This article was originally published on UNDP.


Nature provides not only the basis for achieving Goals 14 and 15, but is fundamental for achieving other global goals related to food security, water security, disaster risk reduction, health, sustainable energy, and poverty reduction. 

“We are facing a global biodiversity crisis. The Living Planet Report estimates that we have lost 57 percent of biodiversity since 1970, and we stand to lose 68 percent by 2020. This is a crisis for all life on earth, including human life. Here’s why.

First, achievement of the SDGs is predicated upon healthy biodiversity and ecosystems. Nature provides not only the basis for achieving Goals 14 and 15, but is fundamental for achieving other global goals related to food security, water security, disaster risk reduction, health, sustainable energy, and poverty reduction, among others.

If we look at forests, we know from recent research by The Nature Conservancy that 80 percent of the world’s municipal water supply could be improved through forest protection, and indeed, one out of three of the world’s largest cities depend upon forest protected areas.

We know that two in five people in the world depend entirely on forests for their heating and cooking fuel, and nearly three in five depend on forests for their medicine.  Forest watersheds and wetlands are responsible for generating water for three fourths of all agriculture worldwide.  Forests and forest products sustain the livelihoods of as many as 1.5 billion people, and more than $233 billion in export revenue alone.

They are also essential for helping us achieve our climate goals – forests capture one fourth of all carbon emissions — we cannot reach our goals in climate without forests.  Forests also are the home to the vast majority of biodiversity – they harbour 80 percent of all plants and animals on earth…”

Read on at UNDP.