SDG #15: Life On Land
This month’s Sustainable Development Goal the Local Peace Economy is working on is # 15: Goal 15 is about conserving life on land. It is to protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and stop biodiversity loss. Healthy ecosystems and the biological diversity they support are a source of food, water, medicine, shelter and other material goods. They also provide ecosystem services – the cleaning of air and water – which sustain life and increase resiliency in the face of mounting pressures.
Nevertheless, human activities have profoundly altered most terrestrial ecosystems: around 40,000 species are documented to be at risk of extinction over the coming decades, 10 million hectares of forest (an area the size of Iceland) are being destroyed each year, and more than half of key biodiversity areas remain unprotected.
Facts and Figures
- Forest cover fell from 31.9 per cent of total land area in 2000 to 31.2 per cent in 2020, a net loss of almost 100 million hectares.
- Agricultural expansion is driving almost 90 per cent of global deforestation, including 49.6 per cent from expansion for cropland and 38.5 per cent for livestock grazing.
- Between 2010 and 2021, the area of forest land under certification schemes increased by 35 per cent. The proportion of forests under a long-term management plan increased from 54 per cent in 2010 to 58 per cent in 2020.
- More than 700 million hectares of forest (18 per cent) were in legally established protected areas in 2020.
- Human activities such as logging and farming are encroaching upon habitats, putting about 20 per cent of reptile species at risk.
- Globally, the mean percentage coverage of key biodiversity areas increased from over one quarter in 2000 to nearly one half in 2021.
- More and more countries are establishing national targets for incorporating ecosystem and biodiversity values into their accounting and reporting systems. By January 2022, 37 per cent of countries assessed are on track to achieve or exceed their national targets.
What can we do?
Some things we can do to help include recycling, eating a locally-based diet that is sustainably sourced, and consuming only what we need.
We must be respectful toward wildlife and only take part in ecotourism opportunities that are responsibly and ethically run in order to prevent
wildlife disturbance. Well managed protected areas support healthy ecosystems, which in turn keep people healthy. It is therefore critical to secure the involvement of the local communities in the development and management of these protected areas.
So, join the Local Peace Economy and work for SDG# 15: Life on Land.
The Local Peace Economy joins the United Nations in its call for a Decade of Action to transform the world by 2030. The 2030 Agenda for 17 Sustainable Development goals, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The spirit of human endeavor has demonstrated our shared ability to deliver the extraordinary. The Global Goals are our best hope-for people, for planet, for prosperity, for peace and for partnerships.
The Local Peace Economy calls on everyone everywhere to join us and the UN and pledge: “We are resolved to a Decade of Action to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are necessary. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”
Please join us as we pledge to work urgently to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path of peace, that leaves no one behind.
To find out more about Goal #15 and the other Sustainable Development Goals, visit: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment