The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are vital to social and economic development as well as to humanity’s survival. However, there is evidence of an ongoing decline in biodiversity along with a loss in forest area that threatens human prosperity, with poor rural populations – including indigenous and local communities – particularly affected. Biodiversity and forests contribute to poverty reduction, for example by underpinning food security and human health, providing clean air and water, absorbing CO2 emissions and providing a basis for environmental development.
Goal 15 calls for the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of ecosystems, with the aim of halting deforestation, restoring degraded forests and substantially increasing reforestation by 2020. It also advocates combating desertification by 2030 and restoring land affected by desertification, drought and floods. To protect biodiversity, Goal 15 calls for urgent measures to end poaching and trafficking of protected plant and animal species.
Goal 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
15.9: By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
15.a: Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
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
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