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

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 Purpose

UP 1976 Cardiff UK G

United Religions Initiative

URI 1993 San Francisco CA USA F

Unity of Nations Action for Climate Change Council

UNAccc 2021 Vadodara India 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

Universal Peace and Violence Amelioration Centre

UPVAC 2015 Jos Nigeria G

Universala Medicina Esperanto-Asocio

UMEA 1908 Trier Germany C v

Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

UFAW 1926 Wheathampstead UK G

University of the Arctic

UArctic 2001 Rovaniemi Finland D

UNUM OMNES International Council of Catholic Men

ICCM 1948 Vatican City Vatican C

Urban Biodiversity and Design

URBIO 2008 F

Urban Climate Resilient Infrastructure & Strategic Planning

UCRISP San Francisco CA USA G

Urban Environmental Accords

UEA 2012 Gwangju Korea Rep F

Urban Land Institute

ULI 1936 Washington DC USA G j


1992 Sassenberg Germany G

UWC Red Cross Nordic

RCNUWC 1995 Flekke Norway G

UWI Centre for Environment and Development, Mona

UWICED Kingston Jamaica K

Van Tienhoven Foundation for International Nature Protection

1930 Leiden Netherlands G f

Varkey Foundation

London UK N f

Vegan Society

1944 Hockley UK N

Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

VIVA 1994 Bristol UK N

Verdens Skove

1983 Aarhus Denmark G

Vereniging Tropische Bossen

VTB 1981 Wageningen Netherlands G


2005 Washington DC USA F

Vétérinaires Sans Frontières International

VSF International 1989 Brussels Belgium F

Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage

1963 T g

Vienna Wiestenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies

VWI Vienna Austria G j

Vier Pfoten International

Vienna Austria F

Village Earth

1993 Fort Collins CO USA G


1982 Oklahoma City OK USA N

Voluntary Human Extinction Movement


Voluntary Service Overseas

VSO 1958 Kingston upon Thames UK G

Wainwright House


Walking Tree Travel

Denver CO USA G e


1983 The Hague Netherlands G

Waste Free Oceans

WFO Brussels Belgium F

Water and Development Information for Arid Lands Global Network

G-WADI 2004 Paris France F y

Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean

1992 Panama Panama E g

Water Environment Federation

WEF 1928 Alexandria VA USA G

Water Environment Partnership in Asia

WEPA 2004 Hayama Japan F g

Water Europe

WE 2004 Brussels Belgium E y

We Move Europe

WeMove.EU Berlin Germany F

Web alliance for Regreening in Africa

W4RA 2009 Amsterdam Netherlands G

WEC International

WEC 1913 Coventry UK F v

Weeden Foundation

WF 1963 Bedford NY USA N f


2008 Brussels Belgium F