SDG15: Life on Land

SDG15: Life on Land

Why it matters

SDG 15 seeks to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of our terrestrial ecosystem, necessitating a profound transformation in our relationship with the natural world. The rates of forest loss, land degradation and species extinction are escalating, posing a severe threat to the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.

The industry’s contribution

Mobile technologies, such as mobile devices, satellites, IoT and AI, have significant potential in engineering innovative solutions to support progress on SDG 15, particularly in natural resource management (NRM).[59] The use of mobile technologies in NRM is still nascent but has grown steadily over the last decade. The GSMA has identified 131 NRM projects where mobile technologies were being used, with forest management accounting for nearly a quarter of all projects.[60] Digital innovation is also growing quickly in other areas, such as wildlife conservation (e.g. counter-poaching and species preservation).

In the Philippines, for example, mobile operator Smart Communications, Huawei, non-profit Rainforest Connection and the government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources are working together to test a new monitoring system that leverages connected mobile devices and AI to prevent illegal logging and animal poaching in five protected areas. The solution helps detect the sound of human activity (e.g. chainsaws or motor vehicles) and captures data on animal patterns and behaviours.

SDG 15 mobile impact score

No Data Found

Source: GSMA Intelligence

Maximising mobile’s impact by 2030

Scaling up the deployment of IoT solutions will be crucial to maximising mobile’s contribution to SDG 15. In LMICs, IoT is a nascent area for most operators. Most use cases require a mixed set of skills and resources, as well as a partnership-based model. Operators can scout regional and local tech hubs to identify relevant startups or build their own IoT-centric incubators (e.g. Orange 5G Lab Dakar and XL Axiata’s X-Camp in Indonesia).

Our contribution to the SDG Goals starts with setting specific ESG Targets in our Plan, focused on four main areas of intervention: environmental protection aimed at significantly reducing CO2 emissions, digital inclusion growth in Italy, enhancement of employees skills and strengthen of sustainability governance. In the last year we implemented more than 40 projects achieving important results in terms of - for example - infrastructure efficiency, use of renewable energy and of circular economy models, diffusion of ultra-fast connectivity and of digital services, development of TIM people skills while keeping a close eye on their work-life balance and reducing gender gap, and integration of ESG into processes and business system."

Pietro Labriola, CEO, TIM

African Farmer with hat stands in the corn plantation field

Case Studies

Case Study

China Mobile and ZTE use 5G to power smart tea plantation


The world needs to increase sustainable food production to support a growing population in a cost effective manner, but farmers face a number of hurdles. Large amounts of marginal or depleted land cannot be cultivated economically using traditional methods, while urban migration has led to labour shortages in many agricultural areas.


China Mobile and ZTE have developed a 5G-enabled farm management solution that is designed to use water, fertiliser, fuel and seeds as efficiently as possible while dramatically lowering labour costs. The solution brings together a smart irrigation system (which optimises the supply of water), remote control of farm vehicles and 5G-connected drones that can monitor the health of crops. A worker located in the farmhouse can use the 5G connectivity to remotely control between three to five machines simultaneously, significantly boosting productivity.


According to ZTE, automated farming in the trial site in Jilin Province in 2022 yielded economic benefits of CNY3.3 million ($460,000) through a 10% increase in output, together with savings in materials and labour costs.[61] The smart irrigation system uses 40% less water than a conventional system and unmanned tractors are 50% more efficient than a conventional tractor, according to ZTE.