One of the most significant changes since the declaration of the Millennium Development Goals, set to conclude this year, is that the private sector is now seen as a key stakeholder. With governments reneging on prior commitments, and given the projected $3 trillion to $4.5 trillion price tag to achieve the SDGs, corporate participation is essential.
Many governments still do not see the need to allocate or increase resources for efforts that would strengthen health systems to reduce maternal mortality, address violence against women, ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care, and end child marriage. In fact, these areas should be priorities if we are to achieve sustainable development for generations to come.
Countries are catching on to the demographic dividends that come with robust family planning programs, which can help turn a low-income country into a middle-income country. In fact, for less than the cost of a cheeseburger per American per year, we could reduce the world's population growth by 500 million, saving mothers' and children's lives everywhere and helping poor countries prosper like never before. So what's the holdup? And who's being left behind?
The circular economy strikes me as worthy of support at the highest levels. Whether as a means of combating the proliferation of plastic debris in the world's oceans, capturing nutrients or preventing the waste of scarce minerals in defunct consumer goods, the benefits would be wide-ranging and have local, national and international benefits.
The meaning of practice needs to be reinterpreted. The focus on cognitive thinking and technical skills underlying this problem-program-implementation-assessment action-framework needs to give space to a skill-set capable of actually building lasting trust and reciprocal altruism between key development actors.
Indigenous people are, by definition, outsiders, due to their geographic and political remoteness. They make up about 5 percent of the world's population and anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of the world's poorest people. Yet they hold the vital knowledge of generations on how to live with nature and be in balance and harmony with the natural world.