SNAP: Making Ecosystems Count in the Sustainable Development Goals

Principal Investigator(s): 

Fabrice DeClerck, Luis Solorzano, and David Cleary

The dual challenge of providing for a growing and increasingly wealthy global population while protecting the environment calls for a dramatic paradigm shift in how we approach development. The need for this transition is evident on numerous fronts including efforts of the private sector to account for natural capital; government initiatives with the World Bank to account for and value ecosystem services as a complement to GDP; a growing body of academic work on measuring, monitoring, and valuing ecosystem services; and the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services.

This SNAP Working Group will develop agriculture, ecosystem, and natural resource based indicators for planning and monitoring country scale progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. Working closely with the government ministries of the Volta and Nile basin countries, ecosystem- and natural resource-based indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals will be developed for Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Sustainability indicators will include novel evaluation measures for natural capital and ecosystem services. Indicators will be formulated to be of practical relevance to policymakers faced with making difficult decisions on large scale development opportunities and their impact on livelihoods, present and future. The Working Group meetings will include focused discussions with high-level national stakeholders, synthetic work on ecosystem and resilience based measures of relevance to decision makers, and scenario analysis of key national scale development opportunities to test proposed indicators.

This project is supported by the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) initiative, generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.