Blog: Amplify

17 Days, 17 Goals: Goal 15 - Biodiversity

Goal 15: Life on Land

- Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degredation and halt biodiversity loss -

Goal 15: Life on Land

This post is part of our blog series: 17 Days, 17 Goals. The blog series features foundations working on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals leading up to the first anniversary of the SDGs. The Council on Foundations Sustainable Development Goals & Philanthropy initiative is in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and SDG Philanthropy Platform. Find us on social media with #PhilSDGs.

Why do we need Goal 15?

  • Forests are home to over 80% of terrestrial animal, plant, and insect species
  • 8% of known animal species are extinct - 22% are at risk of extinction
  • Up to 80% of people in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-based medicines for basic healthcare
  • 52% of the land used for agriculture is affected by soil degradation
  • Though 8% of the continental US is protected land, the animals live in habitat islands, which are threatening long-term
  • Some of the most biodiverse regions of the United States have not been protected by preserves or parks

What are some of the targets?

  • By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services
  • By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, and restore degraded forests
  • Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species by 2020
  • Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species

Featured: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation 

Goal 15: Life on Land is the perfect companion to Goal 14: Life Under the Sea. Desertification and deforestation are threatening biodiversity around the world. Habitat loss is the leading threat to the most endangered animal species. 

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is addressing the issues faced by the world's terrestrial ecosystems with a cumulative $1.2 billion toward environmental conservation. Since 2001, the foundation has helped conserve an area more than 4 times the size of California in the Amazon and Andes regions. They also help connect state and regional authorities around the world, who all regulate land usage and conservation, but whose leaders typically only interact at the national level. 

Together with grantees, the foundation is engaging the private sector to focus on soy and beef production—in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and the Chaco in Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia—to shift practices towards improved agricultural production of these globally traded commodities. Partners are setting improved sourcing standards, establishing effective and verifiable traceability systems, and encouraging the adoption of better production practices for soy and beef. This work will ultimately contribute to the elimination of the loss and degradation of Earth’s tropical and sub-tropical forest ecosystems, which are also goals of SDG Goal 15. 

Please read more about the amazing work of our member: 

Moore Foundation Environmental Conservation


Resources & Information

  1. United Nations
  2. Time - "The Problem with US Wildlife Conservation Efforts"
  3. World Wildlife Fund
  4. Convention on Biological Diversity

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