Global Policy

SDG 15

IUCN's SDG brochure image - SDG15

Sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems helps mitigate climate change and supports the livelihoods, health and well-being of millions of people around the world. Terrestrial biodiversity faces a number of threats, however, including overexploitation, invasive species and climate change. As a result, species extinctions are currently occurring one thousand times faster than the natural rate. About 30% of land is degraded, leading to declines in agricultural productivity and outputs. 

IUCN works to conserve terrestrial ecosystems by assessing species’ extinction risk, improving land use management and restoring degraded landscapes.

IUCN:

  • assesses risk to terrestrial species (The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™) and ecosystems (Red List of Ecosystems) to guide conservation policy and action, land use, and investment priorities – the Red List Index is the official indicator for SDG Target 15.5;
  • provides guidelines and training on the effective management of protected areas;
  • identifies sites of global significance for the persistence of biodiversity (Key Biodiversity Areas) to guide the establishment of protected areas and other safeguards – protected area coverage of Key Biodiversity Areas is an official indicator for SDG Targets 15.1 and 15.4;
  • develops tools and builds capacity to combat desertification, land degradation and drought, prevent deforestation and restore forests;
  • develops best practice to help extractive, agricultural and other companies reduce their impacts on the environment;
  • develops methods to detect, manage and respond to invasive alien species, and provides the official indicator for SDG Target 15.8;
  • advises governments on sustainable trade in wildlife to help end poaching and trafficking.
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