As we begin a New Year, we bring out New Year resolutions to the table. Goals that we intend on achieving as we live through the year. These goals vary from one person to another according to their interests and lifestyle.

But as humans, there is a set of goals that we all need to achieve together. These are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the latter part of the year 2015, under the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the United Nations together with the member countries by then, agreed on sharing a set of 17 goals under various fields that will enable to grow the economic development as well as peace and prosperity in countries. These SDGs are also called as a universal call to action.

Goal 1 : NO POVERTY

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW:

  • Over 700 million people live below the international poverty line of 1.90 USD per day.
  • The majority lives in South Asia and sub- saharan Africa.
  • One in every 4 children around the world, is below their BMI.

AND HERE’S THE TARGET:

  • By 2030, to eradicate extreme poverty around the world
  • By 2030, ensure that all men and women have received equal rights towards economic resources.
  • By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters

Goal 2 : ZERO HUNGER

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW:

  • In 2017, it was found that over 800 million people were undernourished.
  • While the majority is in developing countries, it has also been found that around 12.9% of their entire population are in hunger.
  • Each year, over 45% of children under the age of 5, die from hunger/ malnutrition.

AND HERE’S THE TARGET:

  • By 2030, ensure access to  safe, nutritious and sufficient food to people, all year around.
  • By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition
  •  By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers

Goal 3 : GOOD HEALTH AND WELL – BEING

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW:

  • more than five million children still die before their fifth birthday each year.
  • Since 2000, measles vaccines have averted nearly 15.6 million deaths.
  • Maternal mortality has fallen by 37% since 2000.
  • 36.9 million people globally were living with HIV in 2017.

AND HERE’S THE TARGET:

  • By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
  • By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
  • By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.
  • Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.
  •  Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks

Goal 4 -QUALITY EDUCATION

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Enrolment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91 per cent but 57 million primary age children remain out of school.
  • An estimated 50 per cent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas.
  • 617 million youth worldwide lack basic mathematics and literacy skills.

HERE’S THE TARGET:

  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre primary education so that they are ready for primary education
  • By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education

Goal 5 – GENDER EQUALITY

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Globally, 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18 and at least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone FGM (female genital mutilation).
  • In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
  • in 39 countries, daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights
  • In 49 countries lack laws protecting women from domestic violence.

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  •  Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life

Goal 6 – CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • 1 in 4 health care facilities lacks basic water services
  • 3 in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 6 in 10 people lack access to safely managed sanitation facilities.
  • At least 892 million people continue to practice open defecation.
  • Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80 per cent of households without access to water on premises.
  • 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines

HERE’S THE TARGET:

  • By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
  • By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation
  • By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate
  • Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management

GOAL 7 – AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • 13% of the global population still lacks access to modern electricity.
  • 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating
  • Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
  • By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all

GOAL 8 – DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • The global unemployment rate in 2017 was 5.6%, down from 6.4% in 2000.
  • Globally, 61% of all workers were engaged in informal employment in 2016. Excluding the agricultural sector, 51% of all workers fell into this employment category.
  • Men earn 12.5% more than women in 40 out of 45 countries with data.
  • The global gender pay gap stands at 23 per cent globally and without decisive action, it will take another 68 years to achieve equal pay. Women’s labour force participation rate is 63 % while that of men is 94 %.
  • Despite their increasing presence in public life, women continue to do 2.6 times the unpaid care and domestic work that men do.

HERE’S THE TARGET

  • Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances
  • Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors
  •  By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
  • Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
  • Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all

Goal 9 – INDUSTRY INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Basic infrastructure like roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries
  • 16% of the global population does not have access to mobile broadband networks.
  • For many African countries, particularly the lower-income countries, the existent constraints regarding infrastructure affect firm productivity by around 40 per cent.
  • Least developed countries have immense potential for industrialization in food and beverages (agro-industry), and textiles and garments, with good prospects for sustained employment generation and higher productivity
  • Middle-income countries can benefit from entering the basic and fabricated metals industries, which offer a range of products facing rapidly growing international demand
  • In developing countries, barely 30 % of agricultural production undergoes industrial processing.
  •  In high-income countries, 98 % is processed. This suggests that there are great opportunities for developing countries in agribusiness.

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being.
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries.
  • Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support.

