Green Infrastructures and Essential Variables Workflows towards SDG 15

Honeck, Erica; Lehmann, Anthony; Rodila, Diana-Denisa; Giuliani, Gregory

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established to be achieved by 2030 are an ensemble of 17 goals to address global environmental and social economic concerns [1]. SDG 15 concerns the protection of terrestrial ecosystems to halt biodiversity loss. Target 15.9 states that by 2020, ecosystem and biodiversity values should be integrated into national and local planning, and is related to Aichi Biodiversity Target 2 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, which also involves integrating biodiversity values into national accounting and reporting systems [2]. The importance of maintaining ecosystem integrity is becoming widely recognized, not only to halt biodiversity loss, but also to preserve Nature’s benefits to human well-being, and has been included in many other targets such as the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy’s target 2, which requires the restoration of at least 15% of degraded ecosystems as well as the establishment of green infrastructures to enhance ecosystem services (ES) [3]. The Green Infrastructures (GI) framework is used as a policy tool and promotes the multi-functional use of landscapes to improve biodiversity conservation and benefits to society. It is formulated as a “strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas” [4] and is based on three main pillars: key habitats for target species, connectivity and ES [5]. As part of ERA-PLANET’s GEOEssential project (Essential Variables workflows for resource efficiency and environmental management), our study aims at demonstrating how the GI framework can be implemented at any geographical area or time-period through reproducible modeling workflows from field data to Essential Variables (EV) data products and policy relevant indicators to monitor and inform advances towards environmental targets. A proof of concept workflow was already set in place for computing the indicator 15.1.2: Proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem, while other workflows will follow. The execution platform is the GEOEssential Virtual Laboratory, a cloud-based virtual platform which enables access to, and execution of workflows for the ecosystem science community of practice and even more. REFERENCES: 1. UNSD, 2016. Sustainable Development Goals Report. (accessed 18 May 2018). 2. CBD Secretariat, 2010. The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya. 3. European Commission, 2011. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020, Brussels. 4. European Commission, 2013. Green infrastructure (GI) - Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital, Brussels. 5. Liquete, C., Kleeschulte, S., Dige, G., Maes, J., Grizzetti, B., Olah, B., & Zulian, G., 2015. Mapping green infrastructure based on ecosystem services and ecological networks: A Pan-European case study. Environmental Science & Policy, 54, 268–280.


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