Being smart about SMART environmental targets



Maxwell SL, Milner-Gulland EJ, Jones JPG, Knight AT, Bunnefeld N, Nuno A, Bal P, Earle S, Watson JEM & Rhodes JR (2015) Being smart about SMART environmental targets. Science, 347 (6226), pp. 1075-1076.

First paragraph: Global progress toward meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi targets has recently been found wanting. The Aichi targets were intended to be SMART (specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic, and time-bound), partly in response to the perception that failure to meet the preceding global biodiversity targets resulted from their lack of SMART-ness. Negotiations are building toward the September 2015 United Nations meeting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will influence government and business development priorities for decades. Some argue that scientists must engage with the SDG negotiation process to ensure that the environmental targets (e.g., sustainable food production and water-use efficiency) are not vague, modest, or lacking in detailed qualification. We caution against focusing only on ensuring that environmental targets are SMART and call for greater attention on the processes that lead to a target being set and met.

Science: Volume 347, Issue 6226

Publication date06/03/2015
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science

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Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Professor Nils Bunnefeld

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences