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Sustainable Development Goals: indicators and metrics


Achieving land degradation neutrality at the global level, a publication produced by the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD

LDN as an Accelerator of the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, are an intergovernmental set of 17 aspiration Goals with 169 targets. The Goals are contained in paragraph 54 United Nations Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015.

Sustainable Development Goals include:

  1. No Poverty – End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. Zero Hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Good Health and Well-being – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduced Inequalities – Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Life Below Water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development targets
  15. Life on Land – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss targets
  16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels targets
  17. Partnerships for the Goals – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development targets

Target 15.3

Target 15.3 of Goal 15 “Life on Land” has been championed by UNCCD and partner countries and  has become a strong vehicle to drive UNCCD implementation. It urges “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.” It also contributes to other SDGs, including those related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, food and water security, disaster risk reduction, and poverty reduction. The 2030 Agenda and its target 15.3 place the UNCCD firmly in the context of the hugely important climate action agenda, providing a roadmap for the next 15 years.

Work currently done on target 15.3 indicators 

On 11 March 2016, the 47th session of the UN Statistical Commission approved a draft global indicator framework, intended for the follow-up and review of progress towards the SDGs on the global level.

The indicator, proposed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs) for SDG target 15.3, is the “Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area” (referred to as SDG indicator 15.3.1). The IAEG-SDGs has classified indicator 15.3.1. as a Tier 3 indicator (i.e. indicator for which there are no established methodology and standards or methodology/standards are being developed/tested). The sub indicators for monitoring and reporting on progress towards SGD 15.3.1 are:  

  • Land cover and land cover change
  • Land productivity, and
  • Carbon stocks above and below ground

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