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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG wheel

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.​

Land plays an important part in achieving many of these SDGs. Healthy and productive land plays a vital role as an engine of economic growth and a source of livelihood for billions of people worldwide, including the most vulnerable. ​

Opportunities for all​

Protecting and restoring productive land is a key driver of economic growth, prosperity and well-being. There are currently two billion hectares of degraded land available to kick-start the green economy, reduce poverty and create job opportunities. ​

Evidence shows that when women are given equal opportunities and access to resources and decision-making, communities become more peaceful and prosperous. Unlocking the transformative potential of women can help achieve land degradation neutrality and fulfil the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.​

SGGs 1, 4, 5 and 8

Doing more and better with less​

In 2020 the number of undernourished stood at 811 million people. Amongst the many causes of undernourishment are land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, drought and biodiversity loss. Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and the restoration of terrestrial resources are vital to enhancing agricultural productivity – particularly for small-scale food producers. Sustainable land management ensures sustainable food production and resilient agricultural practices, as well as the efficient use of natural resources. ​

SGGs 2, 3 and 12

Blue lifelines​

More than 40 per cent of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity, a figure that is projected to increase in the coming years and decades. The restoration of water-related ecosystems and cost-effective sustainable land management practices that improve water efficiency and quality are essential to tackle water scarcity, achieve adequate sanitation and hygiene for all. ​

Fuel for life​

Climate change requires a seismic shift towards renewable energy sources. By 2030, nearly three billion people around the world will rely on biomass for cooking and heating. Biomass includes wood residue, farm waste such as animal manure, and crops such as wheat – all of which rely on healthy land and water resources. The sustainable management of land and water is pivotal to ensure a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply for all. ​


Working with nature​

By 2030, almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. It is therefore critical to promote sustainable urban planning in order to optimize the allocation of resources. Sustainable land use provides health benefits (such as reduced pollution) and helps prevent the worst outcomes of natural disasters (through nature-based solutions).​

SDG 11

Land matters for climate​

Land – and its proper management – is key to delivering climate-change resilient landscapes and ensuring global temperatures do not rise above 2° C. Improved land use and management, such as low-emissions agriculture, agro-forestry, and ecosystem conservation and restoration could close the remaining emissions gap by 25 percent. It can also reduce the risks posed by climate change and develop the resilience of key sectors such as peatlands as they store more carbon than all other vegetation types combined.​



of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity​


of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2030​

SDGs Sustainabl Development Goals Fact Image

08 July 2024 / Other

The UNFCCC COP28 and COP30 Presidencies, CBD COP15 and COP16 Presidencies, UNCCD COP15 Presidency and chairs of diverse partnerships, initiatives and coalitions affirm that there is no path to fully achieve the near and long-term goals of…

17 June 2023 / Brief

This policy brief highlights the critical role of gender-responsive approaches to land tenure that empower women and accelerate the implementation of land restoration commitments that build community resilience. It examines how greater…

Land degradation threatens the livelihoods of billions of people around the world . This is particularly the case for populations living in rural areas where most of the poor people reside: estimates report that 80% of the extreme poor live in rural areas and 65% work…

The conclusion of the preamble to “transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” stresses the importance of the linkages and integrated nature of the global Goals in realizing the 2030 Agenda. To meet the SDGs, it will be vital to manage these…