The Sustainable Development Goals: MESHing with the Environment

Sustainable Development Goals



The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed to in 2015, address issues of human well-being.  SDG 15 is titled “Life on land” and its aim is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems.  This goal calls for the sustainable management of forests, the combat of desertification, the halting and reversing of land degradation and the halting of biodiversity loss. 

Although SDG 15 is about land and environmental impacts, really each of the SDGs can be influenced by environmental issues. Since the beginning of humankind, people’s well-being has been inextricably linked to the environment. Actions that affect the environment can thus affect the different SDG targets, from poverty to hunger to clean energy.

When countries plan to take action, especially developmental actions, that impact on the environment, they must often estimate the extent of the impact. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are becoming common place, and although social implications are taken into consideration within EIAs, the calculation of social impacts, especially those…

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