There are 17 sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
These are detailed in 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We at Empower, would love to engage with you on programs that would help achieve any of these goals with any community. Empower has conducted more than 100 workshops around Sri Lanka aimed to educate people on
- Poverty elimination
- Leadership thinking
- Practicing optimism
- Finance management
- Quality education
These workshops directly contribute to reaching some of the key sustainable development goals listed by the UN.
We are committed to help eliminating poverty. The first step is to get rid of generational poverty thinking. Then along with the practicing optimism, believe that we can break the barriers. Break the vicious cycle of debt, learn how to save something from the current income and then learn how to invest the savings to optimize resources around. Inspire people on how to engage better with the economic and social environment.
The good news is the poor are looking for inspiration and they are filled with potential to be able to overcome extreme poverty.
Ending hunger is possible. Simple projects such as home gardening with the limited spaces people have can lead to the generation of some percentage of organic food. The sharing and giving culture can also encourage the sharing of the excess they have from the home productions. Technology can facilitate the better sharing between parties that produce and who have a surplus.
There are many indigenous methods all around the world that are simple yet serve to boost immunity. Education on simple health practices, such as washing hands could provide great results. Education on prevention of diseases and boosting immunity is critical.
Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education
Encouraging and providing basic resources to all children to complete basic education is essential. Making leaning resources available in an accessible manner is important. With the advent of online means, it has become easier to share digital resources for education. However, we need to work on making internet accessible for all children for education.
We also need to empower teachers to help provide their services. The human touch in education cannot be replaced with online methods.
Education also needs to focus on enabling sustainable development. Some factors that need to be instilled with quality education focused on sustainable development include
- sustainable lifestyles
- human rights
- gender equality
- promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence
- global citizenship
- appreciation of cultural diversity
Empowering all women and girls is a must. They are a comer stone of the society. We need to create an environment that eliminate discrimination, violence and exploitation of women and girls everywhere.
Creation of an environment with gender equality requires education on related matters across society, fair access to resources, providing opportunities, implementing policies and improving law.
Availability and Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation
Safe and affordable drinking water ensures good health. Adequate sanitation and hygiene also ensure health. Healthy lifestyle is essential for sustainable development.
Water is an essential resource for all human life and livelihood. Efficiency in water usage, recycling, minimizing pollution and safeguarding freshwater resources are essential ensuring sustainable water management.
Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy
Clean energy, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced cleaner fossil-fuel technology needs research and development. Promoting investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology is essential to ensure that we can supply energy for all with ever increasing demand. While meeting the increase in the demand for energy with development, it is also required to ensure minimal climate impact.
Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries is a must. Renewable energy forms such as solar, wind and hydro energy needs to be promoted and be made accessible with reasonable costs for all people, including low-income people.
Economic Growth, Productive Employment and Decent Work
Personal finance and economic status needs growth across all sectors in the society. For this, we need to be able to provide decent work for all people. We also need to provide productive forms of employment for everyone. For a sustainable development, we need to ensure that we provide diversified opportunities that cater for market demands involving technology, innovation and high value labour.
Ensuring decent work for everyone involves eradicating forced labour, elimination of child labour and providing safe working environments. Protecting labour rights is an essential part of sustainable development.
Sustainable trade relations and trade sector development is also required. For example, tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products is a sustainable industry development.
Resilient Infrastructure, Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Foster Innovation
Reginal and transborder infrastructure development supports economic development and human well-being. Infrastructure projects needs to focus on quality, reliability, sustainability and resilience.
Affordable financial support needs to be made accessible for small and medium scale industrialization efforts driven by emerging entrepreneurs.
Support for domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries needs to be strengthened. Industrial diversification and value addition to commodities needs to be encouraged.
Significantly increasing access to information and communications technology and striving to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet is essential.
Reduce Inequality Within and Among Countries
For sustainable development, we need to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.
Ensuring equal opportunities and reduce inequalities of outcomes is an essential step. For this we need to eliminate discriminatory laws, policies and practices and need to promote appropriate legislation, policies and actions.
Improving the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions is important. We also need to ensure fair play by large corporations.
We need to enhance the representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions.
Make Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable
Safe and affordable housing is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development. We need to upgrade slums and provide basic services and utilities to all households.
Cities need to focus on sustainable transportation solutions and work towards minimizing associated environmental issues.
Human settlements need to facilitate inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop disaster risk management models.
We also need to facilitate financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials.
Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
We need to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. Efficient resource management needs to focus on reducing per capita global food waste. We also need to focus on reducing food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.
Environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reducing their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment is essential.
We also need to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.
Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change
It is essential to improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. The current levels of education and action on climate change by the general public is not sufficient to help manage the rate climate change.
Promoting mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management needs urgent work.
Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources
We need to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds. We also need to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.
Overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices are all threatening the ocean ecosystems. We need science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks.
We also need to think about facilitating the access for small-scale fishers to marine resources and markets to ensure sustainable economic grains though marine resources.
Promote Sustainable Use of Terrestrial Ecosystems and Sustainably Manage Forests
Combating desertification is a priority. We also need to halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
Ensuring the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands is essential for the survival of all humankind in the long run.
We live in harmony with the environment and other animals. We need to take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
Enhancing global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities is essential.
Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies
For sustainable development, we need to provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.
Social justice is an essential need for all humans. We need to significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.
For a society with justice, we need to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels. We need to ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.
Strengthen Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
Global partnership in the following sectors is essential for ensuring sustainable development
- Systemic issues e.g., policy and institutional coherence
Collaboration in these sectors on research & development, funding, expertise sharing and policy making is required. Collaboration models needs to be established and facilitated including knowledge sharing models, education programs, planning, progress monitoring and results evaluation.
The 17 sustainable development goals provide a very comprehensive provide a comprehensive and pragmatic model towards development. Even if we could focus on three to four goals at a time, keeping in mind of the rest, we could reach great progress towards sustainable development.