In the past 50 years, shifts in biodiversity due to human activities have occurred more quickly than at any other point in human history. One of the most significant causes of biodiversity loss is habitat change as a result of mining natural resources for agricultural development and urbanization. Deforestation and desertification caused by human activity and climate change result in the loss of thirteen million hectares of forests per year, providing habitat for up to 80% of all terrestrial species of animals and providing food for 1.6 billion people.
To contain this trend, one of the UN SDG goals i.e., Goal 15 is determined to, ‘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 15 focuses on sustainable forest management, halting and reversing land and natural habitat destruction, effectively combating desertification, and halting biodiversity loss. Both of these actions are aimed at ensuring that the benefits of land-based environments, such as sustainable livelihoods, are enjoyed for future generations.
Role of the government
Canada is determined to achieve this goal by taking measures to ensure that all the species maintain a healthy population and its ecosystems are preserved and managed in a sustainable manner.
An example is the Bois-des-esprits (or Spirit Forest) which is an urban forest located on the Seine River and is only existing riverbank forest in Winnipeg. The growth of urban settlements had threatened its existence. The city’s Forest Management Planning Process has taken measures to protect the forest from the consequences of rapid urban development by working with various municipal departments, community development groups and the Province of Manitoba.
Apart from this the government can play a role in:
- Creating designs, building codes, zoning systems, spatial plans, strategic decisions, and compliance strategies to preserve current urban biodiversity areas
- Taking into account the resource flows that connect cities to ecosystems outside of urban boundaries, as well as the stakeholders who shape and influence them
- Integrating environmental services, both monetary and non-monetary equivalents, into the urban budget to mainstream the nature and biodiversity agenda
- More green urban spaces are being created to enhance air quality, mitigate climate change, and encourage active living and learning about nature.
- Promoting cooperation between authorities across their subnational or national borders, and fosters biodiversity and wildlife passages
- Procuring sustainably harvested wood and paper products therein promoting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests
In order to achieve this goal, the Canadian government has a list of objectives it seeks to achieve by 2030, this includes:
By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.
By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.
By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.
By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.
Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed.
Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products.
By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.
By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts.
Working together to preserve, restore, and encourage our planet’s plants, insects, and animals is the focus of Goal 15. We can sustainably maintain forests, fight desertification, reverse land depletion, and avoid biodiversity loss by concentrating on the improvements we can make now to support our future.
Canada’s determination to provide concrete measures to protect our ecosystem and environment are a testimony of its desire to meet the U. N’s agenda will ensure a better quality of life for everyone living in Canada including immigrants.
Government of Canada launches its 2030 agenda National strategy, Goal 15 is to protect our ecosystems and promote sustainable forest management
Posted on July 13, 2021