The 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development with the theme "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies" was held at the UN New York from 9 to 18 July 2018.
During the Forum, the Secretariats of the biodiversity-related conventions met at an event called the The Living Planet – the foundation of sustainable development: Contribution of the biodiversity-related conventions to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. Biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services are crucial to many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets.
The goal of the meeting was to emphasize the critical importance of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems to the objectives of the 2030 Agenda; demonstrate how the implementation of these conventions contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and; highlight the synergies between the conventions. This was expressed to the audience during the Forum, which included Member States, NGOs and civil society representatives. The meeting was opened by Cristiana Pașca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the keynote speech was provided by Jeffrey D. Sachs, a world-renowned professor of economics, and expert in sustainable development.
Ernesto Ottone-Ramirez, UNESCO`s Assistant Director-General for Culture, and Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, attended the meeting. Ms Rössler in her statement highlighted the role of the 246 World Heritage sites with natural values (among the 1092 sites listed) which cover an impressive 295 million ha of land and sea and harbor exceptional biodiversity. She said “How on earth do we think to achieve Agenda 2030, if we cannot save our World Heritage sites, the irreplaceable heritage of humanity?”
The Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions comprises the executive Heads of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention), World Heritage Convention and International Whaling Commission (IWC).
Together, the biodiversity-related conventions contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Biodiversity is particularly relevant to the 2018 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) as SDG 15 (Life on Land) 2 was one of the goals given in-depth review by the Forum. Biodiversity and ecosystems are also highly relevant to the other SDGs that were reviewed: SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals / Means of Implementation).