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GOAL 15: Life on land- facts and figures, targets, why it matters

Learn more about SDG 15

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

Terrestrial ecosystems provide a series of goods, raw materials for construction and energy, food and a series of ecosystem services including the capture of carbon, maintenance of soil quality, provision of habitat for biodiversity, maintenance of water quality, as well as regulation of water flow and erosion control, therefore contributing to reduce the risks of natural disasters such as floods and landslides, regulate climate and maintain the productivity of agricultural systems. Maintaining those ecosystems greatly support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Data and Statistics / Facts and Figures:

  • Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood.
  • Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects
  • 74 per cent of the poor are directly affected by land degradation globally
  • Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction
  • Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60 per cent of energy intake
  • As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-based medicines for basic healthcare

Why Goal 15: Life on Land matters?

Desertification

  • 2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture, but 52 per cent of the land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by soil degradation
  • As of 2008, land degradation affected 1.5 billion people globally
  • Arable land loss is estimated at 30 to 35 times the historical rate
  • Due to drought and desertification each year 12 million hectares are lost (23 hectares per minute), where 20 million tons of grain could have been grown
  • 74 per cent of the poor are directly affected by land degradation globally

Biodiversity

  • Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction
  • Of the over 80,000 tree species, less than 1 per cent have been studied for potential use
  • Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Only ten species provide about 30 per cent of marine capture fisheries and ten species provide about 50 per cent of aquaculture production
  • Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60 per cent of energy intake
  • As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-­‐based medicines for basic
  • healthcare
  • Micro-organisms and invertebrates are key to ecosystem services, but their contributions are still poorly known and rarely acknowledged

Forests

  • Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood. This includes some 70 million indigenous people
  • Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects

Targets linked to the environment:

  • Target 15.1: 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
  • Target 15.2: 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
  • Target 15.3: 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
  • Target 15.4: 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
  • Target 15.5: 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
  • Target 15.6: 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
  • Target 15.7: 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
  • Target 15.8: 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
  • Target 15.9: By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
  • Target 15.a: Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Target 15.b: 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
  • Target 15.c: 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

 

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