The Solution: Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN, 2015). Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years (until 2030). At the core of the 2030 Agenda are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The universal, transformational and inclusive SDGs describe major development challenges for humanity. The aim of the 17 SDGs is to secure a sustainable, peaceful, prosperous and equitable life on earth for everyone now and in the future.

For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.

Excerpt fromTransforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

People. We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.

Planet. We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.

Prosperity. We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.

Peace. We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.

Partnership. We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on spirit of strengthened global solidarity focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.

The New Agenda

They announced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) with 169 associated targets which are integrated and indivisible. Never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavor across such a broad and universal policy agenda. They are setting out together on the path towards sustainable development, devoting themselves collectively to the pursuit of global development and of “win-win” cooperation which can bring huge gains to all countries and all parts of the world. They reaffirm that every State has, and shall freely exercise, full permanent sovereignty over all its wealth, natural resources, and economic activity. They will implement the Agenda for the full benefit of all, for today’s generation and for future generations. In doing so, they reaffirm their commitment to international law and emphasize that the Agenda is to be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the rights and obligations of States under international law.

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

The Aquaponics Institute of Technology will effectively address 9 of the 17 (53%) SDGs (2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 17) and it will continue to expand the number of SDGs it is able to address in the future.

Contemporary Approach: Learning Through Schooling

The primary contemporary approach to addressing environmental challenges via education is through formal schooling. Education helps students understand an environmental problem, its consequences and the types of action required to address it. With improved environmental and ecological literacy, students are more inclined to change behavior affecting environmental issues. Examples include school-led awareness-raising campaigns and programs on recycling, minimizing litter, conserving energy and improving water, sanitation and public health. Environmentally literate students are better equipped to see the links between specific issues and global environmental change. Formal education supplies the knowledge, vocabulary and key concepts required for environmental literacy, as well as the historical and philosophical background.

Some countries have prioritized environmental education programs. In India, for example, environmental education was mandated by the Supreme Court in 1991, and in 2003 the government directed the National Council of Educational Research and Training to produce extensive content on environmental education (Centre for Environmental Education, 2015). As a result, over 300 million school students in the 1.3 million schools currently receive some environmental education training (Gardiner, 2015).

Your act of generously donating to the Aquaponics Institute of Technology will bring this pioneer in Aquaponics, sustainability, renewable resources, and green technology education to life and help to foster a new sustainability conscious generation.