policy objectives, which hindered compliance (Ambalam 2014). An analysis of the Finnish NBSAP revealed how a range of different forms of responsibility (liability, accountability, responsiveness and care) in different policy sectors could be constructed by introducing new knowledge, providing better process design and building institutional networks (Sarkki et al. 2016). However, there remained a lack of intersectoral dialogue despite pro-biodiversity outcomes in other targeted policy sectors, and the responsibilities did not percolate from the environmental administration to other policy sectors. Addressing this cross-sectoral ‘responsibility gap’ remains a major challenge for effective environmental policies (Mukherjee et al. 2015; Sarkki et al. 2016). In addition, International Environmental Agreements, in particular, seldom go beyond business-as-usual outcomes
(Kellenberg and Levinson 2014). Diffuse language and the lack of quantitative or measurable goals in many International Environmental Agreements leave signatory countries’ actions open to interpretation and prevent rigorous appraisal of their performance in improving the quality of ecosystems.
Biodiversity conservation policy is inherently multifaceted, and it is more vital than ever that a ‘big picture’ perspective emerges among practitioners and governments. Integrating climate, health and equity issues into efforts to mainstream biodiversity, and developing awareness across sectors of policy commitments, are key to the overall success of the SDGs. Many of the policy initiatives discussed in this chapter can serve as models for scaling up efforts to the global level with appropriate and sustained support from governments.