Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – UN United Nations

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Learn why the SDGs are the main goals to be achieved by managers and private sectors nowadays

To ensure the well-being of people, cities and the planet: although this may not be an easy task, it is exactly the mission of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The initiative is the global action plan, signed in September 2015 in New York, USA, by all the 193 United Nations member states. Its goal is to eradicate all kinds of poverty and to guarantee a decent life for all the planet’s inhabitants, always respecting our available natural resources.

The complex challenge comes at an urgent time: in the midst of environmental crises that are plaguing the world, the political friction of war threats and the backlash on humanitarian issues such as the refugee crisis and the world hunger rise, securing a prosperous future may seem impossible. To assist governments and countries in this mission, the Agenda was created precisely as a guide to political agendas of the international community by 2030. In the document Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, signed by representatives from all around the globe, humanity is committed to follow the plan’s goals and objectives to finally make our future more sustainable and resilient.

The Agenda sets 169 goals and 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the so-called SDGs. In addition, the document also contains a roadmap for follow-up and review. Its importance lies precisely in the fact that, until then, world leaders had never before engaged in a common effort to achieve such broad and universal results. But those who think that the Agenda and its objectives are directed only to the rulers could not be more mistaken. Integrated and indivisible, they are like a to-do list for the civil society, the private sector and all citizens, balancing goals for People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and a solid global Partnership.

The 17 SDGs represent a new phase for our countries development and are a result of two major international agreements initiated earlier. The first one are the Millennium Goals (MDGs), which includes eight goals adopted in 2000 from a series of multilateral summits held during the 1990s by UN on human development. The second one is the Rio + 20 Conference, which took place in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to promote coherent global actions focused on a sustainable future.

Bringing together humanitarian and sustainable goals, the SDGs are our best option to secure prosperous and dignified cities for tomorrow. They are:

1. No Poverty: end poverty in all its forms everywhere;
2. Zero Hunger: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture;
3. Good Health and Well-being: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages;
4. Quality Education: ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all;
5. Gender Equality: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls;
6. Clean Water and Sanitation: ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all;
7. Affordable and Clean Energy: ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;
8. Decent Word and Economic Growth: promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: build a resilient infrastructure , promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation;
10. Reduced Inequalities: reduce inequality within and among countries;
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
12. Responsible Consumption and Production: ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns;
13. Climate Change: take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;
14. Life Below Water: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development;
15. Life on Land: protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss;
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions: promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels;
17. Partnerships for the Goals: strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Each one of the 17 goals also includes a number of targets that must be achieved by countries to get the expected results. There are 169 targets , and to suit the different needs and limitations of governments and they undergo minor changes to become a reality. This is the case, for example, of the adaptations suggested by Brazil, which involved the participation of numerous national institutions to make the desired changes viable.

We also have many tools at our disposal: from technical standards to master plans and startups, there are many initiatives aligned with the SDGs. Bright Cities itself has a disruptive platform that can help municipalities of any scale or budget to become smart by using indicators and solutions aligned with all the 17 Goals. You can check here which solutions have helped managers and private entities to guide their policies and make the 2030 Agenda a reality!

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