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Sustainable Development Goals

By Fabiana Romain

Edited by Rika Pinto

The Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) are a group of 17 objectives, which were set by the United Nations in 2015, in order to achieve a better and more sustainable future. We are 10 years away from the established time limit (the SDGs should be completed by 2030), and although in the past many praised the creation of these goals and were committed to make them a reality, there is doubt about whether they will be achieved or not due to the different events which have been happening over the years and many wonder if we are on track to accomplish them. Today, we will take a look at each of the SDGs so that we know and understand what these goals are aimed at.

Goal 1 - No Poverty:

The first goal aims to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. Nowadays 10 percent of the global population, or more than 700 million people, live in extreme poverty, with only $1.90 to cover their basic needs such as education, health and food, just to name a few. Even before the pandemic, specialists stated that by 2030 6 percent of the world population would still be living in extreme poverty, missing the target.

Goal 2 - Zero Hunger:

This goal was established in order to end hunger and malnutrition and ensure food access by all people. Nearly 690 million people are suffering from famine, which represents about 9% of the global population, so immediate action must be taken to change this reality.

Goal 3 - Good Health and Well-Being:

This goal seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, so in general it aims to improve the health of all people on Earth. Due to the situation the world is going through, these objectives are more important than ever to prevent more people from suffering and pandemics from happening again.

Goal 4 - Quality Education:

Education is the key to solve many of the current global issues. That’s why many countries have put much effort on making this goal become true. Its main target is “To ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education”.

Goal 5 - Gender Equality:

In order to live in a peaceful and more sustainable world, men and women need to be treated equally. Goal number 5 looks forward to achieving gender equality and empowering all girls and women. Even though there has been a process in this area, we all need to keep working so all girls go to school and all their rights are respected.

Goal 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation:

The lack of these basic services is still a problem for billions of people in the world. Despite the fact that considerable advances have been made, there’s still a long way to go to ensure access to water and sanitation for all.

Goal 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy:

One cannot expect the world to develop sustainably if there’s no renewable energy. The UN established this goal to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy and it has bearing fruit, accelerating the access of poor countries to electricity and improving the renewable energy systems.

Goal 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth:

With the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people have been left without work and many others work under conditions that put them at risk of being infected. Therefore, accomplishing Goal 8, which main objective is to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all, is crucial to achieve sustainable development.

Goal 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure:

This goal seeks to build resilient infrastructure and encourage sustainable industrialization and innovation, which are essential elements of sustainable development. For this goal to be considered as reached, countries, especially the least developed, must focus on their manufacturing and scientific sector.

Goal 10 - Reduce Inequalities:

No matter how different we are, no one deserves to be treated disrespectfully for this reason. That’s why the UN set this goal, which aims to reduce all inequalities in each country and between nations so everyone can live in peace and harmony.

Goal 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities:

Urbanization is increasing around the world. For this reason, it is important that cities and communities have everything they need to meet the needs of their citizens. Goal 11 looks forward to making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production:

This goal has as its main objective to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Both actions usually have a negative impact on the environment and this goal seeks to make these processes more sustainable to reduce their negativity.

Goal 13 - Climate Change:

We all know that achieving all of these goals won’t be useful if there’s no planet where we can enjoy the results. All nations must take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, otherwise we may be facing dreadful consequences in a short time.

Goal 14 - Life Below Water:

Water masses cover 70% of the Earth's surface and a large percentage of these are contaminated with plastic bags, bottles, caps, just to name a few. This is a reality we have to change and with Goal number 14, "conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources", it’s possible that we will be able to protect the oceans, seas and the life in them..

Goal 15 - Life on Land:

Due to different economic activities, many of the ecosystems have been damaged and destroyed, causing irreparable damage to our environment. Goal 15 hopes to help with the conservation of land areas, as well as with their responsible use and restoration.

Goal 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions:

When there are many conflicts between us, the principles of peace, solidarity and empathy are lost and that’s something that we cannot let happen. That’s why countries are putting efforts on promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

Goal 17 - Partnerships for the Goals:

This goal aims to revitalize the global cooperation for sustainable development. Working together as a team is extremely important to achieve all these objectives since we all have to collaborate with our resources and knowledge.

With these SDGs, all governments hope to reach a better and more sustainable future. Which SDG do you find most important and why? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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