Sustainable Development Goals
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.
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.
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).
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