The 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) indicates that there is the need for an interaction among all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure they benefit from each other at the implementation level.
This was disclosed during a media launch of the GSDR 2019 on 31st October, 2019 at the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Accra. The report was presented by Dr. Ernest G. Foli, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana.
He explained that it is not advisable to work on the goals individually because when it happens that way, it will affect sometimes all the 16 other goals.
Giving an example he said, “By improving food and nutrition means that more foods need to feed a larger population. Which also means that you will have to increase farm sizes and the rest; that will affect the forests. Thus, Goals 13 and 15 will be affected in terms of forest loss, carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, climate change and the rest to which their impacts are very drastic.”
He emphasized that there is the need to take a look at how the goals affect each other and through their interactions there will be the existence of co –benefit among all the goals.
Dr. Foli added that, “…but there will also be Trade- offs; in other words the implementation of one goal may lead to negative impacts on other goals. So we look at the Trade – offs and how to manage them and then where there are co – benefits we harness them as such.
On the issue of climate change affecting the vulnerable across the world, he noted that, “…it is all about resilience and also adapting to the impacts. And this takes great efforts by governments. It takes collective action by both the people and the governments.”
Cletus Alengah, Research and Policy Associate, SDGs Advisory Unit, Office of the President disclosed that, “In 2017 we did what we call the SDG Baseline report which seeks to look at where we are as at that time so that we can use that to track the progress that we are making in future…there are progress in some regard but the rate of the progress is not enough to achieve the target we have set for ourselves in 2030. And so we need to accelerate the rate of progress.”
In his contribution, Professor Alfred Oteng Yeboah of the University of Ghana, Legon stressed that, “Life on earth should be made in such a way that it is sustainable. And in doing that there are many things that have to come in and all of them demand our attention where our attitude should be that which will enable us to achieve that goal we have set for ourselves.”
Present at the media launch of the GSDR 2019 was Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo, Head of Office and Representative of UNESCO to Ghana representing the UN RC.