Goal #15

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG 15 Life on Land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

UNSW is committed to this goal and demonstrates its commitment through:

  • the Centre for Ecosystem Science, which produces high-level research impact in relation to the environment and land degradation
  • environmental science based courses and degrees
  • sustainable planning and operation of our buildings and campuses
  • collaboration on external advisory panels (including govt. advisory panels) to ensure management of biodiversity and conservation.

Australia is a world leader in modern day extinctions

Deforestation is a key target. Every year 13 million hectares of forest is lost. That’s the size of Greece. We often think this is happening in the Amazon but Australia is ranked in the top 10 of the world’s major deforestation fronts and the only nation in the developed world to make the World Wide Funds global list of deforestation hotspots. Deforestation often leads to target two, degraded land, which impacts biodiversity, the third target of this SDG. Despite environmental protection and biodiversity conservation legislation being in place, over 7.7 million hectares of threatened species habitat has been cleared or destroyed in Australia since 1999, making it the world leader in modern day extinctions. Watch this video to find out more.

In this video, Professor Tracey Rogers from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW, breaks down some of the key challenges behind SDG #15.

Plant peeping throuhgh the red earth in Kathleen Springs Walk, Petermann, Australia

UNSW Centre for Ecosystem Science

The Centre for Ecosystem Science is a unique unit within UNSW, with excellent researchers in ecosystem science and a diverse range of scientific expertise in terrestrial ecology (arid zones, forests), wetlands, marine ecosystems, GIS (geographic information systems), remote sensing and the use of conservation tools. The Centre commits to increasingly develop its standing, through world-leading science, relevant to key issues of conservation and management and provides support to governments, including submissions on key policy and management issues relevant to the environment.

 

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Environment Recovery Project: Australian Bushfires 

Over 46,000,000 acres burnt in the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season in eastern Australia, including South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. Understanding how the environment recovers from this unprecedented fire season is an important scientific goal.

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UNSW Evolution and Ecology Research Centre

Jacanas walk on water lily leaves, and catch insects.

Established in 2007, the Centre's purpose is to build capacity for and quality of research, including postgraduate research and supervision.

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UNSW Australian Centre for Astrobiology

The Milky Way constellation of stars

Astrobiology is a relatively new field of study, developing at the crossroads of astronomy, biology, geology, paleontology, physics and chemistry.

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UNSW Strategy in Action 2025

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UNSW 2025 Strategy Update

This document celebrates the key achievements of the first phase of the 2025 Strategy, highlighting where we have come from and where we are now. It also updates the framework against which we will assess, track and measure existing and new strategic initiatives over the next five years.

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UNSW Environmental Sustainability Plan

UNSW has a history of environmental stewardship across research, learning & teaching and campus operations across several decades. The Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP) will build on past achievements, while raising our ambition levels to meet the environmental challenges of today.

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