This brief is part of the Transforming our world: A cooperative 2030 series produced by the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC). Through a series of 17 briefs, one for each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), COPAC hopes to raise awareness about the significant contributions of cooperative enterprises towards achieving the 2030 Agenda in a sustainable, inclusive and responsible way, and encourage continued support for their efforts. This brief focuses on SDG 15 – protecting and restoring land resources.
What is the role of cooperatives in protecting terrestrial species and ecosystems? As enterprises based on values and principles, cooperatives contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources in a vari- ety of ways. They offer a forum for community members to find solutions for environmental change, such as managing the land resources they use responsibly or diversifying their economic activities to embrace green economic ventures.3 Forestry cooperatives, for example, promote the sustainable use of forest ecosystems while securing the livelihoods of their members and workers. With ‘concern for community’ as one of their founding principles, many cooperatives also invest in ecologically focused work, such as reforestation proj- ects and conservation efforts.