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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

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

Targets and Indicators



By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements


Forest area as a proportion of total land area


Proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type



By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally


Progress towards sustainable forest management



By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world


Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area



By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development


Coverage by protected areas of important sites for mountain biodiversity


Mountain Green Cover Index



Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species


Red List Index



Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed


Number of countries that have adopted legislative, administrative and policy frameworks to ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits



Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products


Proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked



By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species


Proportion of countries adopting relevant national legislation and adequately resourcing the prevention or control of invasive alien species



By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts


(a) Number of countries that have established national targets in accordance with or similar to Aichi Biodiversity Target 2 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 in their national biodiversity strategy and action plans and the progress reported towards these targets; and (b) integration of biodiversity into national accounting and reporting systems, defined as implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting



Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems


(a) Official development assistance on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and (b) revenue generated and finance mobilized from biodiversity-relevant economic instruments



Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation


(a) Official development assistance on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and (b) revenue generated and finance mobilized from biodiversity-relevant economic instruments



Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities


Proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked

Progress and Info

The world is facing a triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. The trend in forest loss, land degradation and the extinction of species is becoming worse, posing a severe threat to the health of the planet and people. Goal 15 will not be met without a dramatic shift in our relationship with our natural environment.

  • Target 15.2: The world’s forest area continues to decline, from 31.9% in 2000 to 31.2% in 2020, representing a net loss of 100 million hectares. Agricultural expansion is the direct driver for almost 90% of global deforestation. However, globally, there has been progress in sustainable forest management with both certified forest area and the proportion of forests under management plans and within protected areas increasing.
  • Targets 14.5, 15.1, and 15.4: Globally, coverage over recent years of marine, terrestrial, freshwater, and mountain KBAs has continued to increase to nearly half of each site covered in 2022, on average, but growth in coverage has slowed and coverage is uneven regionally, threatening progress towards the restoration and conservation of these ecosystems.
  • Target 15.3: Between 2015 and 2019, the world lost at least 100 million hectares of healthy and productive land every year, affecting food and water security globally. Human activities, intensified by climate change, are the main drivers of land degradation, directly affecting 1.3 billion people. If land degradation continues at a similar rate, this would result in an additional 1.5 billion hectares of degraded land by 2030. To reach the target of ensuring a land degradation neutral world by 2030, avoiding new land degradation and restoring at least one billion degraded hectares of land are needed.
  • Target 15.5: Species extinction is irreversible, and thus perhaps the most fundamental human impact on nature. Globally, the Red List Index-- derived based on repeat assessments of every species across groups of mammals, birds, amphibians, corals, and cycads- deteriorated by about 4% from 2015 to 2023. However, over the last three decades since 1993, the Index has deteriorated 10%, with each decade deteriorating at a faster rate than the previous one. In 2022, comprehensive assessments of reptile species found that 21% of species are threatened with extinction. All indications are a deterioration in trend toward the target to halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
  • Target 15.6: At the end of 2022, 68 countries had at least one legislative, administrative or policy measure in place to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol (an increase of 62 countries since 2016). Furthermore, 88 countries reported measures in place to implement the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (an increase of 76 countries since 2015).
  • Target 15.8: Nearly all countries have now adopted national legislation relevant to the prevention or control of invasive alien species, mainly embedded within laws regarding cross-cutting sectors such as Animal Health, Plant Health, Fisheries and Aquaculture; and 87% have aligned to global targets. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an increased focus on the prevention, control, and management of biological invasions of pathogenic agents, particularly zoonotic pathogens, in order to mitigate their negative impacts on biodiversity and human health
  • Target 15.9: There has been a steady upward trend in the number of countries incorporating biodiversity values into national accounting and reporting systems. By December 2022, most countries (90%) had established national targets in relation to Aichi Biodiversity Target 2. However, only about a third of countries are reporting that they are on track to reach or exceed their national targets. In addition,92 countries indicated implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) in 2022 and the number of countries is expected to grow over the next few years due to the role of SEEA in the Global Biodiversity Framework.