Sustainable Development Goals 

Chania

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a set of goals and targets to be reached by 2030, agreed upon by, and requiring action from all United Nations (UN) member states. Soil functions play an important role for the realisation of multiple targets and underpin the achievement of the SDG agenda as a whole. Although the UN indicators for measuring progress on these targets are designed at the global level, successful achievement of the agenda requires national, regional and local efforts. It is therefore important to also connect the sustainable development goals to effects of policy and management options at these levels. The BonaRes Assessment Platform supports the operationalisation of the SDG targets by defining linkages to soil related ecosystem services and agricultural resource use efficiency.  

What are the Sustainable Development Goals? 

Despite only 4 explicit references to soils in the 169 SDG targets (targets 2.4, 3.9, 12.4, 15.3), soil functions play an important role for the realisation of a vast number of targets and underpin the achievement of the SDG agenda as a whole (Montanarella & Alva, 2015). Not only do they have a clear role in achieving SDGs related to the biophysical system (e.g. SDGs 2, 3, 6, 7, 12–15), they are also important to the achievement of socio-economic goals due to the multifunctional benefits they provide (Keesstra et al., 2016).


Unlike the MDGs which focussed on the donor recipient relationship between more developed and poorer countries, the SDGs are universal in nature, meaning that they apply to all countries and should be achieved in all countries. In Germany, Agenda 2030 forms the basis of the latest Sustainable Development Strategy (German Federal Government, 2017), which presents measures to implement the 17 SDGs across the economic, social and environmental spheres. 

The UN indicators for measuring progress towards SDGs are designed for impact assessment at the global level and therefore do not directly relate to local, regional or even national decisions. However, successful achievement of the agenda requires efforts at every level in all UN member states. It is therefore important to draw connections between management options and the relevant SDG targets. The BonaRes Assessment Platform supports this by highlighting 25 SDG targets that are directly connected to agricultural management and impact areas under the assessment perspectives of soil related ecosystem services and agricultural resource use efficiency. Table 6 lists the SDG targets for which connections are drawn and provides the codes for the respective impact areas, Table 7 lists the impact areas supported by the BonaRes Assessment Platform to which these codes refer to. The highest numbers of connections were found for target 2.04 (sustainable food production and resilient agriculture) and target 6.06 (protect and restore water related ecosystems).


On the platform, users may first select one of the SDG targets and then choose from a list of connected impact areas. A factsheet for the chosen impact area is then created which provides information on indicators, strengths & weaknesses pertaining to measurements, correlations with agricultural management and examples of published research. 


Additional SDG targets and assessment perspectives, such as equity or human health impacts, may be added in future updates to the assessment platform.

 

 

Table 6: SDG targets related to agricultural management and impact areas under the perspectives of resource use efficiency and ecosystem services.

 

SDG Target Description
No poverty

01.02

By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.

Related Impact Areas: 6, 11, 16, 22, 27, 32, 36, 41, 47, 52, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 83

No poverty

01.05

By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.

Related Impact Areas: 73, 74, 75, 76, 80, 81, 87, 103

Zero Hunger

02.04

By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.

Related Impact Areas: 1, 2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 49, 50, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 73, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 102, 103, 104

Zero Hunger

02.05

By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.

Related Impact Areas: 66, 67

Good health and well-being

03.09

By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

Related Impact Areas: 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 61, 68, 69, 84, 85, 102, 86

Quality education

04.07

By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

Related Impact Areas: 90, 91

Clean water and sanitation

06.03

By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.

Related Impact Areas: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 59, 60, 61, 68, 69, 75, 84, 85, 102, 103, 104

Clean water and sanitation

06.04

By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.

Related Impact Areas: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 57, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 87, 99, 101

Clean water and sanitation

06.06

By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

Related Impact Areas: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 57, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 59, 34, 35, 36, 60, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 61, 68, 69, 73, 75, 79, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 103

Affordable and clean energy

07.02

By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Related Impact Areas: 2, 9, 13, 19, 25, 29, 35, 38, 44, 50, 5, 10, 15, 21, 26, 31, 40, 46, 65

Affordable and clean energy

07.03

By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

Related Impact Areas: 8, 9, 10, 11, 55

Decent work and economic growth

08.02

Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors.

Related Impact Areas: 6, 11, 16, 22, 27, 32, 36, 41, 47, 52, 63, 64, 65

Decent work and economic growth

08.04

Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead.

Related Impact Areas: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 55, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 57, 34, 35, 36, 60, 63, 64, 65, 73, 75, 77, 78, 79, 83, 84, 85, 86

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

09.04

By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.

Related Impact Areas: 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 73, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 102, 103, 104

Reduced inequalities

10.01

By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average.

Related Impact Areas: 63, 64, 65

Sustainable cities and communities

11.04

Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Related Impact Areas: 88, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97

Responsible consumption and production

12.01

Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries.

Related Impact Areas: 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 73, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 102, 103, 104

Responsible consumption and production

12.02

By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

Related Impact Areas: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 55, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 57, 34, 35, 36, 60, 73, 79, 83, 84, 85, 86

Responsible consumption and production

12.04

By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

Related Impact Areas: 68, 69, 70, 84, 85, 86, 102, 104

Climate action

13.01

Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.

Related Impact Areas: 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 54, 66, 67, 74, 75, 76, 80, 81, 87, 103

Climate action

13.02

Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.

