You are here

degraded land

Sustainable Development Goal 15 aims to improve the management of forests, combat desertification, reverse land degradation and preserve biodiversity. It recognizes that poverty reduction, healthy land and vibrant ecosystems all go together.

As momentum builds towards the climate negotiations in Paris, national governments are being asked to consider how their countries will contribute to a low-carbon, climate resilient future. With support from international efforts like the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration on Forests, many countries are committing to restore degraded land and forests to offset emissions as they improve household income and food security. But while these international frameworks and national commitments are important, it is often the states, provinces and districts that must go beyond commitment to take action.

The New York Declaration on Forests issued at the UN Climate Summit last month includes a global pledge to restore 350 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes by 2030.

Several countries confirmed their commitment to restore millions of hectares of degraded land, with Ethiopia making one of the most significant pledges—setting a target to restore 15 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into productivity by 2025.

How should politicians prioritize between robust economic growth and solving the problem of climate change?

A new report reveals an encouraging answer: There’s no need to choose. Better Growth, Better Climate, finds that low-carbon investments—if done right—could cost about the same as conventional infrastructure, but would deliver significantly greater economic, social, and environmental benefits in the long-run.

Andrew Steer, CEO of WRI, and Monique Barbut of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification discuss the urgent need for a global commitment to restoring degraded land and how it may remedy deforestation, desertification and food scarcity.

The expected rise in world population to 9 billion by 2050, and the need for a 70 percent increase in food production from 2006 levels, makes the need for a solution particularly urgent. This challenge will be even more difficult in the face of a changing climate.


Stay Connected