This metric covers Sustainable Development Goal 15 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 15 aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. People need nature to thrive. Deforestation – which takes place around the world at a rate of 13 million hectares per year – is due largely to commercial agriculture. The loss of forest also causes loss of biodiversity, leading to low crop productivity and value, in a vicious cycle. At the same time, deforestation drives climate change. Where drought and desertification degrades land, 20 million tons of grains could have been grown each year. These interlocking causes and effects are the focus of SDG 15.
Life on Land: Why it Matters