1st Edition

Fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals On a Quest for a Sustainable World

    580 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    580 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book contains assessment of the progress, or the lack of it, in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through review of the assessments and of case studies, readers can draw lessons from the actions that could work to positively address the goals.

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is designed to catalyze action in critical areas of importance to humanity and the planet. The effort to implement the SDGs, however, demands a sense of urgency in the face of environmental degradation, climate change, emerging conflicts, and growing inequality, among a number of other socio-economic problems. Five years after the launch of the 2030 Agenda, this book takes stock of how far the world has come and how we can position ourselves to achieve the global targets. The book is one of the first to assess how the implementation is impeded by the onset of COVID-19. It contains a special chapter on COVID-19 and the SDGs, while many thematic chapters on different SDGs also assess how COVID-19 adversely affects implementation, and what measures could be taken to minimize the adverse effects.

    This publication thus provides a fresh look at implementation of the SDGs highlighting impactful and creative actions that go beyond the business-as-usual development efforts. The volume reinforces this analysis with expert recommendations on how to support implementation efforts and achieve the SDGs through international and national strategies and the involvement of both the public and private sectors. The result is an indispensable textual tool for policy makers, academia, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as the public, as we march toward the 2030 deadline.

    Foreword: James Gustave Speth

    Preface: Narinder Kakar, Vesselin Popovski and Nicholas Robinson


    A. Special Introduction: H.E.
    Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations

    B. Multilateralism Under Challenge:
    H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly

    C. COVID-19 and the SDGs:
    Joe Colombano and David Nabarro


      1. P E O P L E
      2.  Chapter 1: Extreme Poverty Eradication: Conceptual Evolution and Policy Challenges Vesselin Popovski and Krassen Stanchev

        Chapter 2: Critical Assessment of the Latest Progress in Eradication of Extreme Poverty
        Aisha Muhammed-Oyebod

        Chapter 3: Achieving
        Zero Hunger Using a Rights-based Approach to Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture
        Smita Narula

        Chapter 4: Health and Sustainable Development: Assessing Progress and Challenges Obijiofor Aginam  

        Chapter 5: Gender Equality and Women Empowerment: Critical Assessment of the Implementation of SDG 5
        Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode

        Chapter 6: Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation: A Long and Winding Road Ahead
        Zhou Di

        Chapter 7: Inclusive, Safe, and Resilient Cities and Settlements
        Duan Cheche


      3. P R O S P E R I T Y

        Chapter 8: Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: Why Are We Missing the Mark?
        Anna Shostya

        Chapter 9: Environmental Education
        Lye Lin-Heng

        Chapter 10: STEM Education: Environmental Restoration Science in New York Harbor
        Lauren Birney and Denise McNamara

        Chapter 11: Working Together Toward Sustained and Inclusive Growth
        Joseph Morreale

        Chapter 12: The Road to Sustainable Industrialization
        Anna Shostya

        Chapter 13: Reducing Inequality and Sharing Opportunities for All
        Vesselin Popovski

      5. P L A N E T
      6. Chapter 14: Accelerating the Energy Transformation
        Minoru Takada, David Koranyi, Richard Ottinger, Bo Fu, and Pianpian Wang

        Chapter 15: Toward Sustainable Consumption and Production
        Anna Shostya and Narinder Kakar

        Chapter 16: Missing Climate Action: Gaps in the Implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
        Vesselin Popovski

        Chapter 17: Climate Change and Small Islands
        Tessel van der Putte

        Chapter 18: Achieving SDG 14: Time for a Global Ocean Approach
        Kristina Gjerde and Marjo Vierros

        Chapter 19: Legal Tools in Combating Marine Pollution and Mitigating the Effects of Acidification
        Annick de Marffy-Mantuano

        Chapter 20: Marine Pollution: Maximizing Synergies for Transformative Changes
        Hiroko Muraki Gottlieb

        Chapter 21: Sustainable Use of Terrestrial Ecosystems and Protection of Biodiversity
        John G. Robinson and Federica Pesce

        Chapter 22: Restoration of Ecosystems and Land Degradation Neutrality
        Ben Boer and Ian Hannam 

      7. P E A C E
      8. Chapter 23: Peaceful Societies and Leaving No One Behind
        Fatima Akilu

        Chapter 24: Nigeria’s Alternative Pathway to Peace
        Fatima Akilu

      9. P A R T N E R S H I P

    Chapter 25: Partnering for a Better World: Shift from Sustainable Finance to Financing Sustainable Development
    Joe Colombano, Marco Nicoli, and Aniket Shah

    Chapter 26: Private Corporations and Environmental Social Governance: An Uneven Response
    Mark E. Meaney

    Chapter 27: From Means of Implementation to Implementation of Means: Realizing the SDGs as if they Matter
    Mihir Kanade


    Chapter 28: Interlinkages between Climate Change, Economic Inequality, and Human Migration
    Joseph Morreale

    Chapter 29 Indigenous Peoples, the SDGs, and International Environmental law
    Anxhela Mile and Railla Puno

    Chapter 30: Codification and Implementation of Customary International LawJuan
    Carlos Sainz-Borgo

    Chapter 31: Integrating the SDGs through "One Health"
    Nicholas Robinson


    Chapter 32: Pathways to 2030
    Narinder Kakar, Vesselin Popovski and Nicholas Robinson


    Narinder Kakar is Director of the Sustainable Development Research Program and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, USA, and Permanent Observer to the UN for the University of Peace, Costa Rica.

    Vesselin Popovski is Professor and Vice Dean and Executive Director at the Center for the Study of United Nations, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, India.

    Nicholas Robinson is University Professor for the Environment at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, USA.

