Conservation Action Can Support Development Goals

24 September 2015 | Wildlife Conservation Society News Release

NEW YORK  – WCS released an analysis today on the contributions its conservation programs across the globe have on the proposed U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs or global goals will be formally adopted at the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit held at the United Nations from Sept. 25th through Sept. 27th.

The analysis specifically shows how WCS’s conservation actions position it to help contribute to 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 44 of the targets.

The SDGs are intended to end extreme poverty, fight inequality, protect ecosystems, and reverse climate change. The goals range from ensuring sustainable use of natural resources, to taking action on wildlife trafficking and climate change.

Said WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper: “At WCS, we will strive to ensure that all of our work supports the global agenda, as described in these Sustainable Development Goals. Our work, focused on wildlife and wild places, also delivers meaningful sustainable development outcomes, and we stand ready to help Member States achieve these important goals for people and wildlife.

“WCS welcomes the key recognition by governments, through the Sustainable Development Goals, that poverty alleviation and human development are inextricably linked with the conservation of wildlife and wild places. We look forward to working with governments and U.N. Agencies to see them implemented across the globe.”

The WCS analysis lists ongoing conservation activities that will help deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the specific targets. These range from WCS work with local communities to manage subsistence hunting and coastal fisheries to ensure sustainability, to collaborating with government partners to manage and conserve approximately 6.6 million km2(2.5 million square miles) of terrestrial ecosystems, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America.

Other SDG targets not directly associated with conservation, including ending epidemics such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, are equally important.

For example, WCS research has shown that habitat degradation can heighten the transmission of communicable diseases. WCS is working to understand how avoiding deforestation of upstream areas in the islands of Fiji may reduce the downstream incidents of infectious diseases like typhoid; how forest loss and fragmentation in places such as the Brazilian Amazon might be increasing the abundance and virulence of Anopheles mosquito vectors that carry malaria; and how alterations of the forest environment in tropical Africa might be related to Ebola emergence.

Added Samper: “WCS applauds the adoption of these Sustainable Development Goals by Member States of the United Nations, as a blueprint for action for the next 15 years and calls upon government, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, and industry to join us in our commitment to help make them a reality, for the sake of our planet, and for future generations.”

MARY DIXON: (1-347-840-1242;
JOHN DELANEY: (1-718-220-3275;

Link to analysis:


WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.

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