Working toward the start of the G20 Summit in Seoul when I will set of with the first steps of the 10 City Bridge Run. 240 km ahead of me across 10 cities in 10 countries within the space of one month.
Previously on this blog I looked at Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 1 through 6, and then made a summary of what looks to be a massive deficit in achieving this seemingly impossible objective. Can it be done, and does it matter?
I was fortunate to attend a City of Sydney presentation on the MDG last week which gave good insights to understanding the MDG in perspective which I made mention of in this blog post.
Continuing this list of MDG, today I turn to MDG 7: Ensuring Environmental Sustainability. This is one MDG which is not looking like being addressed successfully. It covers many broad areas that are affected by bigger sustainability issues.
This MDG has four targets:
- Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources
- Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
- Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
- By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers
Here are comments from the United Nations on progress and challenges:
- The rate of deforestation shows signs of decreasing, but is still alarmingly high
- A decisive response to climate change is urgently needed
- The world has missed the 2010 target for biodiversity conservation, with potentially grave consequences
- Key habitats for threatened species are not being adequately protected
- The number of species facing extinction is growing by the day, especially in developing countries
- Overexploitation of global fisheries has stabilized, but steep challenges remain to ensure their sustainability
- Safe water supply remains a challenge in many parts of the world
- With half the population of developing regions without sanitation, the 2015 target appears to be out of reach
- Disparities in urban and rural sanitation coverage remain daunting
- Improvements in sanitation are bypassing the poor
- Slum improvements, though considerable, are failing to keep pace with the growing ranks of the urban poor
- Slum prevalence remains high in sub-Saharan Africa and increases in countries affected by conflict
Is it just me, or does it astound you too due to the following statistics. How can it be that in our world of technology, convenience and accessible luxury that this should be the case? Go figure! Next time you get delayed standing waiting for your skim-soy-decaf-latte, count yourself lucky and enjoy the privilege of knowing at the end of the queue is anything you care to order:
- 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines.
- The world has missed the 2010 target for biodiversity conservation. Based on current trends, the loss of species will continue throughout this century.
- Slum improvements are failing to keep pace with the growing number of urban poor. The absolute number of slum dwellers keeps rising.