As described in my blog entry February 3rd, I am referring, on a weekly basis, to each of the SDGs: facts, targets, and how could companies be engaged. This week is about SDG#15 - Life on land.
This SDG addresses the issue of how to, sustainably, manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss. The facts mentioned below are a clear indication of how badly we have been treating our natural resources. Our civilisation has always worked under the paradigm that needs changing once and for all: the idea that the Planet is always there for ur. Well, he is not.
Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood, including 70 million indigenous people.
Forests are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas. Poor rural women depend on common pool resources and are especially affected by their depletion.
2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture, but 52% of the land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by soil degradation.
Arable land loss is estimated at 30 to 35 times the historical rate.
Due to drought and desertification, 12 million hectares are lost each year (23 hectares per minute). Within one year, 20 million tons of grain could have been grown.
74% of the poor are directly affected by land degradation globally.
Illicit poaching and trafficking of wildlife continues to thwart conservation efforts, with nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants reported in illegal trade involving 120 countries.
Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8% are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction.
Of the over 80,000 tree species, less than 1 per cent have been studied for potential use.
Fish provide 20% of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Only ten species provide about 30% of marine capture fisheries and ten species provide about 50 per cent of aquaculture production.
Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60% of energy intake.
As many as 80% of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-‐based medicines for basic healthcare.
There are 12 targets which details can be found here: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/biodiversity/
A number of examples can be mentioned, actions that companies could consider to help achieve this SDG:
Measure, manage and mitigate impacts on ecosystems and natural resources.
Scale up best practices for land use planning and management.
Invest in natural infrastructure as a cost-competitive alternative to grey infrastructure.
Finance the restoration of degraded land for production and/or conservation purposes.
Commit to and implement responsible sourcing practices beyond compliance - applying environmental and social safeguards - for all raw materials and commodities.
Expand markets for responsible forest products and thereby support sustainable forest management.
Foster product and technology innovation to optimize resource efficiency, reduce impacts on ecosystems and lower carbon emissions.