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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Post-2015 Consensus: Biodiversity Viewpoint, Roe Milledge

Viewpoint Paper

The assesssment paper provides an interesting analysis of the four Aichi targets assessed, but suffers from two key weaknesses. First, deliberations on the structure and content of the post-2015 agenda continue to move at pace and the current formulation encompasses some of the Aichi Targets but is not explicitly aligned with them. Second, economic analysis of individual targets is an insufficient mechanism for determining priorities in a sustainable development framework that is intended to be 'transformative,' 'universal' and 'integrated.'

Biodiversity and deforestation is covered primarily in proposed goal 15, which extends much further than the related Aichi targets to include other biodiversity priorities, such as the need to address large-scale illegal wildlife trafficking. But this cannot be seen in isolation; analysis by IIED’s Forest Team highlights the need for biodiversity and forests to be considered across the full set of Post 2015 goals.

IIED proposes a “modular” approach to thinking about forests within the post-2015 framework – an approach which can also be applied to biodiversity. This approach explicitly recognises that right enabling environment – policies, processes, organisations, incentives and metrics – is needed for forests to help deliver sustainable development. There are four generic enabling conditions:

  1. Social justice within secure forest stewardship arrangements;
  2. Fair, accessible and responsible market systems;
  3. Capabilities to manage multi-functional landscapes;
  4. Incentives and practical metrics.

Making progress in developing an appropriate framework for sustainable development needs much more than just assessing the suitability of sectoral targets on the basis of costs incurred and benefits delivered.