SDG 15 aims to protect, restore, and sustainably manage terrestrial ecosystems, forests, and biodiversity while combating desertification and land degradation. The goal includes targets to conserve and restore ecosystems, prevent deforestation, combat desertification, protect endangered species, and integrate biodiversity into development planning. Summarised, SDG15 is crucial for preserving natural resources, such as forests and protect essential ecosystem services.
Donau Soja Organisation
Donau Soja as an organisation contributes to SDG 15 by its ambition to integrate sustainably produced, non-GM soya from Europe into European supply chains. This ambition is supported by the Donau Soja and Europe Soya Declaration. The signatories commit to the sustainable development of efficient, resilient and productive agricultural and food systems directly supporting SDG 2 (see page 13) and supporting SDG 15 through associated measures to protect agricultural resources and natural and semi-natural ecosystems. This includes integration of soya beans and other legumes in well planned-crop rotations while at the same time maintaining landscape features and protection of high nature value biotopes.
Donau Soja’s Protein Strategy for Europe shows a way to address the European protein challenge, which also contributes to the global climate and biodiversity crisis.
Donau Soja / Europe Soya Standard
Donau Soja contributes to SDG 15 directly with its principles 4 and 8 regarding the preservation of natural habitats and using sustainable management principles.
Principle 8 entails the production of soya beans only on land areas that were already declared as agricultural land before 2008 (meaning 2008 as cut-off date for deforestation and land conversion), to protect nature reserves, natural forests, riparian vegetation, wetlands, moors, floodplains or steep slopes. Furthermore, farmers shall sustainably manage natural habitats. The farmer shall protect rare, threatened, or endangered species on the farm including a ban on gathering or hunting threatened or endangered species as well as illegal hunting or fishing. The farmer shall prevent the introduction of invasive species and remove them promptly if detected. The farmer shall maintain nonproductive land features such as set-aside land, buffer zones, and special landscape features and minimise land fragmentation. Landscape features like hedgerows, ditches, or woods must be retained, and hedges and trees should not be cut during the bird breeding and nesting season.
Principle 4 requires responsible soil and nutrient management. This includes taking adequate measures to protect and improve soils and prevent erosion, a ban on burning stubble, the use of non-tillage techniques where possible, crop rotation and the use of cover crops.