EDITORIAL| World’s sustainable development goals

THE world’s natural resources are slowly diminishing yet the population is expanding in countries where development is slow and wrought with conflict and disasters. In last year’s forum on Sustainable Development Challenges in Asia held in Bangkok, Thailand, an executive of UNESCAP said it is difficult to separate economic growth from the devastation it will cause to the environment.

Stefanos Fotiou, Director of Environment and Development Division, UNESCAP, said respect for natural resources should be on top of the list as countries strive to meet its own development challenges. Even countries with the service sector as the economic base is also dependent on natural resources such as water and oil to drive the economy.

Developing countries use more natural resources to gain an increase in its growth national product as compared to countries that are more developed. Fotiou cited Japan which uses only about half a kilogram of resources to produce an increase in GNP as compared to Cambodia that uses 5 kilogram of resources for the same GNP increase.

On December 2015, member states of the United Nations signed the Sustainable Development Goals, a 15-year plan that builds on the achievements of the previous UN Millennium Development Goals to halve poverty in the world.

The new global plan has 17 goals and 167 targets all geared towards creating a sustainable world for the next generation and to leave no one behind in enjoying the gains of development.

If we have to benchmark our development path to the current goals of the UN, we should start as soon as possible.

Self-sufficiency and moderation can go a long way in ensuring that there will be enough resources for the next generation.

Posted in Opinion