In 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The goals are universal and interconnected, addressing social, economic and environmental challenges critical to sustainable development. Achieving the SDGs requires the collective efforts of governments, civil society, businesses, and individuals worldwide, towards a more sustainable future for all.
1. What are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?
1.1. No Poverty
“No Poverty” is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at ending extreme poverty and reducing inequality for all people. The goal focuses on improving social protection systems, providing equal access to economic resources and opportunities, promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
1.2. Zero Hunger
“Zero Hunger” is another SDG that aims to end hunger and ensure access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all people. The goal targets agricultural productivity, sustainable food systems and improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, among other measures. Achieving Zero Hunger is critical to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development.
1.3. Good Health and Well-being
“Good Health and Well-being” is an SDG aimed at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. The goal focuses on reducing maternal and child mortality, combating communicable and non-communicable diseases, and improving access to healthcare services, among other measures.
1.4. Quality Education
“Quality Education” is another SDG that aims to provide inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The goal targets improving access to education, particularly for girls and marginalized groups, promoting skill development and vocational training, enhancing the quality of education through innovative approaches. Achieving this goal is crucial for sustainable development, as education is a key driver of social and economic progress.
1.5. Gender Equality
“Gender Equality” is an SDG aimed at achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. The goal targets eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, promoting women’s participation in leadership and decision-making and ensuring equal access to education and economic opportunities.
1.6. Clean Water and Sanitation
“Clean Water and Sanitation” is an SDG aimed at ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all people. The goal targets improving water quality, reducing water scarcity and pollution and promoting sustainable water and sanitation management practices. Access to clean water and sanitation is critical to achieving other SDGs, including good health and well-being, poverty reduction and gender equality.
1.7. Affordable and Clean Energy
“Affordable and Clean Energy” is an SDG aimed at ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The goal targets increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, promoting energy efficiency and innovation and improving access to modern energy services in developing countries.
1.8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
“Decent Work and Economic Growth” is another SDG that aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The goal targets improving labor productivity, promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, and providing social protection systems and opportunities for skill development. Achieving this goal is crucial for reducing poverty and inequality and promoting sustainable development.
1.9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
“Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure” is an SDG aimed at promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, innovation, and infrastructure development. The goal targets enhancing industrial productivity and competitiveness, promoting sustainable and resilient infrastructure development, and fostering innovation and technological progress.
1.10. Reduced Inequalities
“Reduced Inequalities” is another SDG that aims to reduce inequalities within and among countries. The goal targets eliminating discriminatory laws and practices, promoting social, economic, and political inclusion, and providing equal access to opportunities and resources for all. Achieving this goal is critical for promoting social justice, reducing poverty, and achieving sustainable development.
1.11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
“Sustainable Cities and Communities” is an SDG aimed at promoting sustainable and resilient urbanization and human settlements. The goal targets improving urban planning and management, providing access to affordable housing and basic services, and enhancing urban resilience to climate change and other disasters.
1.12. Responsible Consumption and Production
“Responsible Consumption and Production” is another SDG that aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The goal targets promoting sustainable consumption and production practices, reducing waste and pollution, and encouraging the efficient use of natural resources. Achieving this goal is crucial for promoting sustainable development and reducing the environmental impact of human activities.
1.13. Climate Action
“Climate Action” is an SDG aimed at combating climate change and its impacts. The goal targets strengthening climate resilience and adaptive capacity, promoting low-carbon development and climate-friendly technologies. At the same time, this goal helps mobilize financial and technical resources for climate action.
1.14. Life Below Water
“Life Below Water” is another SDG that aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. The goal targets reducing marine pollution and ocean acidification, protecting marine biodiversity and ecosystems, and promoting sustainable fishing and marine tourism practices. Achieving this goal is crucial for promoting sustainable development and protecting the planet’s biodiversity and ecosystems.
1.15. Life On Land
“Life On Land” is an SDG aimed at protecting, restoring, and promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, forests, and biodiversity. The goal targets reducing deforestation and land degradation, promoting sustainable land management practices, and protecting endangered species and their habitats.
1.16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
“Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions” is another SDG that aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels. The goal targets reducing violence, corruption, and organized crime, promoting human rights and the rule of law. At the same time, this goal helps to increase the participation and representation of disadvantaged groups in the decision-making process.
1.17. Partnerships for the Goals
“Partnerships for the Goals” is the final SDG, aimed at strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development. The goal targets enhancing international cooperation and coordination, mobilizing resources and technology transfer, and promoting multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development. Achieving this goal is crucial for ensuring the effective implementation and monitoring of all SDGs and promoting sustainable development worldwide.
2. How the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Work Together?
Examples of how Sustainable Development Goals can work together
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals interconnect and mutually reinforce each other. Achieving one goal often requires action in multiple areas, and progress towards one goal can support progress towards others. Here are some examples of how different SDGs can work together:
- Access to Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6) and Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3): Improved access to clean water and sanitation can reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases, which can lead to better health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs.
- Quality Education (SDG 4) and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8): Improved education and skill development can enhance employability and productivity, leading to better economic outcomes and reduced poverty.
- Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10): Promoting gender equality can reduce gender-based discrimination and inequalities, leading to greater social, economic, and political inclusion for all.
- Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) and Climate Action (SDG 13): Sustainable urban planning and development can reduce carbon emissions and improve the resilience of urban areas to the impacts of climate change.
- Life Below Water (SDG 14) and Life On Land (SDG 15): Protecting marine and terrestrial ecosystems can promote biodiversity and support sustainable food systems and livelihoods.
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9) and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17): Investment in sustainable infrastructure and innovation can promote economic growth and development, while partnerships and collaboration can support the mobilization of resources and the sharing of knowledge and expertise.
These are just a few examples of how the SDGs can work together to promote sustainable development. By addressing interconnected challenges and opportunities, the SDGs can help to build a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future for all.
3. Which is not the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?
There is no definitive list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) beyond the 17 goals officially adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. However, it is possible that some organizations or individuals may use a slightly different set of goals or may focus on a subset of the 17 goals. Nonetheless, the official 17 SDGs are:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life On Land
- Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals
So, any goal beyond these 17 official SDGs cannot be considered an SDG according to the United Nations.
4. Which country is top in 17 Sustainable Development Goals?
The ranking of countries in terms of their progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can vary depending on the specific indicators and methodologies used. However, according to the SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2021, the top three countries in terms of overall SDG performance are:
Norway, Germany, and Switzerland closely follow these countries, rounding out the top six. The report evaluates all countries based on their performance across 115 indicators covering the 17 SDGs. The rankings take into account a range of factors, including poverty reduction, health outcomes, access to education, clean energy use, gender equality, and peace and justice. It is important to note that while some countries perform well in certain areas of sustainable development, there is still significant work to be done globally to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals provide a comprehensive framework for achieving a more sustainable and equitable future. While progress has been made towards achieving the SDGs, there is still much work to be done. Achieving these goals requires global cooperation and collective action. It is crucial to prioritize the SDGs in all aspects of society to create a better future for all.
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