Save Da Globe with the SDGs
The world is in an uncertain state with many worrying developments emerging. Geopolitical crises, accelerated climate change, increasing income inequality - these are just some of the most destructive problems hurting our planet's population. Global action towards these pressing issues are also in need of massive improvement to prevent a dystopian future from approaching us. Action. It is a very important word. It is more than just a verb to describe doing a task. Action involves being effective and inclusive as well.
The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) have a significant impact on our lives. The UN SDGs are a group of 17 goals that aim to urge initiatives to achieve a more sustainable future for the Earth. They were established in 2015 and are on track to be achieved by 2030. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed progress, raising fears that many years of effort will be erased. Humanity does not deserve this. We have come too far to go back now.
This is where you come in. As trailblazers of Earth's future, we have a responsibility to use the UN SDGs as a guide to trigger efforts toward causes like poverty and gender equality, for example, to shape a better system for future inhabitants of the planet. We need to ensure that existing basic human rights are granted to every individual across the globe and pioneer innovative scientific technologies that will enable rural villagers to generate affordable alternative forms of energy The first step is to know the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals: (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, (10) Reduced Inequality, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production, (13) Climate Action, (14) Life Below Water, (15) Life on Land, (16) Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and (17) Partnerships for the Goals.
Each Sustainable Development Goal has targets and indicators which aim to specify effective forms of action and show measurable forms of success. Having defined plans helps identified sectors see tangible progress and ensures consistent action toward the issues with the support of governments, companies and many other members involved in each goal. For example, under Goal 2: Zero Hunger, some targets include securing access to nutritious and safe food, ending malnutrition, and improving agricultural processes. Indicators can be the percentage of individuals who suffer from malnutrition or the proportion of agricultural land under sustainable practice. The targets and indicators help direct action toward ending hunger in a characteristic-based manner that allows for accountability in the form of quantifiable reports.
So far, the Sustainable Development Goals have achieved some level of success. Major breakthroughs in climate action such as the plastic ban and adoption of alternative energy can be attributed to the push from initiatives devised from the SDGs. The goals have also empowered women, especially in areas like Western Asia. They have also improved economies by catering to SMEs (Small and Medium Businesses) to better support local industries in a corporate-dominated world. However, there are also huge gaps to be filled. SDGs need to be more inclusive, especially given that many problems arise from the lack of acceptance of and respect for diversity. The urgency to solve the climate action also needs to take account a social perspective. Youth cooperation and involvement also needs to be prioritized to cultivate generational action towards adopting healthier practices and being aware of global issues in general. All issues under the SDGs overlap and all of these issues matter.
Now is the best time in history for global citizens to work toward reaching the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. By doing so, we not only aid ourselves but also others. What better life is there than one spent servicing as many people as possible? Start your SDG journey today with this small writing prompt that will encourage you to think about your impact:
- Choose an SDG that interests or resonates with you
- Research its targets and indicators
- Research statistics on its improvements and setbacks
- Identify the main areas in which the SDG can be addressed or reached
- Think about what you can do on an individual or community level (taking into account the research you did)
Look forward to the next SDG article as well!
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