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


Goal 15 is about conserving life on land. It is to protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and stop biodiversity loss.

Earth’s ecosystems are vital for sustaining human life, they contribute to over half of global GDP and encompass diverse cultural, spiritual, and economic values.

However, the world is facing a triple crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

Between 2015 and 2019, at least 100 million hectares of healthy and productive land were degraded every year, impacting the lives of 1.3 billion people.

Agricultural expansion is the direct driver of almost 90 per cent of deforestation. This is in direct relation to our food systems, and oil palm harvesting accounted for 7 per cent of global deforestation from 2000 to 2018.

Global and regional efforts to sustain forest ecosystems as well as their social, economic and environmental functions are essential, in particular for developing countries and the tropics.

We need to shift humanity’s relationship with nature to achieve Goal 15, and realise that nature is the root of our life of earth. The recently adopted Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework provides renewed impetus for Goal 15, outlining four outcome- oriented goals to be achieved by 2050 and 23 targets to be achieved by 2030.

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

UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Communication and Information

1948 Delhi India E g

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

UNESCO Office for the Pacific States

1984 Apia Samoa E g

UNGSII Foundation

Vienna Austria J f

Unión de Silvicultores del Sur de Europa

USSE 1989 Zamudio Spain D

Union européenne des vétérinaires praticiens

UEVP 1970 Brussels Belgium D

Union européenne du commerce du bétail et des métiers de la viande

UECBV 1951 Brussels Belgium D yt

Union internationale des associations et organismes scientifiques et techniques

UATI 1950 Paris France A y

Union internationale pour la protection des obtentions végétales

UPOV 1961 Geneva Switzerland F gy

Union Méditerranéenne des Géomètres

UMG 2010 Rabat Morocco D

Union of European Foresters

UEF 1958 Uhler Germany D v

Unione Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo e La Pace

UVISP-Assisi 1987 Bastia Umbra Italy G

United Animal Nations

UAN 1979 Montreux Switzerland F

United Earth Associations

UEA 1996 Merchtem Belgium N

United Mission to Nepal

UMN 1954 Kathmandu Nepal G

United Nation World Peace Association

UNWPA 2019 Sapporo Japan G

United Nations

UN 1945 New York NY USA A gy

United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business

UN/CEFACT 1997 Geneva Switzerland E gt

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 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 Switzerland E g

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

UNCED S cg

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

UNCTAD 1964 Geneva 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 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 Global Compact

UNGC 2000 New York NY USA F y

United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names

UNGEGN 1959 New York NY USA E g

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR 1951 Geneva Switzerland E g

United Nations International Computing Centre

UNICC 1971 Geneva Switzerland E g

United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara

MINURSO 1991 New York NY USA F g

United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service

NGLS 1975 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Office at Geneva

UNOG Geneva Switzerland E g

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

UNDRR 1999 Geneva Switzerland E g

United Nations Office for Project Services

UNOPS 1973 Copenhagen Denmark 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 Office on Drugs and Crime

UNODC 1997 Vienna Austria 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 Regional Information Centre for Western Europe

UNRIC 2004 Brussels Belgium E g

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

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