Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Now, with the new SDGs at WHO, there is a global focus and effort. These goals lay out an ambitious vision for protecting the planet and improving the lives of people around the world by 2030. This sweeping set of seventeen goals replaced the Millennium Development Goals, agreed to in 2000, which focused on developing countries. Adopted by consensus after three years of negotiations, the SDGs apply to all countries and serve as “the world's shared plan to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality, and protect the planet by 2030.”

The SDGs provide an opportunity to advance efforts and collaborate across sectors. Opportunities for commitments by countries to approach these goals together do exist, and should be encouraged and facilitated wherever possible. Evidence suggests that both conservation and development goals can be achieved in joint endeavors without increasing the cost of work or hindering outcomes (Kareiva et al., 2008). Making the case for better coordination and consideration of these goals would increase the likelihood of good environmental and human well-being outcomes, as well as increase efficiencies. This is consistent with the intention of the SDGs and presents an opportunity to build bridges across sectors for longer term collaborations (Wear, 2019).