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  • Writer's pictureNCI Team

NCI's views on Ireland's Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals

Natural Capital Ireland input into the public consultation for the Voluntary National Review 2023 on how the natural capital approach can support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more on our submission...



Ireland will present its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2023. This report will review Ireland’s progress towards achieving Agenda 2030, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, see image below, including the commitment to the theme 'Leave No One Behind'.


NCI believes that it is important for national policy to explicitly recognise that all SDGs are interlinked. Successes in one area of sustainability provide supports for others, with substantial economic, cultural, social and environmental benefits obtainable through careful and co-ordinated actions across the SDGs.


Failure to ensure coordination and effective cross-sector, whole-of-government partnerships for the SDGs will result in missed opportunities, wasted resources and limited success.

Two of the SDGs deal explicitly with biodiversity (SDG 14, Life Below Water, and SDG 15, Life On Land), but research has shown that biodiversity underpins several other of the global goals and contributes substantially to all 17 SDGs. A large and growing body of research shows that biodiversity-focused SDGs can act as multipliers for co-benefits across all goals.


Similarly, incorporating natural capital approaches into the other SDGs is essential to ensuring that the biodiversity-focused SDGs – and all related biodiversity policy and action plans – are achieved. While trade-offs often come into play and must be examined in an open and participatory fashion, grounding such considerations in a natural capital approach, where the essential role of natural capital (biodiversity, ecosystems, and the benefits they provide) in supporting human well-being is placed at the fore - this can minimise conflicts and maximise success.


NCI strongly advocates that the relationship between nature and all four pillars of sustainability (economic, cultural, social and environmental) be recognised and incorporated within Irish SDG policy. You can read more in our detailed submission HERE.


You can read all our Policy Submissions HERE.

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