Sustainable development and the UN 2030 Agenda

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is guided and continuous social transformation process at local, regional and global levels. The goal is to secure good or better living opportunities for present and future generations. This requires that the environment, people and the economy are equally considered in decision-making and operations.


The four dimensions of sustainable development are ecological, economic, social and cultural sustainability.

Azote for Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University (CC BY 4.0)

Biosphere Reserves and sustainable development

Biosphere reserves serve as model areas for sustainable development, aiming to fulfil three basic functions, which are complementary and mutually reinforcing: 


    • Conservation: Contribute to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation.  
    • Development: Foster economic and human development which is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable.  
    • Logistic support: Support for demonstration projects, environmental education and training, research and monitoring related to local, regional, national and global issues of conservation and sustainable development. 

North Karelia Biosphere Reserve operates in various areas of sustainable development. The key areas are biodiversity, natural resources, energy and climate change. The biosphere reserve's natural resource governance mainly focuses on sustainable forestry and bioenergy.


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations 2030 Agenda is a global plan of action including 17 different goals that are related to sustainable development. UN member states have agreed on global goals for sustainable development that countries should jointly achieve by 2030. The 2030 Agenda strongly pursues for the first time a change from development policy to a comprehensive sustainable development policy. Implementing the 2030 Agenda requires effort from all states involved. According to the Lima Action Plan (2016-2025), biosphere reserves are recognized as model areas for contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development goals.