Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

12 Apr 2013

Scientists offer sustainable development goals

Posted by Michael Keating

Following the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development in 2012, the United Nations is trying to reach agreement on a new set of long-term sustainable development goals. They are to succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals established by the UN in 2000.

Last month, a group of international scientists has proposed their own goals to try to link poverty eradication to protection of Earth’s life support systems.

The researchers said the millennium goals were successful in some areas: the number of people living on less than one dollar a day has been more than halved. But many goals have not been met, and some remain in conflict with one another. Economic gains, for example, have come at the expense of environmental protection.

They said that people need to see the economy and the broader human society as existing within Earth’s life support system. They suggest six universal sustainable development goals cutting across economic, social and environmental domains:

1. Thriving lives and livelihoods

2. Sustainable food security

3. Secure, sustainable water

4. Universal clean energy

5. Healthy and productive ecosystems

6. Governance for sustainable societies

The goals appear in an article published by the International Geosphere-Biosphere program, a global science program on the changing world.

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