For every UN Member state to play its part in finding shared solutions to the world’s urgent challenges the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have been formulated. It is a set of 17 goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to guide global development efforts toward sustainability and eradicate poverty by 2030. They bring into equilibrium the economic, social, and ecological dimensions of sustainable development. These goals cover a broad range of topics that are crucial for a sustainable future and require collective effort and cooperation from governments, civil society, the private sector, and individuals.
No poverty | 17 SDG Goals
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More than 700 million people still live in extreme poverty on less than USD 1.90 a day and have to struggle to fulfil the most basic needs, like access to water, health, and education. Rising Inflation, the Covid–19 pandemic, and the impacts of war in Ukraine have increased the poverty rate. To Eradicate poverty in all its forms is still one of humanity’s biggest challenges. Taking this scenario into consideration, the SDG aims to eliminate extreme poverty everywhere, reducing the number of men, women, and children of all ages who have to live in poverty. It will also require developing social protection systems and measures that will be appropriate globally to achieve maximum coverage of the poor and vulnerable by 2030.
Nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide suffer from hunger, and nearly 1 in 3 people lack regular access to adequate food. A staggering 149.2 million children under 5 suffered from stunting in 2020. In the same year, 29.9% of women of reproductive age, 29.6% of non-pregnant women, and 36.5% of pregnant women were suffering from anaemia globally. Zero Hunger SDG aims to provide safe, nutritious, and sufficient food to the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030. It targets implementing resilient agricultural practices to increase productivity and production and double the incomes of small-scale farmers.
Good Health and Well-being | 17 SDG Goals
The Covid-19 pandemic led to 15 million deaths in 2020-21 and disrupted health services in 92 % of the countries. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) make a valiant commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other communicable diseases by 2030, achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. It also targets minimising deaths of newborns and deaths occurring due to road accidents, the use of alcohol and hazardous chemicals, and pollution.
In the year 2018, 258 million children and youth of age 6 to 17 did not take school education, and more than half of children and adolescents were found to be not meeting minimum competence standards in reading and mathematics. The condition of entrenched inequities in education intensified during the pandemic. The goal emphasises the importance of providing access to quality education at all levels, from early childhood development to tertiary education. And lifelong learning opportunities. The SDG recognises that providing equal access to affordable vocational training, eliminating gender and wealth disparities, and achieving universal access to quality higher education is essential. By investing in quality education, societies can empower individuals and communities, reduce poverty and inequality, and foster economic growth and sustainable development.
Gender Equality | 17 SDG Goals
An important reason for the stagnation of social progress is gender inequality. Sexual violence, the unequal division of pay, and discrimination are creating hurdles in the advancement of women. The SDG thus aims to achieve equality and empower all women and girls. It recognises that gender equality is a fundamental right and a foundation for a peaceful world. It will require focus on several key areas, including ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women, ensuring equal access to education and healthcare, promoting their participation in decision-making, and enhancing economic development.
Clean Water and Sanitation
Above 730 million people live in countries with conditions of high to critical levels of water stress. For 3 billion people, the quality of water they depend on is unknown. Unless progress quadruples, the most basic human need of human beings will not be satisfied for billions of people. The aggravation of water stress is due to decades of misuse, over-extraction of groundwater, contamination of freshwater supplies, and poor management. To bring the situation under control, the SDG aims to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems simultaneously.
Affordable and clean Energy
60 % of the total greenhouse gas emissions are due to energy consumption at an alarming rate. Above 700 million people worldwide live without electricity, and over 2.4 billion people are cooking with harmful gases and polluting fuels. To resolve this scenario, the SDG aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. The SDG is to expand infrastructure and upgrade technology to provide clean energy in all developing countries that can both encourage growth and help the environment.
Decent work and economic growth
Policy uncertainties, Supply chain disruptions, rising inflation, and labour market challenges have hampered the global economy. The pandemic and Ukraine crisis led to further setbacks. The proportion of the world’s youth not in education, employment, or training is now at its highest since 2005. The latest estimates indicate that children in child labour rose to 160 million (63 million girls and 97 million boys) worldwide at the beginning of 2020. The SDG will focus on several crucial areas, including promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation, improving labour standards and social protections, and reducing informal employment and working poverty.
