The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address
global challenges we face and aims to achieve a better and more sustainable
future for all without leaving anyone behind. SDGs involve17 goals that are
interconnected and should be gained by 2030.
First proposed in 2012 in the Conference for
Sustainable development at Rio Janeiro, the sustainable development goals came
to action in 2015. SDG replaces the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of
2000, which was a global effort to solve extreme poverty, hunger, access to
education, and health issues. The MDG was a 15 years project that helped lift
more than 1 billion people out of extreme poverty, reduced the child mortality
rate by half, and reduced the drop-rates of students by half.
The Sustainable Development Goal is a 15-year roadmap
to consolidate previous efforts and scale the benefits on a global level.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2015) are:
No Poverty: SDG 1
More than 700 million people still live in extreme poverty
(measured as people living on less than 1.25$ a day. Thus, it is desired for
economic growth to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.
The SDG aims to eradicate all forms of poverty
globally by creating better opportunities, mobilizing resources efficiently,
promoting cooperation, and developing sound policy frameworks.
Zero Hunger: SDG 2
A third of the world's food is wasted yet 821 million
people are undernourished. The SDG aims to end hunger, achieve food security,
improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
Most of the
malnourished or hunger prone people are relying on agriculture. And, improving
agricultural productivity, empowering local farmers with access to better
tools, technology, technique, and distribution system will be the key to
providing safe, nutritious, and sufficient food to more than 2 billion people.
Good Health and Well-being: SDG 3
Vaccinations resulted in an 80% drop in measles
deaths between 2000 and 2017. Covid19 has made us more aware on a global scale
that our complex health systems and governing style are insufficient to handle
the threat of a worldwide pandemic.
The SDG focuses on ensuring healthy lives and
promoting well-being at all ages of life by tackling problems of epidemics,
maternal and child mortality, as well premature mortality, increasing health
access, and supporting the research and developments in medicines.
Quality Education: SDG 4
Obtaining a quality education is the foundation for
improving people's lives and achieving sustainable development. Significant
progress has been made over the past decades to increase access to education.
However, in light of the current pandemic, the numbers are not looking good.
1.6 billion children and youth were out of school, while 369 million people who
relied on school meals needed to look at other sources.
Around 10% of people
globally lack minimum proficiency in reading and is one of the primary reasons
why they get stuck in the poverty cycle. The SDG aims to provide equal access
to education for all, reduce the gender disparities, and empower students with
proper training and vocations for jobs by upgrading facilities, expanding
scholarships globally, and increasing the number of qualified teachers.
Gender Equality: SDG 5
Women make up more than half of the world population
and without equal opportunities and treatment; we are only working half of the
potential for a sustainable future. 1 in 3 women experiences physical or sexual
violence, and women hold only 1/4th of managerial jobs worldwide. While we were
created equal, the girls have been victims of society from home to the nation.
The SDG 5 aims to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls
while eliminating all forms of violence or harmful practices. Access to
economic resources, education, and adopting strong policies and enforceable
legislation will be critical to balance gender equality. The use of technology
enabling information and communications will be a significant cornerstone to
achieve the goals of gender equality.
Clean Water and Sanitation: SDG 6
Clean, accessible water for all is essential for the
world we want to live in. Currently, one in three people does not have access
to safe drinking water, while two out of five people do not have necessary
hand-washing facilities. The SDG aims to provide universal and equitable access
to safe drinking water and sanitation and hygiene.
Moreover, it seeks to
protect and restore water-related ecosystems, along with the participation of
local communities in improving water and sanitation management.
Affordable and Clean Energy: SDG 7
Sustainable Development Goal 7 is the first time
collective effort has been made to ensure access to affordable, reliable,
sustainable, and modern energy for all. Energy is the essential requirement of
all households. However, currently, 860 million people do not have access to
electricity, and 2.6 billion people do not have access to clean cooking
The SDG aims to promote clean energy, provide technical assistance,
funding, and encourage local participation to solve the energy problems of the
Decent Work and Economic Growth: SDG 8
One in five youth is not involved in education or
employment. A sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth with full
and productive work is desirable to reduce the global unemployment rate. Many
jobs are at risk, mainly due to the pandemic.
