Let's Save the Bear: A Multispecies Livelihoods Approach to Wildlife Conservation and Achieving the SDGs

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The Apennines (also known as Marsican) brown bear is a critically endangered subspecies of the European brown bear, with only an estimated 50–60 individuals remaining in the wild. The bear is endemic to the Central Apennines Mountain Range where two nonprofit organizations, Salviamo L’Orso (SLO) and Rewilding Apennines (RA), work with local stakeholders, wildlife ecotourists, sustainable entrepreneurs, and strategic partners to conserve the species and foster ecological restoration. Sustainable entrepreneurship may provide a balanced approach to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, if nonhuman animals’ rights, agency, and welfare are foregrounded. This case study analyzes how SLO and RA embraced multispecies livelihoods sustainable entrepreneurship to tackle five of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 8, 10, 11, 15, 17) in an attempt to save this species. The multispecies livelihoods approach argues for equal consideration to the rights, agency, and welfare of humans and nonhumans alike in the context of biodiversity conservation, sustainable entrepreneurship, and sustainable development. The case study is limited in scope, but provides insight into how sustainable entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and researchers may consider this approach to address the threat of species extinction, become more sustainable, and achieve the SDGs.