All life form depends on the earth for their sustenance and livelihoods, yet, did you know that plant life provides roughly 80% of the our daily diet, and we rely on agriculture as an important economic resources?
Did you know that forests only cover about 30% of the Earth’s surface which provide vital habitats for millions of species. Other than this, it is the most important sources for clean air and water, as well as being crucial for combating climate change?
Each year, 13 million hectares of forests are lost, while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares, disproportionately affecting poor communities. Although 15% of land is protected, yet biodiversity is still at risk. Nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants have been illegally traded. Wildlife trafficking not only erodes biodiversity, but creates insecurity, fuels conflict, and feeds corruption.
Urgent action need to be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which is part of our important common heritage and support global food and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and peace and security.
Hence, United Nations decided to established this as one of the Goals in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. It will be name as Sustainable Development Goal 15(SDG 15) - Life on Land. The official wording for it is "Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss". For this goal, it has ten targets to be achieved by 2030.
The 12 Goals:
- By 2020, ensure 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.
- By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests, and increase afforestation and reforestation by x% globally.
- By 2020, combat desertification, and restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land-degradation neutral world.
- By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, to enhance their capacity to provide benefits which are essential for sustainable development.
- Take urgent and significant action to reduce degradation of natural habitat, halt the loss of biodiversity, and by 2020 protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
- Ensure fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, and promote appropriate access to genetic resources.
- 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.
- 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.
- By 2020, integrate ecosystems and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes and poverty reduction strategies, and accounts.
- Mobilize and significantly increase from all sources financial resources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems.
- Mobilize significantly resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management, and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance sustainable forest management, including for conservation and reforestation.
- Enhance global support to efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities.