SDG 15 – Life On Land

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, end and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Forests cover 30.7 per cent of the Earth’s surface and not only provide food security and shelter, but are also crucial for combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and for indigenous peoples. By protecting forests, we will also be able to strengthen natural resource management and increase land productivity.

Currently, 13 million hectares of forest are lost every year, while the ongoing degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares. Even though up to 15 percent of the land is currently protected, biodiversity remains at risk. Deforestation and desertification – caused by human activities and climate change – pose a major challenge to sustainable development and have affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the fight against poverty.

Many efforts are being made to manage forests and combat desertification. Two international agreements are currently being implemented to promote the equitable use of resources. Financial investments are also being made available to promote biodiversity.

Did you know?
In 2020, more than 700 million hectares of forest (18%) were located in legally established protected areas.

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