Our work on Goal 15
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss.
Goal 15: Life on Land
As one of the world’s leading research institutions and the UK’s first university to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, learning and students, public engagement activity and operations.
Here’s a selection of our work addressing Goal 15.
Deforestation is the second leading cause of climate change after fossil fuels, accounting for almost a fifth of planet-warming emissions.
Our researchers led an international and interdisciplinary team of ecologists, economists and political scientists in the largest ever study of community forestry.
Studying 18,000 community-led forest initiatives in Nepal we found that community-forest management led to a 37% relative reduction in deforestation and a 4.3% relative reduction in poverty.
Researchers in our Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences have examined degraded soils of grasslands in Kenya and China to understand the role of soil biodiversity in creating and supporting healthy ecosystems.
We’ve scaled up novel approaches to harness ecological connections between native soil microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, algae) and native plants to accelerate recovery from degraded to healthy soil.
Tools have been developed to provide accessible and practical knowledge for local communities to repair soils and public and policy awareness has been raised of the vital importance of soil biodiversity on a global scale.
Learning and students
Our new interdisciplinary unit, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI): Your Role in Shaping a Fairer World, is open to all undergraduate students and empowers them to take responsibility for promoting inclusive approaches to study and work.
We have been placed top in the UK for our knowledge transfer partnerships.
Through our structure and funding support, we place graduates to support businesses in addressing key innovation challenges.
A renowned engagement expert from our School of Environment, Education and Development is using her Ketso Connect community and stakeholder engagement toolkit to help the government’s Natural England advisers launch their National Recovery Network.
This network aims to restore 75% of protected sites and to create or restore 500,000 hectares of additional wildlife-rich habitat.
Our Manchester Museum Vivarium is dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians.
We recently partnered with Panama Wildlife Charity PWCC on non-invasive research and conservation education involving local communities in the Santa Fe National Park in Panama.
This led to a world first in 2021: one of the world’s rarest toads, the Harlequin Frog, was successfully bred in captivity outside its country of origin, at our museum.
We also curate a world-famous FrogBlog and deliver a digital Learning with Lucy conservation programme for schools.
We’ve created an online, interactive campus Tree Trail highlighting 50 of the 1,500 trees across Oxford Road Campus, North Campus and Whitworth Park.
We’ve developed a tree plan requiring the planting of two trees for every one removed by our campus developments.
We’ve developed UMAPIT (University of Manchester Animal Positions and Information Tracker) – a bespoke app to allows users to record sightings of urban wildlife species.
And we’ve redeveloped a former road into Brunswick Park – a pocket park to enhance green space and wellbeing on campus.
The Whitworth created the UK’s first dedicated post of Cultural Park Keeper.
This has led to the creation of a Natural and Cultural Health Service programme of outdoor activities to raise awareness, educate and inspire our diverse visitors to connect with and protect life in our park.
At Jodrell Bank we work with community and voluntary groups, including the RSPB and the Cheshire Beekeepers Association, to protect and enhance our natural environment.