Ensuring Co-benefits for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Sustainable Development

  • Risa Smith
  • Oscar Guevara
  • Lauren Wenzel
  • Nigel Dudley
  • Valeria Petrone-Mendoza
  • Martin Cadena
  • Andrew Rhodes
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Significant investments are required by Parties to the three Rio Conventions—Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), as well as the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), to meet the ambitious goals that countries have agreed to. When the development of national and subnational frameworks to meet global commitments are conducted in isolation, the opportunity is lost to: (1) leverage co-benefits from the same investment; (2) use resources more efficiently; and (3) ensure that one action does not negatively affect another policy priority. For example, investments in greenhouse gas reduction have the potential either to positively impact biodiversity and sustainable development, or to result in unintended negative consequences; chances of positive synergies are greatly increased by cooperation and joint policy, planning and implementation. The challenge now is to learn lessons from the vast and diverse number of approaches being tried around the world and to enhance co-benefits. This paper describes the major inter-linkages between global commitments for conservation and development. It demonstrates the importance of enhancing synergies among global agreements and avoiding unintended and negative consequences, particularly on biodiversity, by providing examples of best practices and describing some of the pitfalls that occur when implementation of one agreement does not explicitly seek to enhance co-benefits with other agreements. In conclusion, the paper presents the case for the central role of nature-based solutions in simultaneously attaining global commitments for biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development.


Rio-Conventions Sustainable development goals Biodiversity Co-benefits Climate change Renewable energy Protected areas Marine protected areas Nature-based solutions Natural solutions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Risa Smith
    • 1
  • Oscar Guevara
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lauren Wenzel
    • 4
  • Nigel Dudley
    • 5
    • 6
  • Valeria Petrone-Mendoza
    • 7
  • Martin Cadena
    • 8
  • Andrew Rhodes
    • 9
  1. 1.IUCN, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)Galiano IslandCanada
  2. 2.WWFBogotáColombia
  3. 3.IUCN, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)GlandSwitzerland
  4. 4.IUCN, World Commission on Protected AreasSilver SpringUSA
  5. 5.Equilibrium ResearchGlandSwitzerland
  6. 6.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  7. 7.Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales ProtegidasMexico CityMexico
  8. 8.UNDPMexico CityMexico
  9. 9.Pronatura MexicoMexico CityMexico

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