17 Sustainable Development Goals
for the next 7 Generations
Everythings starts with the millenium development goals. They had been established by a commitee of the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and part of the OECD to eradicate extreme poverty, to achieve universal primary education and to promote gender equality. They concentrate mainly on the developing countries. In addition the goals for a sustainable development are meant to be taken to heart by all states of the world community.
The MDGs were supposed to be achieved by 2015. So another step was needed to agree on some more development goals from 2015-2030. Well in advance a United Nation Task Team started to talk about the post-2015 framework. They presented a first paper called The Future We Want. On January 1st 2016 the SDGs came into effect. The official titel is Transformation of our world: The Agenda 2030 For Sustainable Development. It’s the first plan of humanity to collectively engage into a program that should face challenges like climat change, ocean acidification or poverty. Therefore these goals pay attention to the fact that human beings are consciously or unconsciously the main factor of changes in the biosphere of planet earth. Scientist speak of the Age Of Humankind: The Anthropocene.
On September 25th 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda. Following the adoption, UN agencies, under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Group, decided to support a campaign known as Project Everyone. The proposed goals are therefore Global Goals. Still there is the accuse from different civil societies and governments that the UNDG is ignoring the most important communication aspect: Sustainablitiy. The Sustainable Development Goals are:
- No Poverty – End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- Extreme poverty has been cut by more than half since 1990- however, more than 1 in 5 people live on less than $1.25 a day
- Poverty is more than lack of income or resources- it includes lack of basic services, such as education, hunger, social discrimination and exclusion, and lack or participation in decision making.
- Gender inequality plays a large role in the perpetuation of poverty and it’s risks; They then face potentially life-threatening risks from early pregnancy, and often lost hopes for an education and a better income.
- Age groups are affected differently when struck with poverty; its most devastating effects are on children, to whom it poses a great threat. It affects their education, health, nutrition and security. It also negatively affects the emotional, spiritual and emotional development of children through the environment it creates.
- Zero Hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Globally, 1 in 9 people are undernourished, the vast majority of these people live in developing countries
- Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40 per cent of today’s global population. It is the largest source of income and jobs for poor rural households. Women comprise on average 43 per cent of the agricultural labor force in developing countries, and over 50 per cent in parts of Asia and Africa, yet they only own 20% of the land.
- Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45 per cent) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year.
- Good Health and Well-being – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality, and major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- However, only half of women in developing countries have received the health care they need, and the need for family planning in increasing exponentially, while the need met is growing slowly- more than 225 million women have an unmet need for contraception.
- An important target is to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from pollution-related diseases.
- Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Major progress has been made for education access, specifically at the primary school level, for both boys and girls. However, access does not always mean quality of education, or completion of primary school. Currently, 103 million youth worldwide still lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 per cent of them are women
- Target 1 “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes”- shows the commitment to nondiscriminatory education outcomes
- Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large
- While a record 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women in their Constitutions by 2014, another 52 had not taken this step. In many nations, gender discrimination is still woven through legal and social norms
- Though goal 5 is the gender equality stand-alone goal- the SDG’s can only be successful if women are completely integrated into each and every goal
- Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Affordable and Clean Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Decent Work and Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Reduced Inequalities – Reduce income inequality within and among countries
- Sustainable Cities and Communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Responsible Consumption and Production – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting develoments in renewable energy
- Life Below Water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- Life on Land – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Partnerships for the Goals – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership forsustainable development
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are closely interlinked with the concept of the Planetary Boundaries. Scientists identified nine Earth system processes which have boundaries that, to the extent that they are not crossed, mark the safe zone for the planet. They assert that once human activity has passed these thresholds or tipping points there is a risk of “irreversible and abrupt environmental change”.
Johan Rockström has been leading the team of 26 scientists amoungst them Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, Goddard Institute for Space Studies climate scientist James Hansen and the German Chancellor’s chief climate adviser Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. Their research spoke of a “safe operating space for humanity” for the first time. In many publications and public talks Rockström introduces a simple way of understanding the times we are living in.
There is more to the 17 Development Goals:
If you are a “lazy” person there is a “LAZY PERSON’S GUIDE TO SAVING THE WORLD” where you will find practical advice on how to reduce your footprint. It says:
Change starts with you. Seriously. Every human on earth—even the most indifferent, laziest person among us—is part of the solution. Fortunately, there are some super easy things we can adopt into our routines that, if we all do it, will make a big difference.