The year 2015 presented a historic and unprecedented opportunity to bring the countries and citizens of the world together to embark on new paths to improve people’s lives everywhere and the state of our ecosystems. The decisions taken by the UN to adopt the universal sustainable development goals (SDG) in that year is shaping the international system and the global course of action to end poverty, promote prosperity, peace and well-being for all, while taking into account environmental and resources limits, and tackling climate change.
South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) is the world’s most densely populated region and also home to more than 500 million poor people of the world. While agriculture is the major source of economy and livelihoods in South Asia, the rapid urbanization and industrial activities significantly affect the land use pattern and the productivity of the land systems in the region. South Asia is home to a large number of protected areas, trans-boundary biodiversity landscapes and seascapes, biosphere reserves, sacred groves, Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and high altitude wetlands. Some of these are spread in shared landscapes and ecosystems. Moreover, the region has three global biodiversity hotspots and shares several hydro-geological features made up of important river basin regions and unique ecosystems. However, South Asia is vulnerable to several natural hazards such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, cyclones, and tidal surges. The region has experienced rapid temperature rise during the last three decades and been experiencing increased frequency and ferocity of extreme and unseasonal rainfall, floods and cyclonic events. These natural vulnerabilities are further compounded by deforestation and forest degradation, rapid land-use change, and overexploitation of natural resources, unsustainable urban planning, and increasing rural-urban migration of population.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, comprising 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is especially relevant for South Asian countries that, despite their high economic growth and satisfactory Millennium Development Goal (MDG) achievements, account for 37% of the world are poor, suffering from a number of development and infrastructure gaps. With one fifth of the world’s population, South Asia has a critical role in the global achievement of the SDGs. It is in these contexts that this workshop has been planned as the regional countries are starting to implement their efforts to achieve multiple goals and targets: 2020 Biodiversity Goals; Paris Climate Agreement and SDGs.
IUCN Leaders for Nature India and IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management in collaboration with CSIR-NEERI Nagpur organized a master class workshop on ‘Ecosystem Management, Nature Based Solutions and SDGs: Perspectives from South Asia’ with an aim to critically analyze existing ecological, economic (including technological) and socio-political challenges as well as opportunities faced by countries in South Asia. The workshop also used as a platform to share corporate initiatives and collective strategies under which the countries are trying to transform their traditional economies to low carbon, climate resilient and adaptive economies for achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Click here to find the video link for this Master Class Workshop.