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Biodiversity and the built environment: Implications for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Opoku, Alex
Resources, conservation, and recycling 2019 v.141 pp. 1-7
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, biodiversity, biodiversity conservation, decision making, development projects, ecological value, experts, government agencies, humans, industry, issues and policy, nongovernmental organizations, qualitative analysis, research methods, stakeholders, sustainable communities
Recent major global environmental initiatives toward a more sustainable society are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Paris Agreement. The built environment has been recognised as a major contributor to loss of biodiversity and should therefore play a major role in a sustainable world where ecological values are enhanced. There should be a smooth interaction between the built environment and the natural environment because humanity and nature are the usual victims of loss of biodiversity. The purpose of this paper is to examine the link between the Built Environment, Biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goals. The paper explores the role of a sustainable built environment towards biodiversity conservation which is central to the realisation of the SDGs in general and SDG 15 in particular. The paper adopts a qualitative research methodology using knowledge generation workshop involving 16 experts from both academia and industry. The results show that, even though the built environment has a negative impact on biodiversity, it also has the greatest opportunity to integrate biodiversity into all development projects. Reducing the impact of the built environment on biodiversity should be an integral part of policies and strategies towards a sustainable built environment. All key built environment stakeholders need to engage in raising awareness of the effects of biodiversity loss as a result of construction activities, on the health and wellbeing of mankind. The value of this paper is to help decision-makers such as government agencies, industry-players and non-governmental organisations to understand the contributions of the built environment towards biodiversity conservation in achieving the SDGs.