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Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 18:30

Minister Ms. Leila C. Lora-Santos underscores linkage between nature and the SDGs at the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations Headquarters. (Photo by NYPM)


13 July 2018, New York – The Philippines called for a better recognition of the linkages between nature and the achievement of all the SDGs at the session today of the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in New York.

In her statement delivered at the session on the review of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss, Minister Leila C. Lora-Santos underscored the need to mainstream biodiversity into economic sectors. 

This links too to the current agenda on mainstreaming of biodiversity into economic sectors, including energy, of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which Parties are discussing this very week in Montreal.  “(We) highlight the need for taking biodiversity into account and ensuring both environmental and social safeguards in (energy and other) industrial development,” Ms. Lora-Santos underscored.

Minister Lora-Santos cited that nearly 40% of migratory birds are in decline and one in nine is threatened with global extinction, due to threats that might be found at any point of their marathon ‘flyways.’  Such threats include agricultural and coastal development leading to loss or degradation of habitat and inappropriately sited or operated wind turbines and powerlines, resulting in collision, electrocution or displacement.

“In 2017, the Philippines hosted the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species, and supported the passing of a resolution on conserving coastal habitats for migratory species. The Conference also established an Energy Task Force, a multi-stakeholder expert group including environment and energy ministries, financiers, project developers, utilities companies, NGOs and scientists, which is developing best practice and raising awareness of the need and means to integrate biodiversity considerations into renewable energy development and transmission,” Ms. Lora-Santos said.

SDG15 specifically calls on the international community to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt, and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.  This Goal is said to be a critical measure of overall progress against the 2030 Agenda, as well as a key enabler of many other goals and targets, and central to providing environmental support services critical to ensuring, amongst others, safe and sustainable water supplies and mitigating climate change.

SDG15 is one of the goals under review at this year’s HLPF, the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level.