Since the launch of the World Conservation Strategy in 1980, IUCN and its members have been advocating that environmental health is fundamental to economic health and human well-being. Since then, sustainable development has grown into a household word while momentum has been steadily building towards international cooperation to achieve it.
IUCN envisions sustainable development as a path that leads to a just and prosperous world which values and conserves nature by ensuring, through effective and equitable governance, that its resources are used sustainably. This should be the ultimate outcome of any process to set sustainable development goals.
Ensuring a healthy planet is more important now than ever before. Healthy ecosystems provide our growing population with the very underpinning of human existence. And nature's amazingly constructed web of interdependencies provides our food, air and water; the very essence of life on earth.
With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, there is now a clear framework for international cooperation to reach a just world that values and conserves nature. It is the follow-up framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and outlines a universal roadmap towards a sustainable future.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Sustainable Development Goals and targets are the heart of the new agenda, and they detail out the aspiration and ambition through measurable commitments. They address issues ranging from poverty eradication, food security, health, education, gender equality, water security, access to energy, sustainable economic growth, resilient infrastructure, reduction of inequalities between countries, cities, sustainable consumption and production, climate change, oceans, ecosystems and biodiversity to peaceful societies.
Nature is woven throughout these 17 goals and 169 targets, acknowledging that nature is fundamental to human well-being. Ensuring a healthy planet is more important now than ever before. Healthy ecosystems provide our growing population with the very underpinning of human existence. And nature's amazingly constructed web of interdependencies provides our food, air and water; the very essence of life on earth. Break that web, and the system is disturbed.
The SDGs acknowledge the critical role that a healthy environment can play in addressing current challenges including poverty, climate change, food and water security, and reducing the risk of disasters and outline nature’s role in achieving health, and in building more sustainable cities.