The sustainable development goal
aims to sustain per capita economic growth by national circumstances, achieve
higher levels of economic productivity, and promote development-oriented
policies to support productive activities. Diversification, innovation,
creativity, and entrepreneurship will be vital to achieving equal opportunities
for work and growth.
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: SDG 9
Even today, roads, water, sanitation, and electricity
remain scarce in many developing countries. Thus SDG 9 aims to build resilient
infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation to
unleash dynamic and competitive economic forces that generate employment and
income. Going local and promoting industrialization and innovation at all
levels will be crucial to achieving the goal.
Currently, half of the world
population is online with up to 95% 2G coverage. Technology will help gain the
pace for achieving this goal.
Reducing Inequalities: SDG 10
The SDG aims to reduce inequality within and among
countries ensuring no one is left behind. Currently, 40% of the poorest people
earn less than 25% of global income. The lowest and most vulnerable communities
are hit the hardest in crisis which is even worsened by the social, political,
and economic inequalities. Equal opportunities need to be created, while the
inclusion of all socially, economically, politically must be ensured to
progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40% at a higher
The principle of special and differential treatment in developing
countries should be encouraged and at the same time policies must be adopted
for social protection, wages, as well as safe regulation of migration for job
Sustainable Cities and Communities: SDG 11
Cities and metropolitan areas are the powerhouses of
economic growth- contributing about 60 % of global GDP while also accounting
for 70 % of global carbon emissions. The cities of the future must provide
equal opportunities for all, with access to essential services, energy,
housing, transportation, and more.
Currently, 9 out of 10 urban residents
breathe polluted air, thanks to the big industries and successful sales of
automobiles. SDG aims to protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural
heritage while also ensuring access to safe, inclusive, and accessible, green,
and public spaces for all.
Responsible Consumption and Production: SDG 12
All we have got is one earth, so we need to ensure we
are doing more and better with less. Economic growth must be devoid of
environmental degradation while focusing on increasing resource efficiency and
promoting sustainable lifestyles.
Water, Energy, and Food are the basics to
sustain humankind so we must focus on sustainable management and efficient use
of natural resources, reduce the global food waste as well as chemical and
household waste by prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse. It is required
to develop and implement tools to assess the impact of developments, tourism,
and other industries.
Climate Action: SDG 13
Climate change is not a hoax, and it is essential to
take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact. CO2 and other greenhouse
gas emissions rose to new records in 2019 with a 50% rise from 2019. 2020 hopes
to be lower on emissions primarily due to the lockdown impacting industry and
However, all countries need to confront the climate risk and make a
green transition into resilient economies decarbonizing all aspects of our
economy. Similarly, education and awareness regarding climate change mitigation
are also essential.
Life Below Water: SDG 14
Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal
biodiversity for their livelihoods. The
26% increase in ocean acidity as a result of human activities has endangered
not only sea life but also the lives of people dependent on it. It is essential
to keep the oceans clean and avoid plastic bags at all costs.
reduction of marine pollution, sustainable management of marine and coastal
ecosystems, regulating overcapacity and overfishing while continuously
increasing scientific knowledge and research capacity for marine technology
will be crucial for the life below water and life on earth.
Life On Land: SDG 15
Humans are dependent on natural resources for
everything. But, in the name of use and survival, human activities have altered
almost 75 % of the earth's surface. Biodiversity loss is happening at an
accelerated rate with more than 1 million animal and plant species threatened
with extinction. Desertification has been a real problem while land degradation
is affecting one-fifth of the earth's land area and the lives of 1 billion
The Sustainable Development goals aim to protect, restore, and promote
sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, combat desertification, halt and
reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss. Proper planning at all levels,
adequate financing, sound policies, and local participation will be crucial to
ensure sustainable life on land.
Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: SDG 16
Security, strong institutions, and equal access to
all are the cornerstone for sustainable development. It is desirable to reduce
all forms of violence, abuse, and exploitation by promoting the rule of law at
national and international levels. Moreover, responsive, participatory, and
representative decision making is required at all levels.
and bribery in all forms will be essential to develop effective, accountable,
and transparent institutions at all levels.
Partnerships for the Goals: SDG 17
The only way to realize the sustainable development
goals is through global partnership and cooperation that is inclusive and built
upon a shared vision and shared plans for a sustainable future with people and
planet in focus. Inclusive partnerships are suitable for finance, technology,
trade, systemic issues, and capacity building.