Forests gain foothold in proposed new development goals

by Julie Mollins | @jmollins | CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research)
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 16:11 GMT

A bird observed from the observation platform at the area of ​​Danum Valley Field Center. Sabah, Malaysia. Picture credit: CIFOR

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Proposed SDGs include a provision for the protection, restoration and sustainable management of forests

Forests got a boost this week after a U.N. advisory group proposed that global development targets should contain a provision for their protection, restoration and sustainable management. 

Goal 15 recommends that the global community should “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.

As well, the U.N. General Assembly's Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recommends that the framework due to replace the current anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015, should include a measurable target to boost afforestation and reforestation.

Among several sub-clauses of another goal — the proposed SDG 6 — which aims to ensure the “availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, the Open Working Group recommends that by 2020 water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes should be protected and restored.

Overall, the proposal put forward on Saturday features 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 targets. 

“The proposal of the Open Working Group brings together a breadth of economic, social and environmental issues in a single set of goals like never before,” said Wu Hongbo, U.N. under-secretary general.

“Member states have shown a determination and willingness to work together for people and planet that bodes well for the General Assembly's negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.”

The proposed SDGs, which have been under discussion since 2012, will be presented to the General Assembly in September and finalized next year.

Recommended goals include ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, fighting climate change, and protecting oceans.

The proposed sustainable development goals:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture  

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss 

Goal 16:  Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

This blog was originally published on the Global Landscapes Forum website