Learn about the Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 ambitious objectives for a greener, healthier, more peaceful, and equal planet. Here are 10 things you should know about them:
The journey begins… The idea for the SDGs was born at the 2012 Rio+20 Summit in Brazil. At the summit, government leaders began creating a set of universal goals to tackle poverty, ill health, inequality and environmental degradation. The idea was to use the SDGs as a new agreement to replace the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expired in 2015.
The world has changed dramatically in the last two decades but there are four shifts that are particularly serious. Firstly, we are closer than ever to eradicating extreme poverty. Secondly, human societies are causing more damage than ever to the planet and the environment. Thirdly, inequality among and between countries is increasing. Finally, governance is becoming more complex, especially with the growing influence of technology (SDSN, Action Agenda Report 2014). Here are the facts:
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How will the SDGs actually help us solve these complex problems? What are the benefits of having goals? Will they actually make our journey towards a better future easier and more successful?
Here are 5 reasons why we need to set goals when solving complex global problems:
1. Goals give direction and focus The world is plagued with many complex problems.
The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals was a historic moment. It was met with a standing ovation and applause, as all 193 leaders unanimously agreed to the new global agenda.
As stated in the agreement, “Never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavor across such broad and universal policy agenda. We are setting out together on the path towards sustainable development, devoting ourselves collectively to the pursuit of global development and of ‘win-win’ cooperation which can bring huge gains to all countries and all parts of the world.
While the SDGs themselves are easy to understand, measuring progress on them is much more difficult.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung have developed the SDG Index as an independent ‘Report Card’ for each country. A range of reports, profiles for every country and even the underlying raw data are freely available to download, in the spirit of transparency. SDSN Youth provides helpful visual country-by-country SDG Dashboards, using the data from the Index to compare and contrast progress to date.