Life on land is vast and undoubtedly applies to us all. Despite this, we've done so much to destroy the very land we rely upon. Through deforestation, desertification, and land degradation, we continue our destruction for food, energy, and shelter. Efforts have been made to reverse these disastrous effects, like sustainable forest management and conservation of natural areas. However, the work to protect the planet is never done and will be an ongoing requirement for as long as humans are inhabiting earth.

Goal 15 focuses on protecting, managing, and restoring these land-based ecosystems so that they can continue to be inhabited for generations to come. It also promotes a shift to sustainable management of all forests, lands, and inland water ecosystems.

The planet’s longevity should be at the forefront of any action directly affecting it. Increased policies for protection of land and species are necessary in order to keep our home a prosperous place to live for all species. The pressures of reversing and restoring the effects we've caused are this generation's obligation to ensure a sustainable and flourishing planet for centuries to come.

Targets & Indicators

When the UN General Assembly introduced the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they listed the targets that needed to meet for each goal. These targets break down what needs to be achieved to consider the goal completed. The UN Statistical Commission created the IAEG (International Agency and Expert Group) in 2017, which was tasked with creating the “indicators” for each target. These indicators were created to put measures in place to track the process being made on each target.

Targets and indicators were developed by the UN as a working blueprint for nations, organizations, and people to use when implementing SDGs in their everyday actions. Looking to the targets for the respected goal is the best way to execute the use of them in your work.


By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, mountains, and drylands in line with obligations under international agreements.
  1. 15.1.1 Forest Area as a Proportion of Total Land Area
  2. 15.1.2 Proportion of Important Sites for Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity That Are Covered by Protected Areas by Ecosystem Type


By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests, and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.
  1. 15.2.1 Progress Toward Sustainable Forest Management


By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought, and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.
  1. 15.3.1 Proportion of Land That Is Degraded Over Total Land Area


By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.
  1. 15.4.1 Coverage by Protected Areas of Important Sites for Mountain Biodiversity
  2. 15.4.2 Mountain Green Cover Index


Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
  1. 15.5.1 Red List Index


Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed.
  1. 15.6.1 Number of Countries That Have Adopted Legislative, Administrative, and Policy Frameworks to Ensure Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits


Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products.
  1. 15.7.1 Proportion of Traded Wildlife That Was Poached or Illicitly Trafficked


By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.
  1. 15.8.1 Proportion of Countries Adopting Relevant National Legislation and Adequately Resourcing the Prevention or Control of Invasive Species


By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies, and accounts.
  1. 15.9.1 Number of Countries That Have Established National Targets in Accordance with or Similar to Aichi Biodiversity Target Two of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 in Their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans and the Progress Reported Towards These Targets; and Integration of Biodiversity Into National Accounting and Reporting Systems, Defined as Implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting


Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems.
  1. 15.a.1 Official Development Assistance on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity; and Revenue Generated and Finance Mobilized From Biodiversity-Relevant Economic Instruments


Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation.
  1. 15.b.1 Official Development Assistance on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity; and Revenue Generated and Finance Mobilized From Biodiversity-Relevant Economic Instruments


Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities.
  1. 15.c.1 Proportion of Traded Wildlife That Was Poached or Illicitly Trafficked

Explore more Sustainable Development Goals

You can explore the SDGs further by returning to the tool homepage.