    "This impressive compendium adds refreshingly new perspectives on the contemporary discourse on SDGs and offers a rigorous assessment of best practices and challenges in their implementation, suggesting course-correction and review, based on lessons from diverse socio-cultural and geographical contexts. The rich empirical analysis is buttressed by a robust ethical framework. The editors do a stellar job of breathing normative life into it, transcending the conventional targets-indicators matrix and the moribund binaries of economic growth vs. environmental protection, infusing it with the ‘leave no one behind’ transformative impulse. The book throws its substantial intellectual weight behind the idea that building resilient societies requires an integrative vision and a sensitivity to complexity. The interconnectedness and linkages between the SDGs and the need to build synergy is a persistent leitmotif. The bold call for a rescript of the current multilateral system to render it more responsive to subaltern aspirations is evocative and compelling. The book’s rich inter-disciplinary non-linearity and its fidelity to the idea of ownership by civil society - not just its messianic leaders - lends it a refreshing vitality. This volume is an eloquent exhortation to governments to buck up, and equally an invitation to citizens to immerse themselves in an extraordinary enterprise, an exciting work-in-progress, to usher in a just and humane world, that is waiting to be born. The volume succeeds in making despair unconvincing and hope practical. An absolute ‘must read’!"

    Meenakshi Gopinath

    "This admirable book by Popovski, Kakar and Robinson, makes the ‘COVID-damage assessment’, but also finds opportunities to recover, build back green and fast, and fulfil the 2030 Agenda. The philosophical underpinnings of the idea of ‘sustainable development’, now half a century long since Stockholm 1972, resonates through the volume as does the commitment to ‘greater community of life’. The book points out growing inequalities and conflicts both within and between societies as the main cause of human suffering, and the need for a nexus between peace and development to reach the goals. It reinforces the meaning of peace, heiwa, which in Japan refers to equality of people, striving in harmony for the interest of all and sustaining resilience needed to recover from disasters and rebuild communities."

    Sukehiro Hasegawa

    "COVID-19 has dramatically illustrated how fragile and unequal our world remains, despite the good intentions of the SDGs. Sadly, as this collection of essays plainly shows, the achievement of the goals by 2030 – already a doubtful proposition - has now become even harder. Yet this instructive assessment reminds us that we must not give up on the SDGs. Quite the opposite, it shows why and how we should accelerate global efforts to protect our planet and people. This is a comprehensive and timely contribution to keeping the SDGs in public focus, vital to secure a better world for all."

    Alan Doss

    "COVID-19 sets back all SDGs and they may well be out of reach. A World Bank study found over 1600 different forms of gender discrimination embedded in the laws of UN member states, indicating that we will struggle to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls. The lack of meaningful action on climate change will put at risk the achievement of many other SDGs. Against the background of this sobering picture, this book is not only a call to action, but also an extremely useful roadmap. Kakar, Popovski and Robinson have assembled an impressive team of scholars who have managed to put a crucial message across: no matter the obstacles ahead, we must persevere because the stakes are inordinately high to unleash change and to enrich the lives of people everywhere."

    Augusto Lopez-Claros

    "Five years after the SDGs announcement, Kakar, Popovski and Robinson have published a comprehensive and timely resource on their implementation. They draw on several disciplines — anthropology, economics, governance, public administration, and politics — to provide goal-specific recommendations and best practices on how to accelerate action. The book adds value by addressing the critical issue of ‘climate victims’ and the need to establish legal status for climate refugees. One year and a half into a devastating pandemic, the book reminds us that a people-centric lens is necessary to reverse the adverse impacts on sustainable development. Now it is time for multilateralism to respond with action."

    Arunabha Ghosh

    "The oft-chanted appeal to "build back better" is a powerful rallying cry for all who hold out hope for human society post-COVID-19.  The most compelling starting for defining how to do so is the implementation of the SDGs. That is precisely what Kakar, Popovski and Robinson offer us in this timely and urgently needed book outlining the challenges and concrete steps that are needed to transform the SDGs from good intentions to economic, social, and environmental transformation."

    Stephen Marks

    "The clock is ticking. The year 2030 by when we need to achieve the SDGs is approaching quickly, but just a few of them seem on track to be fulfilled. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the latest status of each goal and the challenges we face to build institutions for a sustainable future. A must-read for all who are interested in the future of the Planet."

    Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira

    "Achieving the SDGs will require assessment of their implementation and understanding of their impact. Kakar, Popovski and Robinson combine expertise and vision into insightful analysis of what has been achieved, and what and why has been missed. This comprehensive volume is not only an academic marvel, but also a guide to motivate action for accelerating improvement."

    Maria Ivanova

    "This book is timely and courageous. We have all agreed on the ambitious SDGs and now we have less than 10 years to achieve them. The examples of efforts made and challenges remaining for each of the goals will inform and encourage those who haven’t yet joined this crucial journey which must involve all of us. As the book tells us, with leadership, cooperation, commitment and a sense of urgency, we should be able to arrive at the hoped-for destination."

    Julia Marton-Lefèvre

    `"Fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals" offers valuable insights into collective actions to realize the SDGs that the UN member states challenged each other to achieve by 2030. With the global pandemic compounding both the difficulty and urgency of these efforts, this book outlines – for experts and general readers alike – how nations and all sectors can collaborate to achieve the ambitious yet vital 2030 Agenda.’

    Mark Kennedy

    "If the ambitions of the SDGs are achieved, our planet will be a far better place for all of humanity, for living generations and those to come. Ambition means little without implementation. This book makes an invaluable contribution by tackling the implementation problem - what has been achieved, what has worked and what has not, and what more needs to be done to realize the ambitions of the goals."

    Michael B. Gerrard

    "This ambitious volume contains some hidden gems: the chapter by David Nabarro and Joe Colombano is a timely reminder of how international health security underpins the entire SDG framework."

    Sam Daws