1 million

plant and animal species

are at risk of extinction

SDG 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 by 2030


Environmental conservation has an impact on every level of life on the planet, from landowners in developing countries to threatened animal species. However, land degradation occurs when our activities negatively affect land and soils. Deforestation and desertification – caused by human activities and climate change – pose major challenges to sustainable development and have affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the fight against poverty. By focusing on protecting forests and other natural habitats, this goal not only ensures that wildlife can thrive, but people around the world can enjoy better living conditions.

What Can I Do?

Don’t print. Opt to do readings for your classes on your computer screen, rather than printing out papers. Advocate your lectures for submitting your work online through your college portal, rather than printing out hard copies. Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile. Never buy products from threatened or endangered species. It is also important to educate yourself on products that are tested on animals: Check the labels on the products you buy. Consume less meat and become vegetarian for one day a week. The meat production industry has a huge impact on the environment. Clean your local parks and forests. Organise your own or join an existing clean-up event to sustain the ecosystem of your local green space. Volunteer with animal organisations or shelters: Help to sustain diversity and save lives of animal species.

What Are The 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 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.