road safety to achieve SDGs

WHO Declaration – Road Safety Key to Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released a declaration called Time for Results recommending focusing more on road safety as a key measure towards the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The declaration was developed during the Second Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety in Brasilia, Brazil and was based largely on the expertise of WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities on the connection between sustainable mobility and road safety.

Crude road safety statistics also provided a partial basis for the development of the WHO declaration. As it stands right now, more than 1.25 million people worldwide lose their lives in road crashes, most of which are preventable. Of this, more than 20 percent are children aged 18 and below, earning road traffic fatalities a place at the top there with HIV/AIDS and tropical diseases as one of the deadliest culprits behind untimely deaths.

So here’s how road safety and sustainable development are connected. Firstly, as we you can see, children below the age of 20 are the most affected by road traffic related accidents. The world, according to the UN Global Safety Collaboration committee, is thus losing a significant proportion of a future adult generation that is supposed to play a role in the implementation of the agenda’s goals and targets. The committee believes that if something could be done to reduce the number of lives of children on the threshold of adulthood that the world loses every day, attainment of SDGs and their targets would be even more realistic and likely.

WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities, which is part of the United Nations Global Road Safety Collaboration, recommends that cities – the biggest venues for traffic fatalities – be improved by adapting ‘stricter’ street designs. “We encourage cities and countries to embrace comprehensive safety policies that heighten the role of public transport, walking and cycling. These policies can make the city safer for all, especially children, the elderly and those with disabilities,” read a statement from WRI Ross Centre’s director, Health and Road Safety.

Specifically in support of Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 11, world leaders during the September global summit in New York discussed road safety and committed to ensuring that highly populated cities across the world get an improved public transport system. This was done with nothing else but the sheer safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in mind. But now that there is one more reason to consider improving the safety of our roads, particularly in large cities, SDGs 3 and 11 should categorically be moved steps up the priority list.

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End Poverty SDG 1

UN Approves Global Goals to End Poverty in 15 Years

As it has now become the norm, at the end of the every 15 years, the global community, under the cloak of the United Nations, comes together and formulates another ‘to-do list’ that should span over the next one and a half decades.

The script wasn’t any different this time around when on September 2015 the international community converged and approved a global agenda consisting of a series of 17 goals to be achieved before 2030.

The agenda, dubbed as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) takes over from the almost expired Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were drafted at the turn of the century.

An ambitious initiative

At the top of the 15-year blueprint, that some critics have lauded as overambitious and exorbitantly costly, is the initiative to ‘end global poverty in all its forms’ ( sic) and combat emerging issues such climate change.
UNS ustainable Development Goals
The sustainable development goals come at a time when the world is sinking in a myriad of 21-st century problems such as environmental degradation, extreme poverty, famine, disease, etc. In particular, the goal to eradicate poverty comes at a time when the gap between the rich and poor, the wealth and the despicable has never been greater.

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UN Global Pulse MDG SDG

Quid and UN Global Pulse to Analyse the Media Data for SDGs

The end of 2015 ushers in a variety of mixed offerings. And sitting on the top of this list is the transition from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For those who are not aware, the Millennium Development Goals, which were proposed in the late 90s, are coming to a close at the end of 2015. So, in short, the Sustainable Development Goals represent the new framework taking over from the outgoing MDGs.

At the helm of this ambitious and revolutionary project is Quid – an internationally recognised data generation and analyzing enterprise – that is assisting the UN in implementing the SDGs. It has availed its resources and a platform for the UN’s data scientists to visualise how best these goals can be achieved over the next 15 years.

This was after a partnership between Global Pulse (UN’s wing involved with the visualisation of the SDGs) and the information mapping platform was effected in September 2015.
Quid Global Pulse

The goals’ general framework

The SDGs, which comprises of 17 goals and over 169 targets, are at the most basic level, globally set targets and standards that UN member states are expected to use a benchmark when designing their individual national agendas and policies. And like the MDGs, the SDGs are expected to run for the next 15 years – until 2030.

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SDG 17 - Sustainable development through global partnerships

SDG 17 – Sustainable development through global partnerships

Leaders across the world have a monumental opportunity to reduce inequality, end poverty, protect the environment and promote justice and peace in implementing Sustainable Development Goals.

Unmatched in their ambition and scope, the SDGs are poised to test the determination of the global community over the following fifteen years in regards to the global endeavor to improve livelihoods for all. Any success or even failure will largely depend on SDG number 17, which aims to revitalise the universal partnerships for development.

Introducing SDG 17 on global partnership

One important aspect of SDG 17 is that it binds the other goals together. For one, it is quite content heavy as compared to other goals and subdivided into five crucial components; finance, capacity building, systemic issues, technology, and trade.

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SDG 16 - Promote Peace, Justice and Inclusive Societies

SDG 16 – Promote Peace, Justice and Inclusive Societies

Debate on post-2015 sustainable development has so far agreed consistently that a new development guideline should advance not only poverty reduction and sustainability but also justice, good governance, and peaceful societies.