Related Impact Areas: 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 23, 33, 42, 48, 53, 56, 83, 86, 87, 90, 91

Climate action

13.03

Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

Related Impact Areas: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 56, 90, 91

Life below water

14.01

By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.

Related Impact Areas: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 59, 34, 35, 36, 60, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 61, 68, 69, 73, 85, 102, 103, 104

Life on land

15.01

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.

Related Impact Areas: 68, 69, 73, 79, 84, 87, 88, 89, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104

Life on land

15.03

By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.

Related Impact Areas: 73, 75, 79, 83, 103

Table 7: Impact areas supported by the BonaRes Assessment Platform. Areas from the persepctive Resource Use Efficiency on the left (black numbers) areas from the perspective Ecosystem Services (blue numbers) on the right.
 

Impact Areas Resource Use Efficiency   Impact Area Ecosystem Services
1 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Area of land   63 Food from plants
2 Aboveground Biomass per Area of land   64 Fibres from plants
3 Jobs per Area of land   65 Energy from plants
4 Embodied Nitrogen per Area of land   66 Seeds for breeding purposes
5 Embodied Energy per Area of land   67 Plants for breeding purposes
6 Financial benefits per Area of land   68 Bio-remediation
7 Sequestered Carbon per Area of land   69 Biotic filtration/sequestration/storage/accumulation
8 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Energy   70 Smell reduction
9 Aboveground Biomass per Energy   71 Noise reduction
10 Embodied Energy per Energy   72 Visual screening
11 Financial benefits per Energy   73 Erosion control
12 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per GHG emissions   74 Mass movement buffering & reduction
13 Aboveground Biomass per GHG emissions   75 Hydrological cycle & water flow regulation
14 Embodied Nitrogen per GHG emissions   76 Wind protection
15 Embodied Energy per GHG emissions   77 Pollination
16 Financial benefits per GHG emissions   78 Seed dispersal
17 Sequestered Carbon per GHG emissions   79 Maintaining habitats
18 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Water   80 Pest control
19 Aboveground Biomass per Water   81 Disease control
20 Embodied Nitrogen per Water   82 Weathering & soil development
21 Embodied Energy per Water   83 Maintaining soil organic matter & nutrients
22 Financial benefits per Water   84 Chemical regulation of freshwaters
23 Sequestered Carbon per Water   85 Chemical regulation of salt waters
24 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Human labour   86 Chemical regulation of atmosphere
25 Aboveground Biomass per Human labour   87 Regulation of temperature/humidity/ventilation/transpiration
26 Embodied Energy per Human labour   88 Ecosystems enabling active enjoyment
27 Financial benefits per Human labour   89 Ecosystems enabling passive enjoyment
28 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Nitrogen fertilizer   90 Ecosystems enabling research
29 Aboveground Biomass per Nitrogen fertilizer   91 Ecosystems enabling education
30 Embodied Nitrogen per Nitrogen fertilizer   92 Culturally/historically important ecosystems
31 Embodied Energy per Nitrogen fertilizer   93 Aesthetically important ecosystems
32 Financial benefits per Nitrogen fertilizer   94 Symbolically important ecosystems
33 Sequestered Carbon per Nitrogen fertilizer   95 Ecosystems used for entertainment/representation
34 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Phosphorus fertilizer   96 Ecosystems with existence value
35 Aboveground Biomass per Phosphorus fertilizer   97 Ecosystems with option/bequest value
36 Financial benefits per Phosphorus fertilizer   98 Surface water for drinking
37 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Pesticides   99 Surface water for non-drinking purposes
38 Aboveground Biomass per Pesticides   100 Groundwater for drinking
39 Embodied Nitrogen per Pesticides   101 Groundwater for non-drinking purposes
40 Embodied Energy per Pesticides   102 Abiotic mediation by filtration/sequestration/storage/accumulation
41 Financial benefits per Pesticides   103 Physical barriers to liquid flows
42 Sequestered Carbon per Pesticides   104 Maintenance and regulation by inorganic processes
43 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Money  
44 Aboveground Biomass per Money
45 Embodied Nitrogen per Money
46 Embodied Energy per Money
47 Financial benefits per Money
48 Sequestered Carbon per Money
49 Grain/Fruit/ Tuber yield per Long-time investment
50 Aboveground Biomass per Long-time investment
51 Jobs per Long-time investment
52 Financial benefits per Long-time investment
53 Sequestered Carbon per Long-time investment
54 Yield stability per Long-time investment
55 Yield stability per Energy
56 Yield stability per GHG emissions
57 Yield stability per Water
58 Yield stability per Human labour
59 Yield stability per Nitrogen fertilizer
60 Yield stability per Phosphorus fertilizer
61 Yield stability per Pesticides
62 Yield stability per Money

German Federal Government. 2016. German Sustainable Development Strategy. Online: http://bit.ly/2BWpTYw (accessed 09 August 2019)


Keesstra S D, Quinton J N, van der Putten W H, Bardgett R D, Fresco L O. 2016. The significance of soils and soil science towards realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Soil 2, 111–128. DOI:10.5194/soil-2-111-2016


Montanarella L, Alva I L. 2015. Putting soils on the agenda: the three Rio Conventions and the post-2015 development agenda. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 15, 41–48. DOI:10.1016/j.cosust.2015.07.008


United Nations. 2016. Resolution 70/1. Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Online: http://bit.ly/1Y3D3sN (accessed 09 August 2019)