22% of known animal species are facing extinction.


Goal 15: Life on Land

Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.


Conserve and restore terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements


End deforestation and restore degraded forests

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


End desertification and restore degraded land

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.


Ensure conservation of mountain ecosystems

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.


Protect biodiversity and natural habitats

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


Promote access to genetic resources and fair sharing of the benefits

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.


Eliminate poaching and trafficking of protected species

Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife product.


Prevent invasive alien species on land and in water ecosystems

By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.


Integrate ecosystem and biodiversity in governmental planning

By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and account.


Increase financial resources to conserve and sustainably use ecosystem and biodiversity

Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems.


Finance and incentivize sustainable forest management

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.


Combat global poaching and trafficking

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.

Current Situation

Between 2000 and 2010, over 12 million hectares of forest were lost every year due to deforestation. Between 2010 and 2015, another 32 million hectares were lost.

Deforestation and land degradation lead to a loss of natural habitats and biodiversity. The monetary cost of the destruction of the world’s ecosystem through deforestation has been estimated at between 2 and 5 trillion USD per year.

Around 1 million animal and plant species are estimated to be facing extinction unless action is taken to reduce or halt the loss of local biodiversity. This loss of biodiversity poses a huge risk to human security, health and wellbeing as genetic diversity increases the resilience of agricultural systems against threats of pathogens and pests.

32 Mio

hectares of forest were lost between 2010 and 2015 due to deforestation

1 Mio

animal and plant species are estimated to be facing extinction

Impact Opportunity

Forests provide habitat to more than 80% of terrestrial animals, plants and insects. Forests play an important role in combating climate due to their capacity to act as carbon sinks (any reservoir natural or manmade that absorbs more carbon than it releases).

Forests absorb about 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year making them one of the most cost effective forms of climate action. Sustainably managing the earth’s forests and ecosystems could increase their capacity to remove even more human produced carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Climate change mitigation through sustainably managed forests could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide per year. 

Forests absorb about 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year making them one of the most cost effective forms of climate action.

Fragile Earth

Join the
Fragile Earth

Fragile Earth brings together research, industry, and policy professionals around enhancing scientific discovery in the earth sciences through the joint use of data, theory, and computation.


Shared Datasets

Provides data about forests including land cover, land use, biodiversity metrics and forest change allowing for the monitoring and management of forests.

Provides data on forest ecosystems including tree cover loss and gain rates, restoration opportunities, forest fires and biodiversity hotspots.

Allows users to visualize and analyse data on country specific forest characteristics.

The project is grounded in the premise that conservation is critical to transformations to sustainability but that its practices need to change radically.

Aimed to improve nutrition through the adoption of agro-biodiversity and improved dietary diversity at the household level in Uganda & Zambia.

Features environmental conservation and restoration frameworks for policymakers and private-sector initiatives including infographics, datasets, visualization tools, and more.

Global Forest Watch (GFW) provides data and tools for monitoring forests and provides access to near real-time information about where and how forests are changing around the world.

Turtle swimming underwater

The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) was established in 1981 after the UN Economic and Social Council called for a list of natural reserves, citing its value for economic, scientific, and conservation.

The Active Fires product, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is based on the detection and analysis of active wildfires as received by a sensor.

Norway's International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI) makes high-resolution (<5m per pixel) optical satellite imagery of the tropics freely available to all in the pursuit of helping stop deforestation and combat climate change.

Ongoing Research

NASA has used supercomputers and machine learning algorithms to map the location and size of trees growing outside forests- and in some cases fossilized trees in the desert.



UN Convention to Combat Deforestation: Land in Numbers 2019, Risks & Opportunities

Goal Partners

World Resources Institute

WRI works with governments, civil society and the private sector to encourage the sustainable management of forests via research on the global state of forests and work, monitoring of deforestation using satellite and crowd sourced data and developing policy recommendations for inclusive forest governance.

Upstream Tech

Upstream Tech provides data to stakeholders to aid the deployment and targeting of conservation efforts. It also provides planning and monitoring services using remote sensing and machine learning to allow for the maximization of conservation impact.

We’re applying Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to measure and accelerate progress on the United Nations SDGs. » Learn more

Share this Page

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Get Involved

Join our efforts to unlock AI’s potential towards serving humanity.


Support us

Support new research and collaborative projects to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Donate now

Become a Partner

Collaborate with us on AI and Machine Learning Projects and Policy to make a meaningful impact.

Volunteer with us

Join our team to design, build or guide innovative AI research to shape the future of global policy.


Receive monthly newsletter updates on how AI for Good is creating impact around the world.