Sustainable Development Goals

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, are a set of 17 goals created by the United Nations aiming to improve the lives of future generations through focusing on sustainability, ending poverty, and protecting the environment. Sustainable development as the foundation for society lasting indefinitely dates back to 1980. This idea describes a philosophy behind the strategies to use natural resources. Any sort of sustainable development has to balance political, social, economic and environmental needs, while recognizing the finite limits of both resources and the nature's ability to deal with our outputs.[1]

Each of the 17 interconnected goals have targets and guidelines meant to help all countries improve life through focusing on poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, water, energy, the environment, climate change, social justice, economics, and infrastructure.[2] The SDGs, which expire in 2030, [2] replaced and built on the success of the Millennium Development Goals which were in place from 2000 to 2015.[3]

Figure 1. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.[4]

Here is a brief video discussing the SDGs and the context:

The Sustainable Development Goals

Here is a list of all of the sustainable development goals.

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-Being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

The United Nations Development Programme website on their Sustainable Development Goals


  1. Verbruggen, A., W. Moomaw, J. Nyboer, 2011: Annex I: Glossary, Acronyms, Chemical Symbols and Prefixes. In IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation [O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs- Madruga, Y. Sokona, K. Seyboth, P. Matschoss, S. Kadner, T. Zwickel, P. Eickemeier, G. Hansen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
  2. 2.0 2.1 United Nations Development Programme, "Sustainable Development Goals,"United Nations Development Programme.[Online]. Available: [Accessed March 15, 2018]
  3. United Nations Development Programme, "Background on the Goals,"United Nations Development Programme.[Online]. Available: [Accessed March 15, 2018]
  4. Wikimedia Commons [Online], Available: