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SDGs: Greater urgency needed to meet environmental goals, improved data likely key - United Nations

Countries are on track to miss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to environmental protection, two UN entities warn in new report issued on Saturday to coincide with the International Day for Biological Diversity.

Despite making progress in areas such as clean water, sanitation, clean energy and forest management, the world is still living unsustainably and biodiversity loss and climate change have continued to deteriorate.

“We have still not embraced the rate of change necessary to come in line with the 2030 Agenda”, said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which produced the study together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Going backwards

“The report makes it clear that we are falling short, and, in some cases, actually receding. The world cannot sustain our rate of use and abuse forever, and it is imperative that we accept the changes in lifestyles and livelihoods necessary to achieve the 2030 goals.”

The SDGS are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlines internationally agreed targets in areas such as poverty, hunger, health, climate action, clean energy and responsible consumption.

The Measuring Progress report reviews data and information about the environmental aspects of each of the 17 goals, and how countries are making headway based on assessment through respective SDG indicators.

The authors found there has been an increase in downward trends among more indicators when compared with the previous progress report published in 2019.

As the SDGs are interlinked, achieving one goal or target could contribute to realizing other goals or targets, while the pursuit of one objective may conflict with the achievement of another.

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