Succeeding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs were officially adopted in January 2016 and are made up of 17 goals, broken down into 169 targets, the progress of which will be monitored and informed by a set of indicators.
The underlying philosophy of the SDGs is to ‘ensure no one is left behind’, and their extensive scope has been designed to promote action towards sustainable development in all countries and across all sectors, including the forest sector.
A number of the SDGs directly apply to forests and the 1.6 billion people whose livelihoods depend on them, many of whom live in developing countries. Goal 15 includes the aim to sustainably manage forests, halt deforestation and restore degraded forests, and with forests having a major part to play in mitigating climate change, Goal 13, to take action on combatting climate change, is also highly relevant.
At the social and economic level, the sustainable development and management of forests can also have a positive impact on the people who depend on this important resource and so help towards achieving Goals 1 and 2 - to end poverty and hunger, as well as addressing Goal 5 – gender equality, and Goals 8, 9 and 12 relating to work, industry and responsible production and consumption.