UN Millennium Development Goal 7: Ensuring Environmental Sustainability
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”
(Ancient Indian Proverb)
The UN target of ensuring environmental sustainability includes:
– Integration of the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes, as well as reversement of the loss of environmental resources:
=> Forests continue disappearing at an alarming rate
=> CO2 emissions have increased worldwide by more than 46 % since 1990
=> There has been a reduction of over 98 % in the consumption of ozone-depleting substances in the past three decades
– Reduction of biodiversity loss
=> An increase of 58 % in earth´s protected areas since 1990
=> In 2010, 12,7 % of the world´s land areas were protected, but only 1,6 % of ocean areas
– Halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
=> Target has been met five years ahead of schedule
=> More than 40 % of people without improved drinking water live in sub-Saharan Africa
=> Still, 2.5 billion people in developing countries have no access to improved sanitation facilities
– Achieving a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers
=> The target has been met, although the number of slum dwellers has grown
(UN MDG´s. Quoted 16.5.2014).
Despite of continuous improvements in environmental sustainability, we are facing huge challenges that we are all responsible for, and that we need to respond to NOW:
– According to forecasts, 2/3 of world population will live with water scarcity in 2025, 11 years from now. In 2025 world population will have grown to more than eight billion, meaning that more than five billion people will live with water scarcity.
– Today, developed countries (20 % of all countries) use 80 % or more of all natural resources.
In Finland alone: if the total world population would consume as much as people in Finland, we would need three Earth´s instead of the ONE AND ONLY that we live in today. Despite of the excess usage of natural resources in Finland, there are other industrialized countries that are even worse in over-consumption. You can check the current situation in your country´s statistics for consumption, or visit WWF´s website for more information upon the topic.
YOU DON´T HAVE TO DECLARE YOURSELF GREEN TO ACT GREEN! PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT, FLORA AND FAUNA, IS SOMETHING WE ALL ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR.
NOT KNOWING OR NOT UNDERSTANDING ARE BAD EXCUSES. IF ONE DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH KNOWLEDGE OR UNDERSTANDING, IT IS IN ONE´S RESPONSIBILITY TO EDUCATE ONESELF IN THESE MATTERS, AND TAKING ACTION!