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.

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