Why the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals matter more than ever | Earth.Org – Past | Present

2020 was supposed to be a milestone for international cooperation, with major global conferences on biodiversity, climate change, gender equality and more. Yet a year full of expectations and updates was finally canceled due to the global pandemic. While COP26 managed to take place in 2021, many other major summits continue to be delayed or hosted virtually – which carries its own dangers – making it harder to find a way forward. That’s why the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – or simply the SDGs – are more important than ever. The SDGs can help us recover faster from COVID-19, but it is not a one-time event. It is one link in a larger chain of climate inactivity, habitat destruction, disruption of public health systems, rising incomes and the gender gap that we are all paying for.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030?

The Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, are universal goals designed to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that everyone can enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030 in every Member State of the United Nations. They revolve around six themes: dignity, people, environment, partnerships, justice and prosperity.

These goals go beyond economic development to encourage social development. The SDGs aim to promote and address other major global issues, including climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace, equity, leading to 17 objectives, 169 specific objectives and 232 targets.

Is this a race we can win?

We have witnessed great accomplishments over the past decade. Global school attendance has increased 89%, while infant mortality and extreme poverty rates have fall. Many other goals show slow but steady development, but no victory has been assured. The world is not on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030 because the SDGs 2020 Report demonstrates. We still have a long way to go to the finish line in 2030, and the COVID-19 crisis is already threatening to slow us down.

Before the global pandemic, research watch that 135 million people suffered from hunger and food insecurity at critical levels. The aftershocks of the pandemic have pushed an additional 130 million people to the brink of hunger. Nearly 2.7 billion workers, or nearly 81% of the global workforce, were affected by confinement measures, many of which were not covered by social protection measures. School closures affected 91% of the world’s students, many of whom are in underdeveloped countries where technology cannot help their education. Many health workers, caregivers and informal workers working on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 are women, but they face an increased incidence of domestic violence, in addition to the continued threat to their health and well-being. welfare.

The number of protected areas is increasing and the loss of forest cover is slowing down. However, habitat destruction continues, along with biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse. According to experts, a new infectious disease will appear in humans every four months, and approximately 75% of all new diseases can be attributed to animals, with COVID-19 being the most recent. If we continue in this direction, we will not achieve many of the goals of the 2030 Agenda. The old economic model was no longer viable. However, it is not too late to make changes.

This is where the UN SDGs come in and why they are more important than ever. Investing in an appropriate response to one SDG goal can help us achieve many more – in fact, the 17 SDGs are deeply interconnected. If managed in an inclusive and climate-sensitive manner, recovery from this global epidemic and economic crisis could offer a significant opportunity for improved environmental, public health, poverty reduction and job creation.

Achieving the SDGs is a matter of protecting nature

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for the citizens of Earth. The health of our planet and its ecosystems is directly linked to our own health and the health of the economy. Protecting and restoring forests, mangroves, marine and coastal habitats helps us achieve many goals, from fighting climate change to helping millions of people escape poverty. As we rebuild after this global pandemic, it is now essential to reassess our relationship with nature.

Achieving SGDs is a matter of listening to science. We live in a time of distrust of evidence, facts and science. It only takes one click to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories. It is the work of scientists, scholars and experts who will guide us out of this pandemic and propel us into the future where all SGDs are achieved. Evidence-based policymaking is crucial. Climate experts have warned that unless we cut emissions of 7.6% per year over the next decade, we will not be able to keep global temperature rise below the 1.5C limit. Ecological crises will exacerbate food shortages, extreme weather events, natural disasters, as well as will increase the risk of public health crises, much like the current epidemic.

At the national, corporate and individual levels, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is a matter of sound decision-making. Companies must seize the opportunity to prioritize a greener economy, abolish fossil fuel subsidies and help create “green jobs” that provide quality jobs while protecting society. At the individual level, it is up to each of us to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle and reduce our overall carbon footprint.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires cooperation. The DGSs recall that without shared responsibility and without cooperation, nothing is possible. We risk leaving a lot of people behind if we don’t share the blame. We must stand with those who have suffered the most: women, children, low-income communities, people with disabilities, refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people. We need to be informed and hold those in power accountable for all of this. The best thing we can do for future generations is to spin the wheel, keep the conversation going, and inspire each other to do better for the planet.

Image selected by: SDG Action Campaign (DC BY 2.0)

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