SDG 15 - Life on land

sdg 15

Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Forests cover 30.7 per cent of the Earth’s surface and, in addition to providing food security and shelter, they are key to combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and the homes of the indigenous population. By protecting forests, we will also be able to strengthen natural resource management and increase land productivity.

At the current time, thirteen million hectares of forests are being lost every year while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares. Even though up to 15% of land is currently under protection, biodiversity is still at risk. Deforestation and desertification – caused by human activities and climate change – pose major challenges to sustainable development and have affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the fight against poverty.

Efforts are being made to manage forests and combat desertification. There are two international agreements being implemented currently that promote the use of resources in an equitable way. Financial investments in support of biodiversity are also being provided.

The Lion’s Share Fund

On 21 June, 2018, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), FINCH and founding partner Mars, Incorporated, announced the Lion’s Share, an initiative aimed at transforming the lives of animals across the world by asking advertisers to contribute a percentage of their media spend to conservation and animal welfare projects.  The Lion’s Share will see partners contribute 0.5 percent of their media spend to the fund for each advertisement they use featuring an animal. Those funds will be used to support animals and their habitats around the world. The Fund is seeking to raise US$100m a year within three years, with the money being invested in a range of wildlife conservation and animal welfare programs to be implemented by United Nations and civil society organizations.

Facts and Figures

Forests

  •     Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood, including 70 million indigenous people.
  •     Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
  •     Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas. Poor rural women depend on common pool resources and are especially affected by their depletion.

Desertification

  •     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.
  •     Arable land loss is estimated at 30 to 35 times the historical rate
  •     Due to drought and desertification, 12 million hectares are lost each year (23 hectares per minute). Within one year, 20 million tons of grain could have been grown.
  •     74 per cent of the poor are directly affected by land degradation globally.

Biodiversity

  •     Illicit poaching and trafficking of wildlife continues to thwart conservation efforts, with nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants reported in illegal trade involving 120 countries.
  •     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.

Space-based Technologies for SDG 15

Protecting nature and biodiversity is an increasingly important challenge for humanity.
Satellite technology can be used to track endangered species and disrupt the poaching activities that drive the illegal wildlife trade.
UNOOSA helps stakeholders in biodiversity and wildlife management use space applications to monitor, assess and manage biodiversity and ecosystems.
http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/emnrm/biodiversity.html

 

Learn more about the SDGs

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