Sustainable Development Goal 15
Developing the introduction
Overall Aim of Sustainable Development Goal 15
Protection, restoration and promotion of sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable forest management, combating desertification and stopping and reversing land degradation and halting biodiversity loss
The extinction of species has always been a natural part of evolution. Fossils show that life on the planet originated more than four billion years ago, the date of birth of some bacteria and blue-green algae. Over the next three billion years, major groups in the body slowly formed. From now on, each appearance of a new group is invariably associated with the suppression and disappearance of another similar one. The average lifespan of a species (organism group) is five million years, so the whole spectrum of species has changed more than once. However, the process did not run at a constant pace. There are several periods of mass extinction that have “wiped out” about half of all extinct forms from the planet. And even periods of stability (lasting hundreds to thousands of years) are marked by species losses. It turns out that an average of 90 species naturally disappear every 100 years. The selective elimination of some species and the emergence and predominant development of others has led to the current mosaic of life, of which man is a part.
The process of natural loss of species continues today, but there is one more thing: in recent centuries, human activity has accelerated it more and more. There are data that about 400 birds and mammals have disappeared in the last 400 years and that the process is accelerating: from one extinct mammal every five years in the seventeenth century, to one every two years in the twentieth. It should be noted that birds and mammals make up less than 1% of all species identified by science, which in turn are an insignificant part of the total number of species on Earth. This trend is an indicative indicator, although it does not answer the question “What about biodiversity?” Today, the scientific community is unanimous: the species are disappearing much faster than even the most pessimistic forecasts, leading to habitat impoverishment and putting the world on the brink of a new period of mass extinction, but this time man-made.
Why is it important for educational community?
Forests are threatened by deforestation and degradation. Forest protection is an effective measure against global warming and the loss of valuable ecosystem services.
It is important for the development and education of students through environmental activities and lessons to save endangered plant and animal species.
One of the main approaches to the “protection” of biodiversity and endangered species is the conservation and restoration of habitats.
Conservation activities aimed at the protection of habitats achieve a multifaceted effect – it contributes to the protection of the “object of protection”, as well as many other species and biodiversity as a whole.
At the same time, the improvement of the condition of the natural habitats has an irresistible ecological effect, the recreational and other functions of the habitats improve. It also has a positive effect on clean air and water, opportunities for tourism development and sustainable development. And last but not least – it improves the state of the environment and the quality of life in general.
In fact, all species protection projects also have an element of habitat protection.
Mobilizing the potential of young people for the protection of wildlife and the environment, protection of forests and their protection, afforestation.
Key dimensions of Sustainable Development 15
• Restoration of rare and endangered species and their habitats;
• Restoration and sustainable management of wetlands;
• Protection, restoration and sustainable forest management, prevention of corruption and poaching in the forest system;
• Expanding and strengthening the network of protected areas and supporting the construction of NATURA 2000 and the National Ecological Network;
• Support for the reforms in the Bulgarian nature protection legislation and its harmonization with the European one;
• Promoting the application of the principles of sustainable development and promotion of environmentally friendly economic activities;
The interplay between Sustainable Development Goal 15 and the acquisition of 21st century skills
• Supporting capacity building for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources;
• Raising public awareness and commitment to nature conservation and sustainable development;
• Ex situ conservation – implementation of a program for rehabilitation, treatment and return to nature of injured wild animals in the only Wildlife Rescue Center in the country. Implementation of programs for reproduction and reintroduction of rare species.