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 percent 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.
Goal 15 aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably, manage forests and combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation, while also integrating ecosystem and biodiversity into national and local planning, developmental processes, poverty reduction strategies and national accounts.
Also seeks to promote fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources, promote appropriate access to such resources, and prevent poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna.
India's forest cover is presently 21 percent and secured territories make up almost 5 percent of the nation’s aggregate land area. Therefore, India aims to integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into local planning, development processes and poverty reduction strategies.
India’s progress on this Goal is important globally, since the country is home to 8 percent of the world’s biodiversity, including numerous species that are unique to the country. India is facilitating the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol — one of the global Aichi Biodiversity Targets.