Global Civil Society & the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Life on Land


Forests cover 30.7 per cent of the Earth’s surface and, in addition to providing food security and shelter, they are key to combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and the homes of the indigenous population. By protecting forests, we will also be able to strengthen natural resource management and increase land productivity.

At the current time, thirteen million hectares of forests are being lost every year while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares. Even though up to 15% of land is currently under protection, biodiversity is still at risk. 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.

Efforts are being made to manage forests and combat desertification. There are two international agreements being implemented currently that promote the use of resources in an equitable way. Financial investments in support of biodiversity are also being provided.

Name Acronym Founded City HQ Country/Territory HQ Type I Type II

UNESCO Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and Small Islands

UNESCO CSI Programme 1996 Jakarta Indonesia K g

UNESCO International Research Network on Educational Resources

1992 Braunschweig Germany G

Union Association pour la Participation et l'Action Régionale - Centre Méditerranéen de l'Environnement

Union APARE-CME 2013 L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue France E

Union européenne des vétérinaires praticiens

UEVP 1970 Brussels Belgium D

Union européenne du commerce du bétail et de la viande

UECBV 1951 Brussels Belgium D y

Union Méditerranéenne des Géomètres

UMG 2010 Rabat Morocco D

Union of European Foresters

UEF 1958 Uhler Germany D v

Union of Foresters of Southern Europe

1989 Zamudio Biscay Spain D

Unione Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo e La Pace

UVISP-Assisi 1987 Bastia Umbra PG Italy G

United Animal Nations

UAN 1979 Montreux VD Switzerland F

United Earth Associations

UEA 1996 Merchtem Belgium N

United Nations

UN 1945 New York NY USA A gy

United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business

UN/CEFACT 1997 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Children's Fund

UNICEF 1946 New York NY USA F fg

United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries

UN-REDD Programme 2008 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

Committee of Experts on TDG and GHS 1953 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Compensation Commission

UNCC 1991 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

UNCED S cg

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

UNCTAD 1964 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

UNCCD 1994 Bonn Germany T g

United Nations Development Programme

UNDP 1965 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Economic and Social Council

ECOSOC 1945 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

UNECE 1947 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO 1945 Paris France B g

United Nations Environment Programme

UNEP 1972 Nairobi Kenya E g

United Nations Forum on Forests

UNFF 2000 New York NY USA F g

United Nations Foundation

UNF 1998 New York NY USA F f

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR 1951 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara

MINURSO 1991 New York NY USA F g

United Nations Office at Geneva

UNOG Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

UNDRR 1999 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OCHA 1992 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

UN-OHRLLS 2001 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

UNPFII 2000 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific

UNRCC-AP 1953 New York NY USA S cg

United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas

UNRCCA S cg

United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation

UNSCEAR 1955 Vienna Austria E g

United Nations Sustainable Development Group

UNSDG 1997 New York NY USA E g

United Nations University - Institute for Water, Environment and Health

UNU-INWEH 1996 Hamilton ON Canada K j

United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

UNU-EHS 2003 Bonn Germany E j

United Nations Volunteers

UNV 1971 Bonn Germany F g

United Nations World Peace Association

UNWPA 2019 Sapporo Hokkaido Japan G

United Purpose

UP 1976 Cardiff UK G

Unity-and-Diversity World Council

UDC 1965 Los Angeles CA USA F

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UDHR 1948 New York NY USA T g

Universal Life Church

ULC 1959 Seattle WA USA N

Universala Medicina Esperanto-Asocio

UMEA 1908 Trier Germany C v

Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

UFAW 1926 Wheathampstead UK G

Urban Biodiversity and Design

URBIO 2008 F

Urban Environmental Accords

UEA 2012 Gwangju Korea Rep F

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