Goal 10 – REDUCED INEQUALITIES

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Evidence from developing countries shows that children in the poorest 20% of the population are still up to three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children in the richest quintiles.
  • Social protection has been significantly extended globally, yet persons with disabilities are up to five times more likely than average to incur catastrophic health expenditures.
  • Despite overall declines in maternal mortality in most developing countries, women in rural areas are still up to three times more likely to die while giving birth than women living in urban centers.
  • Up to 30 % of income inequality is due to inequality within households, including between women and men.

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 % of the population at a rate higher than the national average
  • By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
  • Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality
  • Improve the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions and strengthen the implementation of such regulations


Goal 11 – Sustainable cities and communities

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities today and 5 billion people are projected to live in cities by 2030.
  • 95 % of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in developing world
  • 883 million people live in slums today and most of them are found in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia.
  • The world’s cities occupy just 3 % of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 % of energy consumption and 75 % of carbon emissions.
  • Rapid urbanization is exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment, and public health

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
  • By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport.
  • Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
  • By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
  • Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning

Goal 12 – RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.
  • 93% of the world’s 250 largest companies are now reporting on sustainability.
  • Less than 3 % of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable), of which 2.5 per cent is frozen in Antarctica, Arctic and glaciers. Humanity must therefore rely on 0.5 per cent for all of man’s ecosystems and fresh water needs.
  • Humankind is polluting water in rivers and lakes faster than nature can recycle and purify
  • More than 1 billion people still do not have access to fresh water.
  • If people worldwide switched to energy efficient light bulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually.
  • Households consume 29 per cent of global energy and consequently contribute to 21 % of resultant CO2 emissions.
  • Each year, an estimated 1.3 billion tons of food produced (worth around $1 trillion), ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices
  • 2 billion people globally are overweight or obese.

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries
  • By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
  • By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
  • Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production

Goal 13 – CLIMATE ACTION

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • From 1880 to 2012, average global temperature increased by 0.85°C
  • Oceans have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen
  • Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased by almost 50 per cent since 1990
  • Emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades
  • It is still possible, using a wide array of technological measures and changes in behavior, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels
  • Major institutional and technological change will give a better than even chance that global warming will not exceed this threshold

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
  • Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States.

Goal 14-LIFE BELOW WATER

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 per cent of the living space on the planet by volume.
  • Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
  • Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5 percent of global GDP.
  • Oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions.
  • Oceans absorb about 30 % of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.
  • Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein
  • Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people.

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
  • By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts.
  • Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
  • By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans.
  • By 2020, conserve at least 10 % of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information


Goal 15 – LIFE ON LAND

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood, including 70 million indigenous people.
  • Forests are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
  • Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas. Poor rural women depend on common pool resources and are especially affected by their depletion.
  • 2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture, but 52 per cent of the land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by soil degradation.
  • 74 per cent of the poor are directly affected by land degradation globally.
  • Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction.

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
  •  By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
  • By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
  • Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species

Goal 16 – PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Among the institutions most affected by corruption are the judiciary and police.
  • Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year; this amount of money could be used to lift those who are living on less than $1.25 a day above $1.25 for at least six years
  • Violence against children affects more than 1 billion children around the world and costs societies up to US$ 7 trillion a year.
  • 50% of the world’s children experience violence every year.
  • Every 5 minutes, somewhere in the world, a child is killed by violence
  • 1 in 10 children is sexually abused before the age of 18.

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
  • Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
  • Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
  • Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels


Goal 17 -PARTNERSHIP FOR THE GOALS

HERE’S WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW :

  • Official development assistance stood at $146.6  billion in 2017. This represents a decrease of 0.6 per cent in real terms over 2016.
  • 79 percent of imports from developing countries enter developed countries duty-free
  • The debt burden on developing countries remains stable at about 3 percent of export revenue
  • The number of Internet users in Africa almost doubled in the past four years
  • 30 percent of the world’s youth are digital natives, active online for at least five years
  • But more than four billion people do not use the Internet, and 90 per cent of them are from the developing world

HERE’S THE TARGET :

  • Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection
  •  Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
  • Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms.
  • Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals.
  • Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence
  • Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
  • Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development

So the next time, you throw food or have an extra light on,  think about this. Think how many lives you can help by that one light bulb. It is not just for those around you, but it is also for you. For the betterment of every living being on Earth. As the youth and the future leaders of this country, let’s help make a difference.

As the 40th year of Rotaract Midtown begins, we have begun our journey under the initiation of “Midtown Goes Green” concept. Where we intend on planting trees in every project we do contributing towards Global goal number 13 and 15.

While there are many more projects to be done under all the goals, Midtowners are ready to take on their new year is great spirit.

Rtr. Sajini Mayadunne | Email: sajinimayadunne@gmail.com

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