Scientists Call For Leaders To Combine Poverty, Environmental Goals

Writing in the journal Nature, 10 scientists from around the world “say the only chance of achieving global prosperity is for all countries to combine poverty and environmental targets,” and they ask “[w]orld leaders [to] set six goals around universal clean energy, an end to water and food shortages, thriving lives and livelihoods, and healthy and productive ecosystems,” the Guardian reports. “[T]he authors say that the [Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)] should be combined with global environmental targets drawn from science and from existing international agreements to create new ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs),” according to the newspaper (Vidal, 3/21). “But the authors say that the MDGs are the driving force of their proposed SDGs,” IRIN writes, adding, “For instance, the goal on thriving lives and livelihoods seeks to ‘end poverty and improve well-being through access to education, employment and information, better health and housing, and reduced inequality while moving towards sustainable consumption and production.'” The news service notes “the U.N’.s first meeting on defining the SDGs has just ended in New York, with countries still undecided on the way forward” (3/21).

In related news, the U.N. News Centre reports, “People want the United Nations to address challenges such as environmental degradation, unemployment and violence, according to initial findings released [Thursday] from a global multi-media survey aimed at bringing the concerns of regular people to policymakers as they shape the development agenda for after 2015, the deadline to reach the Millennium Development Goals.” According to an online survey, titled “My World” and available at, “more than 5,700 [have] suggested priorities ranging from ‘financial inclusion’ to ‘an honest and responsive government’ and youth empowerment,” the news service writes. For the wider survey, “[m]ore than 200,000 people from 189 countries — including groups such as women, indigenous communities, youth and people with disabilities — participated through a mix of digital media, mobile phone applications, conferences and paper surveys,” the U.N. News Centre adds, noting the report will be presented to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “and heads of State and government attending the 2013 U.N. General Assembly and the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals” (3/21).

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