Why do the Sustainable Development Goals matter?

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The environment underlies each of those goals – from eliminating hunger to reducing inequalities to building sustainable communities around the world.

UNEP is committed to working with all concerned parties to support the achievement of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We promote environmental sustainability as a crucial enabling factor in implementing the SDGs and ensuring the health of our planet. We build countries’ capacities to track their progress toward the goals, and we aim to ensure that the environment is integrated into all aspects of sustainable development.

Four core principles underpin UNEP’s approach to the 2030 Agenda:

Universality: The 2030 Agenda is global in nature and universally applicable, taking into account different national realities, levels of development, and respecting national policies and priorities. It is a shared agenda that requires a collective response, with countries developing their own pathways to national targets. This will require strengthened governance practice and institutions.

Integration: The 2030 Agenda moves beyond acting as if sustainable development is about three disconnected pillars. Approaches must balance and integrate the social, environmental and economic dimensions, also looking at governance, and interconnect the areas.

Human rights and equity: Inequalities are not just determined by economics. To achieve basic levels of goods and services for all; better redistribution of wealth and resources (both within and between countries); and equitable access to opportunities, information and rule of law, new approaches that build capacities at all level of society are needed.

Innovation: Innovative pathways are needed to allow countries to leap forward. The acceleration and transfer of technological innovations is a common concern.

In 2018, UNEP and other partners developed Goodlife Goals. The Good Life Goals are a set of personal actions that people around the world can take to help support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are lifestyle asks for individuals that are carefully aligned with the SDGs’ 169 targets and indicators.

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In Sustainable Development Goals