15. Life on Land

The focus of the global goal “Life on Land” is sustainable use and efficient protection of terrestrial ecosystems and the species living there. Protected and conserved ecosystems and biodiversity help to reduce human pressure on the environment and mitigate natural disasters. Ecosystems that are healthy and have integrity maintain resilience to the impacts of climate change and benefit the populations depending on these ecosystems.

The 2030 Agenda emphasises the need to implement first the prior global agreements (Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol, etc.). It is important to ensure the protection, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and inland freshwater ecosystems and the related ecosystem services. Separate targets include protecting and using forest, mountain and dryland ecosystems sustainably. The status of all natural habitats and threatened species must be improved and poaching and trafficking of protected plant and animal species must be ended. Another target is managing invasive alien species and curbing their impact. 

The Estonian sustainable development strategy emphasises the preservation of traditional land use practices, semi-natural landscapes and species diversity. Investments into environmental protection and environmental education are considered important.

The global goal “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss” is linked in Estonia with the following indicators of protection of species and habitats, incl. forest protection:

  • Protected natural objects
  • Protected forest land
  • Emissions of acidifying pollutants
  • Habitats in favourable conservation status
  • Species in favourable conservation status
Share of protected areas in terrestrial territory 19.6 %
Share of strictly protected forests in total forest land area 18.1 %
Emissions of acidifying pollutants 1.6 thousand tonnes of acidifying equivalents
Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) 27 thousand tonnes
Share of habitat types of the Habitats Directive in favourable conservation status 57 %
Share of species of the Habitats Directive in favourable conservation status 56 %