life on land

Life on Land3 min read


life on land

LIFE ON LAND is the 15th item on the Sustainable Development Goals list.

Human life needs and thrives on land as much as it needs water also. Plants provide 80% of human diet and agriculture is an economic resource practised mainly on land. This dependence is for sustenance via the production of plants and livestock.

Equally important is the fact that forests account for 30% of Earth’s surface which is the habitat for millions of species.

As a matter of fact, plants are one of the sources of clean oxygen as they help to clean up carbon dioxide too. They really play a role in battling climate change.


Time and Time again land has suffered degradation, and arable lands are lost to drought causing a threat to life on land.

Furthermore, desertification is a real danger as about 12 million hectares of land is affected.

The effect of some agricultural and economic activities have a negative impact on land and life on land. Excess lumbering and bush burning are some that also have negative impacts.

This has a huge negative impact on poor communities globally as their mainstay is usually subsistence agriculture. Eight percent (8%) of some 8,300 animal breeds are extinct and 22% are at risk.


Some of the basic goals to be achieved under LIFE ON LAND include

  • Ensuring the conservation, restoration, and sustainability of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems by 2020
  • Promoting the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, and halt deforestation. Also, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally by 2020
  • Combating desertification, restoring degraded land, and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought, and floods. And strive to achieve a land-degradation-neutral world by 2030
  • Taking urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna. And address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
  • Integrating, by 2020, ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning. And even development processes, poverty reduction strategies and account


  • Practicing good and efficient agricultural methods that don’t misuse land
  • Planting trees, shrubs, and even gardens to encourage reforestation and protect soils exposed to erosion and drought
  • Discourage and place strict penalties on poaching and illegal hunting especially against endangered species
  • Turn specially preserved sites into zoos and wildlife parks to encourage tourism.

These among other solutions can help to achieve the goals of life on land.


A touching example, for me, is two Chinese friends. Jia Haixia and Jia Wenqi – one blind and one armless – have planted over 10,000 trees over the course of ten years. These two have challenged the world to do better.


Don’t treat the earth like it’s Uranus. It is all we’ve got so let’s take care of it.

This goal’s success also depends on the successes of the goals of Life below Water and Climate Action. This is because life on land also depends on favourable climate and water.

Find detailed information and statistics on the UNDP site.

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