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Sustainability goals for the world – and for our lakes

July 6, 2017 – Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary by Working on Water (Thomas Axworthy, IISD Knowledge Hub)
“On sensible water policies and priorities, Canadians are sleepwalking into the 21st century.”

2016: As the countries of the world commit to goals that will guide our future out to 2030, Ontario waterfront property owners may be asking: “what can we do?”

FOCA’s Mission and work, and the efforts of our member associations, are an important part of achieving a sustainable future….   

What are the sustainable development goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal set of goals, targets and indicators that United Nations (UN) member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies from now until 2030.

Why do we need another set of goals?

Like the “Millennium Development Goals” that proceed them, the SDG’s provide a focal point for governments in all countries – rich and poor  –  who will be expected to work towards achieving them.

What are the proposed 17 goals?

The SDG’s (and all their related targets) are listed in this UN document.  Many are related to ending poverty, improving food security, equity and opportunity for all.

Within the goals are 169 targets which are being selected for their feasibility, suitability and relevance.

While 17 goals, and 169 targets  seems daunting, so are the challenges that lay ahead and each of us can embrace the spirit and do what we each can in pursuit of a future we will all be proud of.

Sustainable Development Goals – A Waterfront Property Owners’ Guide / Highlights:

6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and increasing recycling and safe reuse

6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate

6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting,desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management

9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage

11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning

13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species

15.8 By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species

15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts

People are at the centre of sustainable development and, in this regard, in the outcome document, the promise was made to strive for a world that is just, equitable and inclusive and the commitment was made to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection and thereby to benefit all, in particular the children of the world, youth and future generations of the world, without distinction of any kind such as age, sex, disability, culture, race, ethnicity, origin, migratory status, religion, economic or other status.

– from the Full report of the Open Working Group of the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations on Sustainable Development Goals

Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars – ( Input from Sustainable Canada Dialogues’ Scholars )


Terry ReesSustainability goals for the world – and for our lakes