22 Oct 2015

Some SDGs are more equal than others

I got this opinion in a "multilateral" newsletter:
SDG target 15.3 requiring countries to become land degradation neutral (LDN) by 2030 is a pragmatic pathway to slice into the other SDGs. It provides a frame for creating a long-term vision to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals.


Land is the wellspring of life. Investing in this most precious and profitable asset will place us on the development path that will lead us towards our shared global vision of prosperity, health and dignity for all the world's citizens. LDN is more than one target among 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It is the engine that will trigger change.
I noticed that you can replace "land" with "water" (or education, gender, etc.) to get statements that are just as true in terms of their magnified impact on other areas. That fact does not mean that you will get agreement on priorities. As many water people in California will tell you, it's hard enough to pursue two co-equal goals, let alone 16 SDGs.

Bottom line. Everyone has their own priority. The SDGs are going to be a mess as bureaucrats, activists and funders argue for theirs.

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