Ecosystem Services for Meeting Sustainable Development Goals : Challenges and Pathways
The paper summarizes four presentations of the session "Environment and Wellbeing: The Role of Ecosystems for Sustainable Development" at the international conference "Sustainability in the Water- Energy-Food Nexus" held on 19-20th May 2014 in Bonn, Germany. The aim of the session was to present current stresses on ecosystem services imposed by global development trajectory, potential impacts on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and pathways to achieve SDGs. All four presentations agreed that global ecosystem services are under increasing pressure from degradation and may not be able to meet the growing Water-Energy-Food (WEF) demands especially for the developing world. Three examples from Tanzania, Cambodia and Niger made attempt to understand how governance policies attributed to natural resource depletion such as forestry and common grazing. The examples showed that governance policies favoring economic development are heavily contributing to clearing up natural resource bases. As a result, there were increasing conflicts among different resource user groups. Two other presentations introduce conceptual pathways to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under current resource stressed regime. The pathways suggested global technologies, decentralized solutions and consumption changes as the major means of achieving global sustainability and poverty eradication without any major trade-offs. (original abstract)
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