The emerging need for Sustainable Development

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By Eesha Sharma

As the world is moving at a very fast pace and 2021 has already begun. The COVID-19 has shown all of us how fragile the world is. A microscopic virus has put us on our knees and left us fragile and that fragility should make us humble.

It has worked as an X-Ray, exposing that fragility and fractures in the skeleton of our society. A world living in great inequality and a world which needs to be changed and that change can come through sustainable development goals.

On January 16, 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for sustainable development officially came into force.

There is an emerging need for sustainability in today’s world. The development goals work as a framework to maintain that sustainability and to ensure providing basic facilities to people and live a better life. Sustainable Development Goals define the problems that we are facing, and they also provide the answers to those problems.

Right now, there are four keys areas of an urgent matter that we need to look at and work on them– 

1. Climate and Planet  

In the midst of COVID-19, we all have been locked in our houses for months and the outer world was on still and in that stillness, we have seen some dramatic changes in the environment. We have seen how just a few months of no human activity could do well to our climate and planet.

Every year 3 billion animals are killed or displaced by the fire, 25 million East Africans were threatened by food shortage due to swamps, locus attack, food shortage, cyclones are all examples of climate change.

Climate change is not natural it is manmade. The main source of climate change is CO2 pollution derived from burning fossil fuels.

Sustainable development goals 13, 7, 11, 8, 15, 14, 12 provides a solution for climate change. We need to achieve a reduction in global emission by 50% by 2030, we need to stop the coal PowerStation and end subsidizing fossil fuels. The government should also shift the tax burdens from payrolls to carbon. We need to stop deforestation in its tracks and start planting trees instead of chopping them down. Reduction in food waste by applying zero food waste techniques at home and start introducing sustainable farming methods.

2. Poverty and Inequality

Poverty and inequality are universal. If we look back in the past it has seen that poverty is not inevitable, it can be eradicated from our society.

We have made some huge progress in the past few decades in poverty but still, 10% of people live in poverty. Global extreme poverty is expected to rise in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years as the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021, depending on the severity of the economic contraction which proves Poverty is also not natural it is manmade.

Sustainable development goals 2,3,6,17 works on the health of providing basic facilities to children and goals 1,2,8 works as a safety net for the people to protect them.

According to an experiment the hole in the wall it was found children living in slums have enormous potential, we just need to unlock it. This problem can be fixed if we fix our financial systems, many countries spend a lot on debt repayments rather than on goals.

We need free independent media and responsible social media. Even the developed countries face this problem take the example of Jammu and Kashmir even though it is considered a part of India, it still lacks basic facilities such as the internet and education.

3. Justice and Human Rights  

Human rights are the most basic rights that have been provided to a human being which ensures justice in the world. We need to make our laws stronger for the violation of human rights and justice. We need to protect human rights to maintain peace in our society and to ensure people’s views are being heard and protected.

4. Gender Inequality

Worldwide 75% of parliamentarians are men, 73% managerial decision-makers are men, 67% climate negotiators are men, 87% of decision-maker at the peace table are men. These are just some of the facts that show how unequal our society is and these numbers just keep on increasing.

Globally, in the past 12 months, almost 1 in every 5 women has experienced violence from the men they know. Women and girls do 3 times as much unpaid care and domestic work ad men. The global gender pay gap is stuck at 16%. Every year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. 

There is injustice for women and all of this has to change. We need equal representatives in the world’s leaders to create a balance, we also need to end discrimination laws and an equal identity card and the right to own property.

Sustainability development goal 5, 10 provides a framework to end violence against women – women must be able to live free from violence and have the right to make decisions over their bodies and lives, epically in choosing if and when they marry.

Sustainable goal 8, 10 works towards the economic empowerment for women to have equal access to finance and end the digital divide among males and females, we also need to end the common practices. We also need full sexual and reproductive health to ensure sexual and reproductive health services to women.

As to conclude we know the problems and their solutions are with us. All we need is to take a step towards them.

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Nelson Mandela

Let’s hold on to the words of our great leaders who are trying to do something about the world and trying to change it. Remember a small change can do a lot, so let’s start small the change will come with it.

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