“Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”
Human life depends on the earth as much as the ocean for our sustenance and livelihoods. Plantlife provides 80 per cent of the human diet, and we rely on agriculture as an important economic resource. Forests cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface, provide vital habitats for millions of species, and important sources for clean air and water, as well as being crucial for combating climate change.
Every year, 13 million hectares of forests are lost, while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares, disproportionately affecting poor communities.
While 15 per cent of land is protected, biodiversity is still at risk. Nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants have been illegally traded. Wildlife trafficking not only erodes biodiversity, but creates insecurity, fuels conflict, and feeds corruption.
Urgent action must be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which are part of our common heritage and support global food and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and peace and security.
Facts & Figures
- 1.6 billion: Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods.
- 80%: Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
- 2.6 billion: 2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture for a living.
- 33%: Nature-based climate solutions can contribute a third of CO2 reductions by 2030.
- US$125 trillion: The value of ecosystems to human livelihoods and well-being is US$125 trillion per year.
- 60-80%: Mountain regions provide 60-80 per cent of the Earth’s fresh water.
The UN Sustainability Goals programs for Life on Land get behind key projects around the world every year.
The Woodland Trust
My personal goal is to support this as I believe that the planet is not something we should be using as a resource, but something we should value as our keeper and protector. Without an excellent ecosystem, we don’t have a future. I work a little closer to home now and support the UK’s Woodland Trust.
The Woodland Trust’s vision is a UK rich in native woods and trees, for people and wildlife. Here’s a summary of what they pledge:
- We Plant: We plant woods and trees to combat climate change, build a greener future for the UK and create havens for wildlife.
- We Protect: We save woods and trees from decimation. We stand against needless destruction and lead the fight against tree pests and diseases.
- We Restore: We bring damaged ancient woods back to life. We restore these irreplaceable ecosystems before they are lost forever.
- We Care: We care for over 1,000 woods, keeping them open for you to explore and enjoy. We want to inspire a love for woods and trees for generations to come.
They have planted 43 million trees since their foundation in 1972. They have saved 1,172 woods in the last decade. They have revived 34,000 hectares of ancient woodland.
Between 2017 and 2020, I also supported the Carbon Free Dining project while I was a director of Meejana restaurants. Carbon Free Dining is the zero-cost restaurant sustainability initiative which plants trees in partnership with The United Nations Environment partner, Green Earth Appeal.
During that time, we planted over 7,500 trees to offset the CO2 of the meals we produced in the restaurant. Carbon Free Dining is aimed at UN Sustainability Goal 1: Ending Poverty, but through agroforestry education and tree planting, it aligns perfectly with my personal goal choice of Life on Land.
I continue to look for practical sustainability options in business and daily life to support these goals and am happy to discuss options for your business.
I have blogged about environmental matters on the Medium platform. Here is a selection of posts:
- Gluten for Punishment (2019)
- Scientists predict the Climate Apocalypse facing Humanity (2017)
- The Problem is, of course, the Humans II (2017)
- Is it so bad if the World gets a little bit hotter? You bet! (2017)
- We exceeded sustainable biomass in 1986. Now what? (2012)
- Building a Sustainable Future (2008)
- The Problem is, of course, the Humans (2007)
The state of the environment is regularly reported in the media: