Linking ecosystem services and the Sustainable Development Goals in Small Island Developing States: the case of Aruba

Elena Palacios*, Pieter P.J.H. van Beukering, Boris van Zanten, Francielle Lacle, Stijn Schep, Inga Soellner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The economy and well-being in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other Subnational Island Jurisdictions (SNIJ) highly rely on marine and coastal ecosystem services (ESS). Moreover, SIDS and SNIJ share common challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Building a fact-based solution to demonstrate the link between ESS and SDGs is essential for nature conservation and sustainable development in SIDS and SNIJ. In this study, we developed a 5-step approach to capture the contribution of ESS to the achievement of SDGs in Aruba by means of a shortlist of indicators, with the aim to provide information for optimal policy investments to implement the Aruba 2030 roadmap. The results numerically and spatially demonstrate the contribution of fisheries, nature-based tourism and local cultural recreational ESS to achieve SDG targets 14.7 (increase SIDS' economic benefits from sustainable use of marine resources), 8.9 (devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism) and 3.4 (promote mental health and well-being); and how investing in these key ESS could lead to multiplying co-benefits for other SDGs. This paper also discusses how the 5-step approach and the outcomes can be used to assist other SIDS and SNIJ in their ambitions to meet the SDGs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere71033
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalOne Ecosystem
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Palacios E et al.


  • Ecosystem Services
  • Ecosystem services
  • Small Island Developing States
  • Subnational Island Jurisdictions
  • Sustainable Development Goals


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