How native reforestation helps achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
Wednesday 15th of September 2021
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Image text reads: Sustainable Development Goals. In the background you can see green grass and blue sky.
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It has never been more important to work towards a sustainable future. From global frameworks such as the Kyoto Protocol, to targets established by governments globally, there are many initiatives that can guide our actions.

One of the most ambitious initiatives is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. These provide a blueprint for building a more peaceful and prosperous outlook for people and the planet. 

As a leading not-for-profit environmental organisation, Greenfleet’s focus is on protecting our climate by restoring our forests. Our work is critical in taking climate action, but it also allows our supporters to contribute to the SDGs and the future that these goals envision. 

 

What are the SDGs?

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global call to action for all developed and developing nations. Through these goals, the UN recognises that the solution to many global issues such as poverty and hunger must go hand in hand with improving health, education, inequality, and the state of our climate.

They are central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aim for a future that is brighter for all people, animals, ecosystems, and the planet. 

Each goal is broken down into a number of targets that can be reached through contributions at an individual, government or global level. In total, the UN has established 169 targets across all 17 SDGs that guide the principles that each goal represents. 

 

Greenfleet’s contribution

With Greenfleet’s focus on climate action and ecosystem restoration, our work is closely tied to the targets associated with many SDGs. These are just some examples of how Greenfleet’s work contributes to the goals.

Greenfleet fights the impacts of climate change by planting biodiverse, native forests in Australia and New Zealand, contributing directly to SDG 13: Climate action. Since 1997, we have planted more than 9.6 million native trees across 500 forests that will capture more than 3.5 million tonnes of carbon over their lifetime. Greenfleet forests draw down on carbon in the atmosphere and actively reduce the impacts of climate change. 

In addition to capturing carbon, Greenfleet forests build resilient ecosystems helping to restore biodiversity and improve land quality, contributing to SDG 15: Life on land. Greenfleet plants a wide variety of native plant species that are endemic to the areas that we are working in. This ensures we are restoring biodiversity in a way that reflects the vegetation present prior to the land being cleared. These ecosystems are critical in providing habitat to many native wildlife species such as koalas, wallabies, bird species and even threatened invertebrates. We legally protect our forests for up to 100 years to ensure they can provide long term, sustainable habitat for decades to come.

In fact, there is range of SDGs Greenfleet supports through our work including SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities; SDG 3: Good health and well-being; SDG 14: Life below water; SDG 2: Zero hunger; SDG 14: Clean water and sanitation; and SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth.

The United Nations provides information about each of the 17 SDGs and how we are progressing toward them globally. 

Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals needs progress at a policy level, but organisations and individuals can also take steps towards achieving a more sustainable and prosperous future. If you are looking for practical ways that you can make a positive change, particularly in regard to climate action, consider the following:

  • Reduce your environmental impact as much as you can through your travel, diet, purchase decisions, and household.
  • Vote to advocate for stronger climate policy that will help achieve the targets associated with the SDGs and improve the climate outlook
  • Invest your super into an ethical fund
  • Offset the emissions you can’t avoid with Greenfleet.

Together, we can grow our forests and grow climate hope.