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The SDG story till now and into the future

In 2015 the world was setting out on an ambitious path and journey towards sustainability with the agreement by all 193 countries represented in the UN at that time, not only agreeing to the Paris Climate Agreement to reign in climate change/ the climate emergency, but also on the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with the aim of transforming our world we live in and to leave no one behind. 

In short the Sustainable Development Goals, with their 17 goals, 169 targets and 231 indicators to be achieved by 2030 can be envisioned as follows along the lines of people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships (the 5Ps):

Imagine a world where there is no poverty and no hunger with affordable, healthy and sustainably produced food. We have good health and well-being for all, quality education and full gender equality everywhere. There is clean water and sanitation for all. Affordable and clean energy has contributed to decent work and economic development. Our prosperity is fuelled by investment in industry, innovation and sustainable infrastructure, and this has helped us to reduce inequality and provided for decent prosperity for all. We live in sustainable cities and communities, and sustainable consumption and production heal our planet. Climate action has limited the warming of the planet and we have a regenerating  thriving life under water and a rich and diverse life on land. We enjoy peace and justice through strong institutions and have built long-term partnerships for the goals.

sdg ppppp

Now that the Agenda 2030 and SDG implementation period has reached its midway point in 2023, with multiple stakeholders raising significant concerns that the targets will not be reached by 2030 and the implementation is way off track, through a multitude of reasons, including a time of polycrisis (or metacrisis), it is a good time to re-engage and re-invigorate the process for achieving the Agenda 2030 and beyond. 

Nevertheless progress in the SDG implementation has certainly been achieved in certain areas and significant effort has been put in by certain stakeholders to progress the achievement of the Agenda, including in education, awareness raising and empowerment. The overarching theme of the 78th UN General Assembly session in September 2023 was: "Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity" as objective focuses on expediting actions toward the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals; fostering peace, prosperity, progress, and universal sustainability and contributing to the Post-2030 Global Agenda.  

But indeed a gloomy assessment to date, because according to the latest calculations of the Global Sustainable Development Report, which was prepared especially for the 2023 SDG summit, the global community will not even have achieved the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2050 if the pace remains the same. Just 15% of the goals are on track, the pace is insufficient for around 50% and development is stagnating or even going in the wrong direction for 35%. At the SDG summit, state representatives were supposed to discuss how they can accelerate SDG implementation in the second half. Although the adopted political declaration provides many fine words on the importance of the SDGs, concrete measures to accelerate implementation are nowhere to be found. Urgent action is called for now. And it will need to be seen if the 2024 UN Summit for the Future (September 2024) will deliver on that, through a proposed "Pact for the Future".

Many of us, irrespective if you follow the progress of the Agenda 2030 and SDG or not, may have heard that the achievement of the SDG by 2030 are in peril, unless we jump-start and re-invigorate with urgency and ambition of true transformation of our world and societies where no one is left behind as set out in the Agenda 2030. 

The time to get into action is right now at your place, and in your community/organistion!, irrespective of what is happening at the higher political level (nationally to globally). The tools, methods and approaches are available now to bring the SDG and Agenda 2030 into your reality, right now. This is where and how Gaia Education can support you with our SDG toolkit to bring your SDG ideas, projects and initiatives on the ground into reality. 

Gaia Education’s work with Agenda 2030 and the SDG

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