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Sustainability: What to Focus On? 

This blog is the sixth in a series of ten on the topic of sustainability. The first five are listed at the bottom of the blog for easy access to you. 

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In our featured video, we’ll explore how the right balance between social, environmental and economic aspects is crucial in the pursuit of sustainability and how focusing on only one aspect negatively impacts the overall development of the nation. 

Watch: The three pillars of sustainability 

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SDG Plus, a community of SLX Learning, brings to you courses on sustainability which you can take online: Free online courses on sustainability 

You can also go on our blog to read more interesting articles and short videos, still on the topic of sustainable development. 

My key learnings from the video 

Selective Focus on one SDG? Looking at the bigger picture is the best approach  

While pursuing a sustainability ideal, all factors have to be encompassed for sustainable action. If concordant steps are not followed, one focus aspect can be detrimental to the others. The sustainability development goals (SDGs) encompass 17 aspects. Consolidating all efforts into a single goal can eventually leave the other goals unfulfilled. The most deprived area definitely requires immediate magnified attention, but at the same time, continued efforts to administrate other goals should also be taken. 

One such example is Kenya, whose efforts to address issues threatening life on land, SDG 15, jeopardised the economic and social well-being of its society.  This video explains it better and you can watch the video here. 

China is yet another case. In trying to improve its economic sustainability, it went heads on against SDG 3 Good Health and Well-BeingSDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13 Climate Action and SDG 15 Life on LandThe Middle Kingdom is now actively trying to mend the broken pieces after years of unsustainable growth. 

We Have To Work Together To Achieve The Sustainable Development Goals 

We need to have an Intellectual exchange under SDG17 so that we can develop Partnerships for the Goals 

This demonstrates the importance of SDG 17Partnerships for the Goals. Countries having solved the equation behind a particular goal can share their knowledge with other nations to help them achieve the same results sooner. This collective force will decisively impact the well being of the humanity at large along with promoting sustainable environment and health of our dear Earth. 

Some countries actively help other nations in need of it. For instance, Switzerland regularly makes donations to the World Food Programme as an immediate solution to alleviate famine in under-developed and developing countries. The United Kingdom and France donate significantly to their former colonies in Africa to drive durable change and remediate to past injustice. Countries like Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden have also been quite active in this area, prior to the formalisation of the SDGs in 2015. 

Financial help is not going to alone drive durable change, though. More has to be done in terms of knowledge exchange for sustainable growth, with monitored impact over viable implementation time frames. This intellectual exchange ought to be tracked jointly, by the giving and receiving nation, for efficacy. The resulting methodologies can then be made available to a common knowledge exchange platform, with assistance provided for regional adaptations. 

Accountability of Multinationals for a sustainable ecosystem: What Roles Do Big Companies Play? 

The private sector, which benefits from tax rebates when driving causes benefitting the society, can also be involved in such frameworks. Big companies are already present worldwide and binding their contributions with government efforts will effectively streamline sustainable development. The question which arises is: Should there be a United Nations version for multi-nationals?  

SDG Plus is a driver of sustainable change. With thousands of visitors across the world partaking in elearning courses daily, accommodating sustainability in a daily context can soon become a reality.

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Together now, for a sustainable tomorrow 

Sustainability 101: Previous releases in this series 

  1. Sustainability Today: How Did We Get Here? 
  2. Theories and Principles of Sustainability: Looking Back in Time 
  3. Moving Forward: Insights from the Triumphs and Shortcomings of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 
  4. Origin Story for Sustainable Development Goals 
  5. Sustainable and Unsustainable Practices Across the Globe 


2 Comments to “ Sustainability: What to Focus On? ”

  1. Aruna Badrinarayan says :Reply

    well written. understand that it encompasses 17 goals What are they in a nutshell? One cannot compartmentalize into three pillars as they overlap.. can this aspect be explained. You have given nice examples of Kenya and China and also rich countries giving financial help to the poor countries but rich countries are responsible for a lot of climatic change by exploiting natural resources due to their consumption patterns.. If a drawing can be made to see the inter connectivity of 17 goals, it will help otherwise we will learn each aspect without knowing the inter dependency. I do not know if garment production and meat production can encompass how consumption pattern can change if people are educated on these lines.....Hope I have got my point across properly.

    1. Bhushan B says :Reply

      Thank you for your remarks. These points shall make for a good read!
      Stay tuned so as not to miss our future article in which these aspects shall be covered.

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