Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals still neglecting their environmental roots in the Anthropocene
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs; promulgated in 2015), officially known as "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", are an intergovernmental set of 17 goals and 169 constituent targets that succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs; 2000-2015). Despite a clear mandate to integrate social, economic and environmental objectives in the SDGs, ecosystem health remains underrepresented in this latest iteration of the United Nation's global development agenda. We submit that maintaining ecosystem health (Goal 14: life below water and Goal 15: life on land) is a necessary precondition to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Here, we present a reconceptualized SDG framework akin to a tree that places Healthy Ecosystems as the roots for five branches of development (Clean Energy, Water Security, Food Security, Lives and Livelihoods, Governing for Sustainability). As universal examples, we put forward the vital role of life below fresh water for ending poverty by 2030 (Goal 1: no poverty) and describe how children's environmental health is the foundation for the major health priorities of reproductive, maternal and child health (Goal 3: good health and well-being). This framework provides insight and evidence for policymakers and the public to be cognizant that prioritizing ecosystem health goals can serve human development objectives which we deem as key to realizing the unified plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.
|Keywords||Child health, Ecosystem health, Inland fisheries, Livelihoods, Poverty, Sustainability framework|
|Journal||Environmental Science and Policy|
Reid, A.J. (Andrea J.), Brooks, J.L. (Jill L.), Dolgova, L. (Lana), Laurich, B. (Bruce), Sullivan, B.G. (Brittany G.), Szekeres, P. (Petra), … Cooke, S.J. (2017). Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals still neglecting their environmental roots in the Anthropocene. Environmental Science and Policy. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2017.07.006