Scope and objectives
On 14 July 2022, the EESC will host an online event in the context of the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) whose theme this year is "Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
Despite the EU's wide range of policies in place to address SDG 15 (Life on land), the 2022 edition of the Eurostat Monitoring Report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context informs that the EU’s situation concerning life on land shows continued and strong declines in biodiversity and species abundance, and continued land degradation.
The objective of this event is to take stock of EU progress towards SDG 15 in order to come up with a new set of proposals to reinvigorate the EU trajectory through strategic and cooperative approaches.
The event aims to:
- reflect on what has changed since SDG 15 was last reviewed in 2018, including in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- evaluate interlinkages with other SDGs, particularly with SDG 3 on good health and well-being;
- discuss the challenges to reverse current trends (especially in the context of the Ukraine war);
- explore opportunities to leverage synergies.
The discussion will also feed into the preparation of upcoming EESC opinions on nature restoration and sustainable pesticides use.
The theme for the 2022 HLPF is “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". As the world is struggling to recover from COVID-19 amidst continuing crises, the 2022 HLPF will reflect on how recovery policies can reverse the negative impacts of the pandemic on the SDGs and move countries on to a path to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda. This becomes even more urgent in the aftermath of the terrible war in Ukraine.
Before the COVID-19, progress towards the SDGs was uneven, both for the EU and globally. The pandemic had a significant impact on every aspect of our life worldwide, from public health to economic and social stability, creating additional pressure on already vulnerable population groups. However, some positive effects were also experienced such as a temporary decrease of energy use and GHG emissions, but consumption patterns are now back to pre-crisis levels.
The 2022 HLPF reviews in-depth five Sustainable Development Goals: 4 on quality education, 5 on gender equality, 14 on life below water, 15 on life on land, and 17 on partnerships for the goals. In particular, SDG 15 seeks to "protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss".
The EU has a wide range of policies in place to address SDG 15, such as the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the EU Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive, the Water Framework Directive, the new EU Forest Strategy for 2030, the EU Soil Strategy for 2030, the Zero Pollution Action Plan for Air, Water and Soil, and there are important upcoming regulations as the EU nature restauration targets, or the Revised version of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive.
Despite this substantive policy-making endeavour, the 2022 edition of the Eurostat Monitoring Report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context informs that the EU’s situation concerning life on land shows continued and strong declines in biodiversity and species abundance, and continued land degradation.Do you have a question?