Sustainable development is to make the world a better place for everyone without destroying the possibilities for the upcoming generations. Social progress, economic development, and climate and environment are three dimensions of sustainable development.
In 2015, the United Nations set up 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that were adopted by 193 countries. Its mission is to accomplish these goals by 2030. The world’s new action plan until 2030 is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, fight inequality, tackle climate change, and accomplish sustainable development for all. Out of these 17 individual goals, there are 5 specific goals related to the care of the environment, these are Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, and Life On Land.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Everyone deserves to live in a world where our cities and communities are designed to be inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. All of us have a role to play and help the UN accomplish this goal by the year 2030. But the idea of a sustainable city is not new. Ancient civilizations like the Greeks designed cities for the benefit of all citizens. They made it easy to travel by planning streets in straight lines. They kept everyone fed and watered by setting up markets and building aqueducts and even pioneered public parks where citizens could relax in nature. Today, our definition of livability has evolved to reflect the needs of people living in a modern world. We want people to feel safe to travel through their communities, to have access to affordable housing, and connect with their neighbors in shared spaces and at public events, because communities thrive when people develop a sense of ownership and belonging. It’s easy to feel isolated from the community. It happens in big cities where buildings are not designed to give disabled people access; it happens in small towns, will reduced public transport links make it impossible for the elderly to participate in society. But lots of good things are being done to help people feel connected to their communities. For example in New York, the disused railway bed was transformed into the High Line, an eye-catching public place where citizens can mingle. An idea like this can help make a safer, more inclusive future for everyone.
Responsible Consumption and Production
Everyone deserves to live in a world where we produce just enough of what we need and reuse the stuff that we’ve done. So the house streets are kept clean and our green spaces stay green. There are ways for us to cut down on consumption the stuff that we use to cut down on production the stuff that we make. For example, we can use public transportation instead of our private vehicle. It will reduce the need to manufacture more vehicles and use more gas. But demand for things is rising. We must cut down the things that we make, use and throw away. Reuse and recycle are important processes that we must follow. Using eco-friendly vehicles, stoping food waste by collecting leftover foods from hotels, and giving it to people who need it most can also be done. When everybody has enough of what they need and not too much of what they don’t have the world would be a cleaner place.
The average global temperature is increasing. Warming of oceans, rising sea level, and melting of glaciers happen due to this. According to the UN, it is likely that by the end of the century global temperature will be greater than 1.50C in its current amount. By 2030 UN would like to strengthen resistance and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters everywhere and put climate change measures into effect in national policies strategies and planning. They would also like to improve education on the matter of climate change as a whole. Saving energy, food, and water resources, using renewable sources of energy, reforestation, buying products only from sustainable, forest-friendly companies, reducing meat consumption, proper waste management, and using public transportations are some steps that we can follow.
Life Below Water
Since oceans contain many species and cover 3/4 of the earth’s surface, pollution and contamination affect marine life and affect the quality of drinking water. About 3 billion lives depend on marine and coastal biodiversity. By 2030 UN would like to significantly reduce or eliminate marine pollution and protect marine and coastal ecosystems. They would also like to increase the economic benefits from marine resources. Reducing wastes and our carbon footprint, taking sustainable seafood, and using alternatives for plastic are some steps that we can follow.
Life On Land
Earth contains a vast diversity of life forms and we must protect their diverse ecosystems. So that the upcoming generation can benefit from their natural gift. Life has thrived on earth for millions of years because in a healthy and diverse ecosystem all the different kinds of living things take care of each other. Trees strive to grow tall so they have the best chance of soaking up the sun’s rays. Animal-like squirrels rely on trees for food but the ecosystem can easily be disrupted. Cutting trees affect species who lived in them or use them for food and shelter. Endangered animals must be protected from hunters by creating laws. Reforestation and afforestation must also be done. Indigenous people are sharing their ancient knowledge about growing better crops. So we can reduce food scarcity.
The SDGs must be implemented in an integrated way to help countries tackle complex challenges and layout a more sustainable future.
Achieving the SDGs requires the partnership of governments, the private sector, civil society, and citizens alike to make sure we leave a better planet for future generations.