The future prosperity of the human race depends on the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It’s a known fact that industrialisation has happened at the cost of nature. The extensive logging of forests and the draining of freshwater ecosystems, such as wetlands, have been particularly damaging, increasing the risk of degradation, biodiversity loss and desertification. Like the oceans, forests play a critical role in the carbon cycle, removing carbon from the air and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. The protection, restoration and sustainable use of the world’s ecosystems, as well as sustainable management of its forests, are crucial for an eco-balanced future.
SDG 15 seeks to protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, including freshwater bodies. A particular focus lies on forests: the goal is to sustainably manage these vital resources by halting deforestation, restoring degraded forests and increasing afforestation and reforestation worldwide. This would help tackle soil degradation, combat desertification and stop further loss of biodiversity. Additional goals of SDG 15 revolve around the conservation of mountain ecosystems, halting desertification, taking action to prevent the extinction of species, ending the poaching and trafficking of wildlife, and promoting equitable sharing of the benefits from genetic resources.