How is Nature contributing to SDG6?
There have been many attempts to conceptually map the SDGs against each other and the activities of different sectors such as energy or agriculture, but there have been few attempts to map the goals’ spatial requirements so that the interactions and trade-offs between them can be assessed. We are testing different approaches to combining spatial information on agricultural potential, freshwater production from natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and other values or services to society. Using the Co$ting Nature web-based tool, with its more than 80 global datasets, we have developed a global map of nature’s contributions to the SDG 6 (water). This provides an overview of the areas of the world where nature provides the most benefits to SDG 6 in relation to co-benefits for other SDGs and potential opportunity costs of maintaining land under sustainable use to meet SDG 6 targets. These maps will help us assess questions such as, should upland river catchments be maintained as natural forest to support the goals on freshwater, carbon storage and biodiversity? Or should they be converted to agriculture to support the food security goal? We all hope that this initiative, and the resulting spatial mapping of nature’s contributions to SDG 6