Have you ever heard of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Probably not. However, they are, especially in times like ours very important. They include the big issues we, especially the young generations should think about. Just this month the Ocean Conference, which is part of implementing the following goals took place in New York City. France, the country I am living in, in the moment as just released a few statements and reports on the Conference and also the “France’s national report for the 18th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18)”, which is one of the first reports concerning the “newly” adopted Sustainable Development Goals.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are officially known as: Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and were adopted by an UN-Summit in 2015. The Goals are part of a UN-resolution, which acts as the Post 2015 Development Agenda and follows the Millennium Developed Goals established in the year 2000. The aim is to motivate countries, companies and private citizens to end all forms of poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change. They include the following subjects:
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all age
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum)
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
The Implementation of these goals is a highly complicated process. Some of the main issues are: The Communicating the goals in different countries and the complexity of the goals. A marketing team came up with a plan to promote the goals for example came up with a hashtag to raise awareness specially with younger people. Also, a special digital game has been launched: 2030 Hive Mind. It should enable delegates to explore the themes of the conference and the broader working practices of the development sector. This way the organizations want to tackle the complexity of the goals.
Each country can decide how to pursue those 160 goals. One of the first countries to publish their plan to reach all the 169 goals was Germany, which during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2016 went public with its national program. Additionally, the German government, this year, decided on the German sustainability strategies.
There are different organizations which promote those goals and give you, personally the possibility to engage in the process and help to enforce those goals. For example, there is the “Opportunities knock your door”-Ambassador-Program, which tries to educate and raise awareness of the problems which led to the Adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by the UN. You can find more information here: http://www.opportunitiesknockyourdoor.com/2017/05/global-ambassadors-program-opportunities-knock-your-door/ (They are now looking for city ambassadors, so you could still join the project)