SDGs Goal 15: Life On Land

“Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss” United Nations

Goal 15 may not immediately sound like a human rights issue with the description referring to forests and biodiversity loss but actually 1.6 billion people in the world rely on forests for their livelihood and this includes 70 million indigenous people.  This is a large amount of our world population whose lives are being deeply affected.

Plants provide humans with 80% of their diet and so as we see landscapes changing and declining so will our ability to produce food.  So not only are people losing their livelihoods through deforestation, desertification and biodiversity loss, but we as a world are also losing our ability to provide food for ourselves.  For mankind to continue to thrive then the problem of deforestation and desertification needs to be addressed otherwise we will also continue to see people being displaced and moving away from their homelands.  This will increase the issue of poverty as people are unable to continue earning a living through farming and agriculture means – 74% of the poor are directly affected by land degradation globally.  2008 land degradation has affected 1.5 billion people world wide and this number only continues to grow.

Not only this but trees purify our air and filter our water, thus providing with the essentials things we need as humans to survive.  Each year we are using 25% more than our world is able to sustainably provide us with.


1. By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
2. By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
3. By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
4. By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
5. Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
6. Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed
7. Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
8. By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species
9. By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
10. Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
11. Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation
12. Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities

(Info taken from UN Org)


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