiversity for human well-being and development; recognize and measure the true value of biodiversity;  understand the interplay between ecology, economy and society; and  align policies, incentives and business within safe ecological limits

UNDP currently works on projects related to governance, livelihoodsand biodiversity in 146 countries, funded by the Global Environment Facility and other sources, and carried out in close and careful coordination with other relevant UN entities, particularly the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Trondheim conference was hosted by the Norwegian Government in cooperation with UNEP, CBD, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), UNDP and the World Bank.