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
Almost one in three jobs in the manufacturing industry were negatively impacted during the pandemic. The objectives of the SDG include but are not limited to developing infrastructure, industry, and innovation and providing a framework for action to promote sustainable industrialisation and innovation. Goal 9 focuses on several key areas, including developing sustainable infrastructure, increasing access to technology and innovation, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and enhancing scientific research and development.
Reduced Inequalities | 17 SDG Goals
The number of refugees outside their origin increased by 44 per cent between 2015 and 2021. The number of people fleeing their country due to war, conflict, persecution, human rights violations, or incidents causing serious public order disturbances rose to 24.5 million by mid-2021. Hence, the SDG facilitates orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including implementing planned and well-managed migration policies. The SDGs aim to reduce inequalities of outcome and ensure equal opportunity by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies, and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies, and actions to address this issue.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Half of the world’s population lives in cities. Two-thirds of humanity i.e. 6.5 billion people, will live in urban areas by 2050. This will mean an increase in the development of slums, municipal solid waste, lack of public transportation, and poor air quality. Data for 2020 from 1,072 cities point to a poor distribution of open public spaces in most regions, and WHO brings to our attention that 99 % of the world’s urban population breathes polluted air. By 2030, the SDGs aim to enhance the scope for participatory, integrated, and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries and promote comprehensive and sustainable urbanisation.
Responsible Consumption and Production
The SDG recognises that unsustainable consumption and production practices are major drivers of environmental degradation, climate change, and resource depletion. Achieving this goal requires a focus on promoting resource efficiency, reducing waste, and encouraging. Sustainable consumption and production practices at all levels. This includes reducing food waste, improving supply chain sustainability, promoting sustainable lifestyles, and supporting businesses to adopt sustainable production practices. This will lead to a more sustainable and resilient future for future generations.
Billions of lives worldwide are threatened and the planet is getting destroyed owing to droughts, floods, rise in heat waves caused by climate change. Suppose the global population reaches. 9.8 billion by 2050. In that case, the correspondent of almost three planets will be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain the lifestyles we are living right now. To bring about resilience concerning climate-related hazards, developing national policies and strategies and implementing them according to the SDG is necessary.
Life Below Water
Today, more than 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited, and marine pollution is reaching alarming levels; above 17 million metric tonnes of plastic entered the ocean in 2021, which is projected to double or triple by 2040. The planet’s largest ecosystem and billions of livelihoods, depending on them, are at risk due to this encroachment. The SDG covers factors such as managing and protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, minimizing and addressing the impacts of ocean acidification, effectively regulating harvesting, and ending overfishing. By achieving this goal, societies can help to ensure the long-term sustainability of the marine ecosystem and biodiversity, maintain ecosystem services that support human well-being, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Life on Land
10 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year and around 40,000 species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. By achieving this SDG, societies can help to ensure the long-term sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, maintain ecosystem services that support human well-being, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. It will be promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and ensure equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. It also targets for enhancement of global support to end poaching and trafficking of protected species.
Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions | 17 SDG Goals
People everywhere should be fearless from all forms of violence and feel safe irrespective of ethnicity, age, sex, or faith system.High levels of armed violence and insecurity have a devastating impact on a country’s progress.The SDG recognizes that ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children and promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels by ensuring equal access to justice for all is necessary. It aims to bring down corruption and bribery in all forms considerably and cater to lawful identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030.
Partnership for the Goal | 17 SDG Goals
The goal focuses on enhancing cooperation and collaboration, mobilizing resources and investments, and sharing knowledge and technology. This includes supporting capacity-building. initiatives. It calls for action by all countries so that no one is left behind. By promoting partnerships and collaboration, we can accelerate progress toward the SDGs and create a more sustainable and prosperous future globally.
References: 17 SDG Goals
Citations for Journal Articles websites:
United Nations .Available at : https://sdgs.un.org/goals
World Health Organization .Available at :https://www.who.int/europe/about-us/our-work/sustainable-development-goals/targets-of-sustainable-development-goal-3
Citations for images/photographs – Print or Online:
United Nations .Available at : https://sdgs.un.org/goals