SDG indicators 15.1.1 and 15.2.1 - Forest area and sustainable forest management

This course has been developed to guide countries in reporting on Indicators 15.1.1 and 15.2.1. It illustrates the rationale of the indicators, the definitions and methodologies on which monitoring activities are based, and explains the process and the tools available for compiling data related to the two indicators through the Global Forest Resources Assessment Programme (available in English, French and Spanish).

SDG 15 - Indicators of sustainable forests and mountains

Mountain forests

 

Mountains cover around 27 percent of the earth’s land surface, and forests cover more than 40 percent of the global mountain area.

Healthy mountain forests are crucial to the ecological health of the world. They protect watersheds that supply freshwater to more than half of humankind. They also harbour wildlife, provide food and fodder for mountain peoples and are important sources of timber and non-wood products. Moreover, they protect the earth and contribute to shielding the atmosphere from CO2 emissions.

Protecting these forests and making sure they are carefully managed is an important step towards sustainable mountain development. In the last decades, tropical mountain forests have been disappearing at an astounding rate. Deforestation is generally driven by population growth, the expansion of intensive agriculture, uncertain land tenure, inequitable land distribution and the absence of strong and stable institutions.

Crucially, mountain forests perform a protective function against natural hazards, so that when forest cover is lost and the land is left unprotected, runoff and soil erosion increase, provoking landslides, avalanches and floods, to the detriment of villages, transport systems, human infrastructure and of the food security of vulnerable populations.

Putting power back into the hands of mountain people is one important step towards alleviating their poverty and, in turn, protecting mountain forests. Measures that could accomplish these aims include providing incentives for biodiversity and agro-biodiversity conservation as well as the inclusion sustainable forest management plans into national policies. 

Residents participate in workshop, plant 300 trees in mountainous Kukhi village, Tajikistan

Residents participate in workshop, plant 300 trees in mountainous Kukhi village, Tajikistan

news

On 22-23 April 2022, the team of Little Earth – a Mountain Partnership member organization – implemented two events within the framework of the project “Renewable energy and remote mountain communities” project. They hosted a workshop on planting and caring for seedlings and furthermore planted 300 trees in the...

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Protective functions of forests in a changing climate: 70 years of European experience – World Forestry Congress side event

Protective functions of forests in a changing climate: 70 years of European experience – World Forestry Congress side event

event

The European Forestry Commission (EFC) Working Party on the Management of Mountain Watersheds (WPMMW) was established in 1950 to promote sustainable development in mountain areas. Currently, Austria chairs the group and has put an emphasis on the protective functions of mountain forests in a changing climate.

Forests fulfil many crucial protective...

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Call for inputs, UNSG report on sustainable mountain development

Call for inputs, UNSG report on sustainable mountain development

peak to peak

The April 2022 issue of Peak to Peak calls for inputs to the 2022 United Nations Secretary-General report on sustainable mountain development. Top news stories cover mountain-related events in Andorra, Nepal and South Africa, as well as a side event on fragile ecosystems held on the sidelines of the 66th...

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Pre-COP26 event addresses climate impacts on Alpine environments

Pre-COP26 event addresses climate impacts on Alpine environments

news

Leading international scientists and experts addressed the severe impact of extreme climate events and pests on Alpine environments, and how forest management solutions can promote climate adaptation during the Pre-COP26 event “Towards climate-smart Alpine forests”.

Organized by JSC Mountain together with the British Embassy in Italy and Land Tirol, the event...

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Identification of global priorities for new mountain protected and conserved areas

Identification of global priorities for new mountain protected and conserved areas

news

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Mountains Specialist Group has developed a paper on Identification of Global Priorities for New Mountain Protected and Conserved Areas. This mountain project aims to identify inadequately protected mountain areas and prioritize their importance for protection...

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Members’ voices: Mathew John, Last Forest

Members’ voices: Mathew John, Last Forest

news

Last Forest is a social enterprise pioneering sustainable living choices by connecting communities to markets. We promote eco-friendly, thoughtful and meaningful products made by indigenous communities in the mountains of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in South India.

Indigenous communities represent 8.6 percent of the population of India. They are the...

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