The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are expected to bring a stronger focus on longer-term durability of development gains as opposed to the current approach which sees decision-making targeted at the shorter term. At present, businesses main focus is annual balance sheets; for development organizations it is annual results reporting; and for democracies there's cyclical elections.
With the urban population swelling the world over, it makes sense that we start—or go back to—designing cities for people too. People are a city’s principal raison d'etre.
“The law hath not been dead, though it had slept.” When Shakespeare wrote those lines, he never knew that many, many years down the road, he may actually be referring to the enforcement of environmental law by the judiciary around the world.
There is no universal strategy for pursuing a triple bottom line of high, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth, but better governance is an imperative.
Asian countries are increasingly turning to investing in dedicated development programs rather than relying entirely on economic growth to deliver better social outcomes. Evaluations of their actual impact have not always accompanied such decision making, but where they have, it has made a key difference.
Over the past couple of decades, no one can deny that the Asia and Pacific region has represented a remarkable success story. Absolute poverty levels have fallen significantly and the region is on course to achieve a number of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Rapid and dynamic changes in Southeast Asia including population growth and movement, as well as booming urbanization, have contributed to the complexity of combating the spread of tropical diseases. Now the region is faced with an even greater challenge: climate change
Feeding the world is becoming an increasingly complex task. Providing all our daily bread—or rice—requires grappling with intense competition for natural resources, producing more from less land and dealing with changing dietary habits. But meeting food needs is not just about quantity. Quality is also important. Along with daily minimum calorie requirements, people also need vital micronutrients from their meals. High levels of micronutrient deficiencies, a phenomenon we call “hidden hunger” remains pervasive, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations in 2001 was a defining moment. It rallied a global effort in the fight against poverty, hunger, and disease, while promoting universal education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. However, new challenges have emerged while remaining ones are complex. Meanwhile, the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs is almost upon us, raising the question: where do we go from here?
The messages from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are clear—human induced climate change is happening, climate impacts on humans and natural systems will be significant, and dramatic mitigation needs to happen very soon.