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Determining nature’s contributions to achieve the sustainable development goals

Anderson, Christopher B., Seixas, Cristiana S., Barbosa, Olga, Fennessy, M. Siobhan, Díaz-José, Julio, Herrera-F., Bernal
Sustainability science 2019 v.14 no.2 pp. 543-547
biodiversity, ecosystem services, humans, sustainability science and engineering, sustainable development, North America, South America
Academics and policy-makers recognize that humans and nature should be studied and managed as integrated social–ecological systems. Recently, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) approved the Summary for Policy-makers of the Regional and Subregional Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Americas, concluding the environment should be mainstreamed across development sectors. Beyond its mandate to generate understanding of nature and human well-being from diverse knowledge sources, IPBES is also tasked with advancing science-policy tools to aide information uptake into decisions. Based on the Americas Assessment’s 3-year, continental-scale experience, we developed three strategies to guide decisions regarding nature’s contributions to people (NCP) for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Specifically, we prioritized contributions, recognized nature’s plural values, and grouped diverse human–nature relationships to orient attention towards important NCP–SDG linkages, expand the suite of environment–development criteria considered, and create bundles to facilitate the incorporation of complexity into decisions.