Even though most states are backing the agenda for ensuring sustainable peace in the world, the framing and inclusion of this SDG on peaceful societies remains a bit sensitive for certain member states. Achieving honest buy-in into this peace agenda for these states will be crucial to the adoption, implementation and monitoring of SDG 16 over the following 15 years.

Importance of peace in SDG 16

We simply cannot achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication without first tackling insecurity and conflict. There is an increasingly large gap with regards to MDG performance when comparing developed countries with other states being affected by elevated violence levels and unrest. Strikingly, the seven nations that are not likely going to meet even one MDG as 2015 draws to an end have suffered high violence levels in the last couple of years.

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SDG 15 - Sustain Life on Land - Forest, Ground and Animals

SDG 15 – Sustain Life on Land – Forest, Ground and Animals

Do you enjoy going camping? Reading a good book? That ice-cream you recently had? Whether you appreciate it or not, you cannot deny the important role our earth’s natural habitats have in our daily lives.

We depend on terrestrial ecosystems and forests as an essential source of materials, food, product ingredients and also for livelihoods. The Sustainable Development Goal 15 on ‘life on earth’ is all about protecting, restoring and promoting the sustainable use of all terrestrial ecosystems so that we can have a better future.

Why SDG 15 is important

The world has lost over 12 million hectares of forest every year from 2000 to 2010. Expansion of commercial agriculture, especially large-scale farming, has largely caused this significant loss of forest cover. Nevertheless, damaging the environment, particularly forests, comes at great costs.

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SDG 14 - Conserve and sustain the oceans, seas and marine resources

SDG 14 – Conserve and sustain the oceans, seas and marine resources

Oceans are the biggest ecosystems on planet earth, and they are essential to our survival. They cover 65% of the surface of the earth, generate nearly half of the air we breathe in and also 16% of animal protein, besides playing an important role in the global economy.

Over 3 billion people across the world depend on coastal and marine resources, generating many jobs in various industries such as tourism, biotechnology, fishing, and shipping. The ocean has a significant part to play in the worldwide development, and it can help fight poverty. However, marine ecosystems across the world are currently being threatened by our human activities. We must start protecting our oceans’ health if we are to prosper and survive.

Introducing SDG 14 on conserving the oceans

There is optimism that with the latest dedicated goal of ocean conservation under the Sustainable Development Goals, companies will acknowledge the value and importance of our coastal areas and oceans. In the previous Millennium Development Goals, oceans were covered in the broader target of securing environmental sustainability. The new SDGs, however, give oceans the important dedicated attention with distinctive underlying targets. Goal 14 seeks the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, seas, and oceans.

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SDG 13 - Fight Climate Change and Its Effects

SDG 13 – Fight Climate Change and Its Effects

Introducing SDG 13 on Climate Change

Sustainable development and climate change are goals that should not be pursued independently by any country. Members of the UN have finally recognised the interrelatedness of these two crucial goals through the inclusion of climate change as a single Sustainable Development Goal.

This SDG emphasises a major milestone since the challenge of climate change in the earlier Millennium Development Goals was not fully exhausted. Everyone is now waiting for the imminent climate talks that will be held in Paris in December 2015 where new international treaties aimed at ensuring global warming stays below 20 degrees celsius will be established.

A climate that continues warming up will affect food security, freshwater availability and energy among other necessities of life.

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SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production

SDG 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production

The proposed SDG 12 on guaranteeing sustainable consumption and production patterns, despite highlighting a relatively modest concept, likely represents one of the most exemplary changes in the new SDGs. In an increasingly consumption-influenced world, where many admire the Western culture, producing and consuming less is a weighty paradox. This goal is also quite important because the planet cannot sustain the increasing demand for energy, food, water and other vital necessary for sustaining the rising global population, especially the middle class.

An Essential Development Goal

SDG 12 is quite important as it underpins every other Sustainable Development Goal, from Zero Poverty to Peace and Justice. Nevertheless, its idea creates lots of resistance since it poses a significant threat to the status quo, despite being a great social, environmental and economic opportunity. Humankind must now look for ways of doing better and more with less. It is vital to note that this particular SDG covers the consumers and business sectors, and also basic services, supply chains, better jobs and an improved life quality for all.


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SDG 11 - Sustainable, Safe and Inclusive Cities and Communities

SDG 11 – Sustainable, Safe and Inclusive Cities and Communities

Introducing the SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

Given the strongly transformative effect of urbanisation and the vitality of cities, a stand-alone and dedicated urban sustainable development goal was formed. The SDG 11 is part of the broader Sustainable Development Goals developed by the UN member states as a blueprint for equitable, sustainable development for all people.

It is essential for mobilising stakeholders, promoting cohesive, city-level strategies and accelerating progress towards truly sustainable development, which includes ending extreme poverty. Sustainable cities goal is a transformative agenda that believes everyone must have a dignified life and creating preconditions that allow people to grow and flourish.

Implications of Urbanisation

Urbanisation has proven to be very effective in transforming the economic and social fabric of countries. In fact, cities are largely responsible for most of the consumption and production globally, and they serve as the main engines of development and economic growth. Nearly 75% of worldwide economic activity occurs in an urban setting. Thus, the urban percentage of worldwide investments and GDP will also increase with time, especially with a rising urban population.


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