Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 15

Goal-15 pic

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt Biodiversity loss


The sustainable management of forests has faced various challenges in developing countries. Targets under this goal include the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and the sustainable management of forests, important issues for Africa where more than 70 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, depends on forests and woodlands for its livelihood, and where one in five rural families’ daily needs come from forests. Forest-related activities account for a large part of the GDP of most of the continent’s countries. Despite significant international financial support to the forestry sector in the Sub-Saharan African countries however, impacts on sustainable management and poverty alleviation are still below expectations.

Goal 15 also includes targets on combating desertification and reversing land degradation.  It is a well-known fact that soil degradation not only results in decreased food production but also in droughts, ecological imbalance and consequent degradation of the quality of life. In Africa, the most conspicuous symptoms of the negative impact of land degradation on food production are stagnating and declining yields and increasing levels of poverty. Other targets under this goal include the conservation of mountain ecosystems, reducing the degradation of natural habitats and halting the loss of biodiversity, ensuring equitable sharing of benefits from the utilization of genetic resources, and urgent action against poaching and trafficking of flora and fauna among others, and taking steps to ensure that these issues are integrated into local, national and global agendas and that sufficient resources are mobilized.


Proposed Targets:

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 2020, 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 Ensure fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources

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

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


Conferences and Forums have been organized by UONGOZI Institute to promote dialogue among various stakeholders in the forestry sector, the government, and the general public.

For more references on the success and challenges facing Goal 15 especially in the Africa context. Click the following links:

1. to read a publication about  Towards a Green Economy:: Exploring the potential of forestry in Tanzania through the Green Growth Program.

2. to read a publication about Thinking Outside the Box: A case for promoting the charcoal industry in Tanzania.


Let us meet again next week when we feature Goal 16. Please give us feedback on our SDG Series by emailing or social media  and @Uongozi on Twitter. Have a good weekend.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 14



Goal Fourteen: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development


This goal focuses on various aspects of coastal and marine health, including sustainable fishing, pollution, and tourism. This is another goal which expands the depth of the SDGs beyond that of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which focused very broadly on environmental sustainability without getting into specifics in this way.

According to the Ocean Health Index, Africa scored a 63 out of 100 in 2014 for the overall health of its coastlines and waters. The index assesses the health of oceans of 221 regions based on 10 goals; biodiversity, clean waters, sense of place, tourism/recreation, livelihoods economies, coastal protection, carbon storage, natural products, artisanal fishing and food provision.

In Africa, the sustainable management of marine resources is a significant factor for sustainable development. According to this World Bank report, rural fishing communities throughout the continent that are dependent on the services provided by coastal and marine ecosystems are often poor, vulnerable and likely to suffer most from environmental change. The target here, as outlined in target 14.4, is to effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices by 2020, as well as to implement science-based management plans in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible.


Proposed Targets:

14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution

14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans

14.3 Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels

14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics

14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information

14.6 By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation (1)

14.7 By 2030, increase the economic benefits to small island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism

14.a Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries

14.b Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets

14.c Ensure the full implementation of international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for States parties thereto, including, where applicable, existing regional and international regimes for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by their parties


  1. Taking into account ongoing World Trade Organization negotiations, the Doha Development Agenda  and the Hong Kong ministerial mandate.

Complexity, Dynamics and Risk


This article was published on the November 2015 edition of the African Business magazine

Anyone seeking to be a successful leader needs to acquire the skills to negotiate an increasingly complex world environment

Large numbers of migrants crossing borders to escape violence and seeking opportunity elsewhere challenge border post officials and Foreign Ministers alike, not to mention the pressure they create for political leaders to engage in increased coordination in real time, while managing the spotlight of the press and the buzz of social media.

Crowds of young people looking for jobs in Europe and Africa are increasingly vocal and demand the immediate attention of politicians, even though sustainable solutions would take years to put in place.

Contagious diseases like Ebola threaten harmony in previously peaceful communities, compelling global leaders to find urgent and coordinated solutions.

Policy makers need to handle complex scientific and social information with little room for mistakes, whether deciding on genetically modified seed varieties, implementation arrangements to adapt to climate change, or labour policies that balance the needs of the youth and the ageing. Leaders of countries have to increasingly mind not only what is going on within their borders, but also events in countries geographically distant from them. Company executives need to be cognizant of changing preferences and the lightning speed at which trends are shaped and reshaped, and brands lionised or destroyed.

In my book, Leadership in a Globalized World: Complexity, Dynamics and Risk, I present a synthesis of the tools available to leaders to navigate in this complex environment. The areas covered include skills to be adept at observing patterns of change; understanding the dynamics of change; and reacting proficiently to urgent challenges. Other skills relate to harnessing complexity in taking day-to-day decisions, while making smart use of tools for consultation, dialogue, empathising with others, and scanning and mapping risks.

Delivering superior performance every day requires skills for learning, innovation and creating repeated success, aided by a strong ability to work across borders, co-create with others, and imagine an emerging reality. While the tools developed are from academic research in multiple disciplines, the book relies on a series of case studies from real life to bring to life Theory U.

Learning from examples in a variety of industries, firms, governments and geographies, we discover that a good leader learns from others and from past experiences including – and especially from – failure. Good leaders in a complex world take major shifts in people, economy, resources and technology spheres in their stride. The skill of extracting and following patterns wins when many things are changing. Skilled leaders use change to shape strategy and harness the very complexity they are dealing with, to manage risks and exploit opportunities for results.

Of particular importance are leaders skilled at dealing with local and global issues in a coherent governance framework; whether at the country, corporation, or organisation level.

Good leaders know how to harness the special role of individuals and their preferences to shape common or collective outcomes beyond the scales of their geographical confines. Successful leaders in government, corporations, and civil society, as well as those interested in development, adapt “how” they engage in addition to “what” and “why” they engage in decision making.

Effective leaders are not afraid to fail and even relish it as an opportunity to learn.

Striving towards the horizon, not knowing what lies ahead, navigating through winding paths that are steep and foggy, driven by the desire to get a better outcome, makes the journey of leading in a complex world exciting.

Frannie A. Léautier


Frannie A. Léautier is Chairperson and Co-Founding Partner of Mkoba Private Equity, and previously served as Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation


Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 13



Goal Thirteen: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change


The inclusion of SDG Thirteen on climate change was anticipated, however it is limited in its scope to avoid overlap with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has served as the primary body working on climate change since 1992. Like Goal Twelve, this goal includes a target emphasizing the need for increased education and awareness-raising on the subject matter. Higher education and research in Africa are key to solving problems caused by climate change. Biotechnology is one solution proposed by African scientists. With careful use it can provide crops that give higher yields in dry and barren land and be a major contributor to food security. However, although there are an increasing number of examples of biotech crops in Africa, compared to Latin America and Asia the use of biotechnology is extremely low and South Africa is the only country in Africa to commercialize biotech crops so far.


Another important aspect of this goal is its inclusion of a target on the capacity to respond to natural disasters, which have plagued Africa. Capacity means that they are guided by the users, allowing them to participate more fully in decision-making processes and to articulate the specific needs and demands of a diverse society. It also means persistent adaptation towards increased efficiency, transparency and accountability. Committees and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may be enlisted to monitor and evaluate climate services, especially in rural areas. Institutional decentralization and special measures must be put in place to ensure participation of women, youth, ethnic minorities, and vulnerable groups


Proposed Targets:

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning

13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

13.a Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible

13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries, including focusing on women, youth and local marginalized communities