The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:
Following on from the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), on 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an intergovernmental set of 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues including ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.
Empowered, Active Citizens
Environmental education programmes have been responsible for important advances in many national and regional efforts to fight climate change and protect aquatic life and terrestrial ecosystems. Global Action Plan’s core focus is to empower people with the knowledge and practical tools to introduce sustainable habits and lifestyle changes to their daily lives, building more sustainable communities.
As practitioners of Education for Sustainable Development, we believe empowered people can make a direct contribution to achieving the SDGs.
There are 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
1. No Poverty – End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. Education is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty,” – Nelson Mandela
TARGET: By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.
2. No Hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
UNESCO research in 2013 showed that there are approximately 47 million children in low-income countries who experienced stunted growth as a result of malnutrition in early childhood. If all mothers in those countries had a primary education, 1.7 million children would be saved from stunted growth. If those mothers had a secondary education, 12.2 million children would be saved from stunting.
Source: – Global Partnership for Education
3. Good Health – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
17,000 fewer children die each day than in 1990, but more than six million children still die before their fifth birthday each year.
Children of educated mothers—even mothers with only primary schooling—are more likely to survive than children of mothers with no education.
Maternal mortality has fallen by almost 50% since 1990.
TARGET: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
4. Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Education builds on itself, creating greater capacity to educate others and nurture a culture that values learning.
“In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other parts of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond…” – Malala Yousafzai
TARGET: 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.
5. Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
While there has been some progress over the decades, stark gender disparities remain. On average women in the labour market still earn 24% less than men globally.
SOURCE: UN Women (2015), Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming economies, realizing rights, Chapter 2
TARGET: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
6. Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
“Although we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery” – Deepak Chopra
TARGET: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
7. Clean Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Since 1990, global emissions of CO2 have increased by over 46%. Urgently, we must end our reliance on carbon-based fuels.
SOURCE: The Global Goals
TARGET: By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
8. Good Jobs and Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
“People were poor not because they were stupid or lazy. They worked all day long, doing complex physical tasks. They were poor because the financial institution in the country did not help them widen their economic base.” – Muhammad Yunus
TARGET: Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7% gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries
9. Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
With education, countries have greater capacity to assemble and maintain the physical building blocks of progress, health and security.
TARGET: Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries.
Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
10. Inequalities – Reduce inequality within and among countries.
“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” – Cesar Chavez
TARGET: By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average.
11. Sustainable cities and communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
12. Responsible Consumption – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
In an increasingly consumption-influenced world, our planet cannot sustain the increasing demand for energy, food, water and other vital resources necessary for sustaining the rising global population. Also, the world has unequal patterns of life quality and consumption.
TARGET: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
13. Protect the Planet – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
14. Life below water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
15. 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.
16. Peace and justice – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.” – Robert F. Kennedy
TARGET: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.
17. Partnerships for the goals – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
“Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” – John F. Kennedy