SDGs: Indicator 15.2.1 | Land Portal

Progress towards sustainable forest management

 
 

Last updated on 19 January 2022

This indicator is currently classified as Tier I. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the Custodian agency for this indicator.

Unit of measure: Annual forest area change rate (%); above-ground biomass stock in forest (t per hectare); proportion of forest area located within legally established protect areas (%); proportion of forest area under a long-term forest management plan (%); forest area under an independently verified forest management certification scheme (1000 hectares)

 

Why is this indicator important?

Together with indicator 15.1.1, this indicator aims to strengthen forest governance at all levels as well as balancing conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. Forests are the largest biodiversity and carbon reservoirs. Moreover, they provide livelihoods and proved to be a safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the pandemic may contribute to increasing deforestation as people may turn to forest products for subsistence.

Sustainable forest management is defined by the UN General Assembly (Resolution A/RES/62/98), as follows:

[a] dynamic and evolving concept [that] aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations.

Sustainable Forest Management is a dynamic and multidimensional concept which considers environmental, economic, and social aspects. Understanding changes in forest resources may help identify unsustainable practices in the forestry and agricultural sector and thus inform policy and management actions, as well as guide public and private investment. Adequate forest resources ensure social, economic and environmental stability as well as sustainable development for future generations.  

 

How is the indicator measured and monitored?

Indicator 15.2.1 is composed of five sub-indicators that measure progress towards all dimensions of sustainable forest management. The environmental values of forests are covered by three sub-indicators focused on annual forest area change, aboveground biomass in forest and the proportion of forest area within protected areas. Social and economic values of forests are reconciled with environmental values through one sub-indicator covering the proportion of forest area under long-term management plans and another sub-indicator assessing forest area under an independently verified forest management certification scheme. However, particularly social and economic aspects are not fully addressed.

According to the metadata document, most data is provided by the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) that is carried out every five years. FRA 2020 is the latest assessment covering 236 countries. In addition, sub-indicator 5 draws on data submitted annually by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). A dashboard is used to assess progress related to the five sub-indicators. Only the countries with complete data (by year) are included in regional and global aggregates.

 

By Anne Hennings, peer-reviewed by Anne Branthomme, Forestry Officer at FAO.

 

Official indicator data

The indicator is composed of five sub-indicators that measure progress towards all dimensions of sustainable forest management: Annual forest area change rate; above-ground biomass stock in forest; proportion of forest area located within legally established protect areas; proportion of forest area under a long-term forest management plan; forest area under an independently verified forest management certification scheme

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The data series presented here measures the forest area net change rate (%).

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

The data series presented here measures the above-ground biomass in forest per hectare (tonnes per hectare).

Measurement unit: 
Tonnes per hectare

The data series presented here measures the forest area certified under an independently verified certification scheme (thousands of hectares).

Measurement unit: 
1'000 ha

The data series presented here measures the proportion of forest area within legally established protected areas.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

The data series presented here measures the proportion of forest area with a long-term management plan.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage (%)

Other related indicators on Land Portal

In addition to the official indicator data, the following indicators provide information related to the Bonn Challenge Commitment.

This indicator measures the area (in hectares) actually brought under restoration -and counted toward the Bonn Challenge Commitment- in each country.

Measurement unit: 
Hectares (ha)

This indicator measures the overall area (in hectares) committed under restoration in the context of the Bonn Challenge.

Measurement unit: 
Hectares (ha)

This indicator mesures the total funding dedicated to facilitate and support FLR activities included under the Bonn Challenge Commitment in each country.

Measurement unit: 
Million US$

Land and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Goal 15: Life on land
Target 15.2: 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

Indicator details

Status: 
Tier 1

The Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established and available methodology and standards, and that data is regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.

Custodian agency: 

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