Sustainable Development – 31 oct update





Sustainable Development Goals

  1. Tracking the progress of nations on SDGs



India’s biggest challenges


  • crumbling rural economy
    • agrarian distress
  • inadequate jobs
    • jobless growth
  • environmental degradation
    • urban waste mgt, air/water/soil/river etc pollution



Why problems persist


  • silo mentality
    • compartmentalized thinking cant resolve inter-related challenges
  • top-down bureaucratic mindset
    • non-participatory approach leads to inappropriate solutions as the decision-makers do not know the ground realities



Way ahead


  • integrated approach
    • only holistic and flexible solutions can work
  • participation of all stakeholders 
    • with the most weightage given to the affected communities’ voice
    • use technology to develop innovative solutions
  • democratic decentralization
    • earnestly delegate 3Fs – Funds, Functions and Functionaries – to local bodies
  • SDGs and Multidimensional poverty index
    • will ensure inclusive and sustainable growth



Multidimensional Poverty Index





Climate-smart Development

  1. Proof of worsening climate
    1. Heavy rains in 2017
      • Mumbai, Chandigarh, Mt. Abu
      • Hurricane Harvey (Houston)
    2. Heat waves
      • As per NASA, the Texas heat wave of 2011 and the Russian heat wave of 2010 were due to climate change.
    3. IPCC’s Report on Extreme Events,
      • warns that global warming would lead to unprecedented and unpredictable weather events.
  2. For India,
    • the average monsoon rainfall is expected to increase initially and then reduce after a few decades.
    • These findings have been corroborated by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.
    • Weather changes interacting with land-use patterns are contributing to floods and droughts simultaneously in several parts of the country.
    • Urban dvpt plans seldom respect the ecological principles associated with water bodies, vegetation, biodiversity and topography.
  3. Final word
    • The earth has got a limited ‘carrying capacity’.
      • Unless man acknowledges this, and changes his mindless consumerist ways, there can be no ‘sustainability’.
    • The poor bear the brunt of worsening climate disproportionately.
      • ‘Development’ cannot be ‘inclusive’ and ‘sustainable’, until it is environmentally benign.
  4. Way forward
    • 3 Rs – Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.
    • Population control.
    • Eco-sensitive urbanisation – ie respect the ecology of the land. (click here)
    • Strengthen disaster preparedness.
    • Global cooperation must replace vested political interests of countries.