Interconnectedness of the Goals: Goal 13 & Goal 15
Updated: Nov 4, 2018
Image credit: ChrisA1995
One of the most exciting aspects of the Global Goals is their interconnectedness. Previously, the multiple areas of development have been treated rather separately within their own categories. Now, however, we have a way to explore how social, environmental and economic development are all related to one another. This year, we are exploring how each goal and their associated targets need to see the achievement of each other in order to be fulfilled as a whole.
Goal 13 aims to ensure we take urgent action to mitigate climate change and strengthen resilience against climate-related disasters, and Goal 15 aims to ensure we protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
Climate change is having some dramatic impacts on ecosystems around the world. These changes will only get more severe over time.
Extinction of species
Species of animals which are not able to adapt quickly to changes to the environment, especially changes which occur faster than normal, will face extinction. Similarly, animals which are not able to migrate at a quick enough pace, or not able to migrate at all, will also face extinction.
Altered Distribution of Species
For those animals which are able to leave their natural habitats in hope of finding a habitat more conducive to their living needs, distribution will be altered. This means that other animals in the new habitat might face extinction, especially if they are prey for the “refugee species”.
General Changes in Movement Patterns
Some migratory species will shorten their travel distances or cease migration altogether with the looming threat of climate change.
Changes in Population Numbers
Increased mortality rates, reduced genetic diversity and reduced reproductive success will lead to a change in population number of different species. This is also due to a change in phenology, which is linked to environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall.
With the change in climate, new species of plants and animals will appear and disappear, causing a change in the ecosystem.
Changes in Animals’ Behaviours and Physiologies
Animals, such as bears, which hibernate throughout the winter may experience shorter hibernation times as the planet warms. This has an impact on the greater ecosystem as food stocks, such as fish, may not have time to adequately replenish. Climate change can also affect how much or little an animal must eat in order to maintain their core body temperature.
Less Moisture in the Soil
The level of moisture in the soil is expected to decrease from climate change, which will affect all plant and animal life as it will have an enormous impact on the ecosystem.