Sustainable Development Goals

From EcoliseWiki

The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets agreed within UN procesess as a global framework for meeting the basic needs of all humanity within biophysical limits for sustainability.[1]


Following Rio+20 and the 8 Millennium Development Goals, and integrating other global agreements, such as on climate change (Kyoto and Paris Agreement), the United Nations agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be meet by 2030 by all humankind. By fulfilling the 169 targets within these 17 goals, it is suggested that humanity will reach sustainable living lifestyles and recover from the past decades of socio-ecological degradation.

Agenda2030 History.png From (Seth 2015)

Understanding that SDGs need to be designed to be implemented and monitored at the local level, the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, the UN-Habitat and UNDP led a Roadmap for Local governments which involved a global consultation, with a strong participation of more than 5000 participants (representing all societal sectors and organisations) from over 80 countries, as well as with support of national dialogues in 13 countries. The key message sent by all participants was the following (Seth 2015:46): "- Local and regional governments are essential for promoting inclusive sustainable development within their territories and, therefore, are necessary partners in the implementation of the SDGs; - Effective local governance can ensure the inclusion of a diversity of local stakeholders, thereby creating broadbased ownership, commitment and accountability; - An integrated multi-level and multistakeholder approach is needed to promote transformative agendas at the local level; - Strong national commitment to provide adequate legal frameworks and institutional and financial capacity are required."

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, stated clearly that "our struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities".1" (Seth 2015:45). Nevertheless this roadmap highlights the role of civil society considering that citizens should not just be aware and be involved in SDG implementation but "It is also about empowering them to participate in the achievement of the SDGs in their daily lives. Municipal and regional governments should be supported to recognise the 2030 Agenda as a framework for action, and set up mechanisms that enable citizen participation and institutional accountability." (Seth 2015:48)

Global Achievements

The Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report 2017 was prepared by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Economic and SocialCommission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

In Summary: "Progress varies significantly from one goal to the next. Out of the 57 targets which are included in this report and which underpin the SDGs, 37 show insufficient progress and 7 a deteriorating situation. Where the region has made progress towards certain goals, it has stalled for certain targets. Progress towards SDGs in each Asia-Pacific subregion and between countries, again varies significantly. In some target areas, regional success may depend on improving the performance of a few countries, while in others, such as those focused on the environment or combating climate change, are inforced multilateral approach would clearly be more effective."


European Achievements

(from the European Commission First SDG Monitoring Report 2017)

“I hope that the 2017 monitoring report will be useful to interested European citizens, policymakers, researchers and also business people. It should help them to identify the main challenges the EU is facing at this moment and inspire them to undertake new sustainable development actions. Acting Director-General of Eurostat" (European Commission First SDG Monitoring Report 2017:7)

"The EU has made significant progress over the last five years towards the overall achievement of SDG 7 'affordable and clean energy', SDG 12 'responsible consumption and production', SDG 15 'life on land', SDG 11 'sustainable cities and communities' and SDG 3 'good health and well-being'. It should be noted that progress towards a given goal does not necessarily mean that the status of that goal is satisfactory for the EU. For example, in the case of SDG 15, which focuses on terrestrial ecosystems, the indicators chosen mostly show good progress, but this should not lead to the conclusion that ecosystems or biodiversity in the EU are in good health. Over the last five years, the EU made moderate progress in eight SDGs. Such moderate trends can be seen in SDG 4 'quality education', SDG 17 'partnership for the goals', SDG 9 'industry, innovation and infrastructure', SDG 5 'gender equality', SDG 8 'decent work and economic growth', SDG 1 'no poverty', SDG 2 'zero hunger' and SDG 10 'reduced inequalities'. In the case of four goals — SDG 6 'clean water and sanitation', SDG 13 'climate action', SDG 14 'life below water' and SDG 16 'peace, justice and strong institutions' — trends cannot be calculated due to insufficient data over the past five years (6)." (European Commission First SDG Monitoring Report 2017:12)

Europe SDG Implementation overview.png From (Seth 2015)

Community-led Initiatives and the Sustainable Development Goals

Main page: Community-led initiatives and the Sustainable Development Goals

Many community-led initiatives and the wider networks of which they are a part, including ECOLISE and its member organisations, emply holistic and systemic views of sustainability and other societal challenges, and apply these in their operational processes and activities.[2] [3] [4]


  1. Accessed May 10th 2018.
  2. ECOLISE, 2017. A Community-led Transition in Europe: Local Action towards a Sustainable, Resilient, Low-Carbon Future.
  3. Henfrey, T. & G. Penha-Lopes, 2015. Permaculture and Climate Change Adaptation. East Meon: Permanent Publications.
  4. Henfrey, T., G. Maschkowski & G. Penha-Lopes, 2017. Resilience, Community Action and Societal Transformation. East Meon: Permanent Publications.