for Promotion of Sustainable Development
As discussed earlier, the United Nations
17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets are part of the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development adopted by 193 Member States at the UN General Assembly
Summit in September 2015, and which came into effect on 1 January 2016. These goals
are the result of international consultations that brought national governments
and millions of citizens from across the globe together to negotiate and adopt the
global path to sustainable development for the next 15 year.
and targets will stimulate action in the following critically important areas: poverty,
hunger, education, health and well-being, education, gender equality, water and
sanitation, energy, economic growth and decent work, infrastructure, industry and
innovation, reducing inequalities, sustainable cities, consumption and production,
climate action, ecosystems, peace and justice, and partnership. This agenda recognises
that it is not enough to focus on economic growth alone but in creating more equal
societies, and a safer and more prosperous planet.
Baripada: A hamlet that
conserves forest, promotes growth
Baripada, a small hamlet straddling the Maharashtra-Gujarat border,
is a collective tribal wisdom which has taken it to the next level. With a population
of barely 1,000, the village has not only helped conserve their forest but also
meet the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, benefiting everyone in the
The villagers conserved
the forest. And, forest helped in conservation of water. Water enabled agriculture
and farming. Farming brought prosperity, which in turn helped improve literacy.
And, literacy broadened horizons and led us to total transformation.
Having developed dairy and poultry over the years, the villagers have also evolved a system for marketing their products. This ensured a steady flow of revenue and kept poverty at bay. The villagers share their common land with landless families to ensure ‘zero hunger’ and ‘reduction of inequality’.
Besides, the villagers
are game for any experiments involving water, land, forest conservations, biodiversity
registration, biogas, solar power, building basic infrastructure through public
participation. “Decisions on prohibition, tree plantation were made at the village
meeting and immediately implemented. But, to restrict entry of humans and animals
in the 445 hectares of village forest was a major task”.
The ultimate aim of the Sustainable Development
Goals is to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for everyone.
Each goal has specific targets that need to be met by 2030.
So how close are countries to meeting
them? To find out, non- profit organization Bertelsmann Stiftung and the UN Sustainable
Development Solutions Network have created a prototype index that measures their
Sweden leads the list, followed by Denmark
and Finland. Among the G7 countries, only Germany and France can be found among
the top ten performers. The United States ranks 42nd on the Index, while Russia
and China rank 62nd and 71st respectively. Also in the top 20 were Canada (13th),
the Czech Republic (15th) and Slovenia (17th). Asia-Pacific’s top performers Japan,
Singapore and Australia rounded off the list at 18th, 19th and 20th, respectively.
The SDG Index underlines that despite achieving high percentages, all countries
still have their work cut out to close the remaining gap.
116 out of 157 nations on a global index that assesses the performance of countries
towards achieving the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs).