The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a comprehensive and ambitious global agenda for a better future. The SDGs aim to address various social, economic, and environmental challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, and access to healthcare, education, and clean water. The SDGs are not standalone goals, but rather interconnected and interdependent, meaning that progress on one goal can facilitate or hinder progress on another.
The interdependence of the SDGs reflects the complexity of the global challenges they aim to address. For instance, improving access to clean water and sanitation (SDG 6) can positively impact health (SDG 3), education (SDG 4), and gender equality (SDG 5), as well as reduce poverty (SDG 1) and promote economic growth (SDG 8). Similarly, expanding access to affordable and clean energy (SDG 7) can help mitigate climate change (SDG 13), create new jobs (SDG 8), and reduce inequalities (SDG 10), among other benefits.
Understanding the interdependence of the SDGs is crucial for designing effective policies and interventions that can accelerate progress towards achieving the goals. This article will explore the main interdependencies between the SDGs and highlight some examples of how progress on one goal can reinforce or undermine progress on others. By doing so, I aim to contribute to a better understanding of the complex and dynamic nature of sustainable development and the need for integrated and collaborative approaches to achieve it.
The interdependence of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is more significant than initially anticipated. My preliminary findings suggest that progress on one goal can have a profound impact on the progress of other goals, creating a chain reaction of benefits or hindrances. For example, investments in affordable and clean energy (SDG 7) have the potential to reduce poverty (SDG 1), promote economic growth (SDG 8), and mitigate climate change (SDG 13) simultaneously. Similarly, efforts to improve education (SDG 4) can lead to better health outcomes (SDG 3) and gender equality (SDG 5), and ultimately reduce poverty and promote sustainable development. These preliminary findings highlight the need for integrated and coordinated approaches to achieve the SDGs and the potential for synergies between the goals.
The interdependence between the SDGs can be examined from two perspectives: how much an SDG depends on other SDGs (i.e., its “upstream” dependencies) and how much other SDGs depend on it (i.e., its “downstream” dependencies). These two orders of dependency can provide different insights into the nature and magnitude of the interconnections between the SDGs and can guide decision-making and policy design for sustainable development.
For instance, achieving universal access to clean water and sanitation (SDG 6) is contingent on investments in infrastructure (SDG 9), affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), and climate action (SDG 13), among others.
Downstream dependencies, on the other hand, refer to the extent to which other SDGs depend on the achievement of a specific SDG. For instance, improving health and well-being (SDG 3) is a prerequisite for achieving gender equality (SDG 5) and reducing poverty (SDG 1). Examining the interdependence of the SDGs from both upstream and downstream perspectives can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the linkages and trade-offs between the goals and can help prioritize actions and investments for sustainable development.
According to preliminary findings, the order of downstream dependencies of the SDGs, from highest to lowest, is as follows: SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 15 (Life on Land), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and SDG 14 (Life Below Water).
SDG 17, which is also known as the Sustainable Development Goals Partnership, is often regarded as the most important SDG. The reason for this is because it serves as a catalyst for the implementation of all the other 16 SDGs. SDG 17 is essentially a call to action for all countries, governments, and stakeholders to work collaboratively in partnership to achieve all the other goals.
One of the main reasons why SDG 17 is so critical is that it recognizes that the achievement of the other SDGs cannot be done by a single entity, but requires the participation and collaboration of all sectors of society, including government, business, civil society, and individuals. SDG 17 provides a framework for collaboration and partnership building that is crucial to ensuring the achievement of the other SDGs.
Furthermore, SDG 17 aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. This means that the goal focuses on improving international cooperation in areas such as trade, finance, technology, and capacity building. SDG 17 is, therefore, a key driver for mobilizing resources, knowledge, and expertise needed to achieve the other SDGs.
Another important aspect of SDG 17 is that it recognizes the critical role of science, technology, and innovation in achieving sustainable development. The goal calls for increased investment in research and development, as well as the promotion of technology transfer to developing countries. This is critical for achieving the other SDGs, as many of them require innovative solutions and technologies to address complex challenges such as climate change and poverty reduction.
SDG 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Energy is the backbone of modern society, and access to affordable and reliable energy is critical for economic growth, poverty eradication, and sustainable development. Hence, SDG 7 is the second most important goal after SDG 17.
Access to energy is a prerequisite for achieving other SDGs. For instance, access to clean and modern energy can help reduce poverty and hunger (SDG 1 and SDG 2), improve health (SDG 3), provide education and enhance gender equality (SDG 4 and SDG 5), promote economic growth and decent work (SDG 8), build resilient infrastructure and promote sustainable industrialization (SDG 9), reduce inequality (SDG 10), and combat climate change and protect the environment (SDG 13, SDG 14, and SDG 15).
Furthermore, SDG 7 is closely related to other goals such as SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). Access to modern energy can improve water supply and sanitation by powering water pumping, purification, and treatment facilities, while clean energy can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
In addition, energy access is crucial for the development of renewable energy sources and technology transfer, which are central to achieving sustainable development. Renewable energy can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to mitigating climate change, which is a global challenge that requires urgent action. You need energy to change the mode of energy.
Finally, the reason that SDG 17, Partnership precedes Energy is because energy could be weaponized. Nuclear Energy is one of the most sustainable forms of energy production. But it is rarely used around the world because of political and ideological differences which could lead to wars, and could jeopardize nuclear energy sites as possible target areas. The necessity to achieve world peace is paramount to achieving a sustainable future, and the possibility to utilize nuclear energy around the world.
SDG 6, or clean water and sanitation, is a critical component of sustainable development, and it is the most important SDG after SDG 7 because it has a direct impact on public health, economic development, and the environment. The provision of clean water and sanitation is essential for human survival and wellbeing, yet billions of people still lack access to these basic services. Investing in clean water requires an investment in clean and renewable energy. SDG 7 is an essential catalyst for achieving clean water and sanitation, and you cannot achieve this SDG if energy is not first resolved, to a certain extent of course. It is important to remember that achieving these SDG’s could be partitioned, and be achieved through collaboration. One possible way is by teaming. Rich countries could team with poorer countries to assist in the development process.
Clean water and sanitation are critical for preventing the spread of diseases, particularly in low-income countries. The lack of clean water and sanitation can lead to the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever, which can cause severe illness and even death. Inadequate sanitation facilities also contribute to the spread of diseases such as diarrhea, which is the second leading cause of death among children under five years of age. Therefore, SDG 6 is essential for improving public health and reducing mortality rates.
In addition to its impact on public health, SDG 6 is also critical for economic development. Access to clean water and sanitation is essential for the growth of industries, agriculture, and tourism, which are major contributors to economic development. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation can lead to lost productivity due to illness, and it can also limit the potential for economic growth in areas where water is scarce or contaminated. Therefore, achieving SDG 6 is essential for promoting economic growth and reducing poverty.
Finally, SDG 6 is also critical for protecting the environment. The provision of clean water and sanitation is essential for maintaining ecosystem health and preventing pollution. When water sources are contaminated, it can lead to the destruction of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity. Access to clean water and sanitation can help to prevent pollution and promote sustainable water use, which is critical for preserving the environment for future generations.
SDG 9, which aims to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation, is the next most important goal after SDG 6, which focuses on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The two goals are interconnected as they both address the need for reliable infrastructure and innovation to promote sustainable development.
One of the key targets of SDG 9 is to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being. Infrastructure development is essential for promoting economic growth and addressing poverty in developing countries. It can also promote industrialization, which can lead to job creation and economic development. By promoting industrialization in a sustainable and inclusive manner, SDG 9 can help to reduce inequality and promote sustainable economic growth.
Moreover, SDG 9 focuses on promoting innovation, which is crucial for addressing the challenges of sustainable development. Innovation can drive economic growth, address environmental challenges, and promote social development. By investing in research and development, promoting technology transfer and providing access to technology, SDG 9 can help to promote innovation and support the achievement of other SDGs.
In addition, SDG 9 aims to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, which is essential for achieving sustainable development. Industrialization can promote economic growth and create jobs, but it can also have negative environmental and social impacts if it is not managed sustainably. SDG 9 seeks to promote industrialization that is inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and socially responsible. This can help to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared more equitably and that the development process is more sustainable.
SDG 1 which is “No Poverty” follows after SDG 9, “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.” SDG 1 aims to eradicate extreme poverty by ensuring that everyone has access to the basic necessities of life, such as food, water, shelter, healthcare, and education. The goal also seeks to ensure that vulnerable groups, such as women, children, and the elderly, are protected and have equal access to resources and opportunities. With the investment industry, innovation and infrastructure, the impact on the poverty situation is extremely rapid.
SDG 9 is crucial in providing the infrastructure and innovation necessary to support economic growth and create jobs, particularly in developing countries. However, economic growth does not necessarily lead to poverty reduction, as wealth can be concentrated in the hands of a few, exacerbating inequality. Therefore, it is essential to have a focus on reducing poverty as a central component of economic growth.
Poverty is a multi-dimensional issue that requires a comprehensive approach, including social protection measures, access to education and healthcare, and the creation of decent work and economic opportunities. Without addressing poverty, progress on the other SDGs will be limited. Poverty is not only a moral issue, but it also has economic implications. People living in poverty have limited access to resources, which reduces their productivity and earning potential, leading to a cycle of poverty that can persist across generations.
Addressing poverty is also key to promoting peace and stability, as poverty can contribute to conflict and social unrest. Poverty and inequality can create a sense of frustration and hopelessness among those who are excluded from economic opportunities, leading to social tensions and unrest. Thus, achieving SDG 1 can contribute to reducing social and political tensions, creating a more stable and peaceful world.
Moreover, reducing poverty can also have a positive impact on the environment, which is another critical aspect of sustainable development. Poor people tend to be more dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, and poverty can lead to unsustainable practices such as deforestation, overfishing, and soil degradation. Therefore, addressing poverty can help promote sustainable environmental practices and reduce pressure on the planet’s resources. But, if the targets set before this one are achieved, this target become a consequence.
SDG 2, which is “Zero Hunger”, aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are currently over 800 million people suffering from chronic hunger worldwide. The problem of hunger and malnutrition is not just a humanitarian issue but also has serious economic and social implications. In fact, this SDG is immediately connected with SDG 1, as at the same moment that you achieve SDG 1, SDG 2 will be directly resolved.
The achievement of SDG 2 is essential because hunger and malnutrition are major causes of poor health and high mortality rates, especially among children. Malnourished children are more susceptible to diseases and are more likely to die from preventable illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Hunger and malnutrition also have long-term effects on physical and mental development, leading to reduced cognitive abilities and impaired learning outcomes. This ultimately hinders the ability of individuals and communities to escape poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth.
Moreover, the negative effects of hunger and malnutrition extend beyond health and education outcomes. Food insecurity can lead to social unrest and political instability, as seen in many countries affected by food shortages and high food prices. It can also lead to conflict, as competition for scarce resources becomes more intense. Therefore, addressing hunger and promoting food security is essential for building peaceful and stable societies.
Furthermore, SDG 2 also aims to promote sustainable agriculture, which is essential for reducing the environmental impact of food production. Unsustainable farming practices, such as the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, contribute to soil degradation and water pollution, which in turn affect food security and human health. Sustainable agriculture practices such as crop diversification, conservation farming and integrated pest management can help reduce environmental degradation and improve soil fertility, thereby improving crop yields and ensuring long-term food security.
Finally, achieving SDG 2 is essential for achieving other SDGs such as SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 4: Quality Education, and SDG 5: Gender Equality. Hunger and malnutrition are major contributors to poor health outcomes, and a lack of access to food can prevent children, especially girls, from attending school. By ensuring food security, we can improve health outcomes, increase access to education, and promote gender equality.
SDG 16, or the goal of promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, is an essential aspect of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This goal aims to ensure that all individuals have access to justice and that legal institutions are inclusive, accountable, and transparent. The goal also seeks to promote peaceful societies that are free from violence and corruption, and where human rights are respected.
SDG 16 is a crucial goal because it lays the foundation for the successful implementation of other SDGs. Without peace and security, it is impossible to achieve the other SDGs. Conflict and violence often lead to displacement, poverty, and food insecurity, which can have long-lasting effects on communities and countries. By promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, SDG 16 provides the necessary conditions for sustainable development to take place.
SDG 16 is also crucial because it ensures that legal systems are inclusive and accountable. This is essential for promoting social justice and human rights, and for ensuring that everyone is treated equally under the law. When legal systems are transparent and accountable, they provide citizens with confidence in the justice system, which is essential for promoting stability and peace.
Furthermore, SDG 16 seeks to reduce corruption, which is a significant barrier to development in many countries. Corruption can undermine the rule of law, erode public trust in government, and limit economic growth. By addressing corruption, SDG 16 contributes to promoting transparency and accountability, which are crucial for sustainable development.
In addition, SDG 16 is crucial because it promotes participatory decision-making processes that involve all members of society, including women, youth, and marginalized groups. This is essential for ensuring that development is inclusive and sustainable, and that the needs and concerns of all members of society are taken into account. When people have a say in the decisions that affect their lives, they are more likely to support and engage in sustainable development efforts.
SDG 8, also known as Decent Work and Economic Growth, is the goal of the United Nations to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. This goal aims to create a global economy that is equitable and provides opportunities for everyone, including those living in poverty and marginalized communities. SDG and SDG 8 are interconnected because they are interdependent.
SDG 8 recognizes the importance of economic growth in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development. By ensuring that economic growth is inclusive and sustainable, SDG 8 promotes the development of economies that provide opportunities for all, including those in low-income and developing countries. In addition, it recognizes that work is essential to human dignity and that everyone should have access to decent work and fair wages.
One of the key reasons why SDG 8 is important is that it is closely linked to other SDGs. The achievement of SDG 8 is essential for the success of other SDGs such as SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), and SDG 4 (Quality Education), among others. For example, by promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, SDG 8 can help reduce poverty (SDG 1), promote food security (SDG 2), improve health outcomes (SDG 3), and provide education and training opportunities (SDG 4).
SDG 8 is also important because it recognizes the importance of decent work for all. This goal emphasizes the need for work that is safe, fair, and provides fair wages and benefits. By promoting decent work, SDG 8 aims to reduce inequality and promote social and economic inclusion. It recognizes that everyone should have access to work that is safe, provides fair wages, and allows for upward mobility.
Moreover, SDG 8 promotes the creation of an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation, thereby creating new job opportunities and stimulating economic growth. This goal recognizes the importance of creating an environment that encourages private sector investment and promotes innovation, thereby fostering economic growth and job creation.
In conclusion, SDG 8 is critical to achieving the UN’s broader sustainable development agenda. It recognizes the importance of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. By promoting decent work, fair wages, and opportunities for all, SDG 8 can reduce inequality and promote social and economic inclusion. Moreover, by creating an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation, SDG 8 can stimulate economic growth, create new job opportunities, and provide a foundation for sustainable development.
SDG 4, or Quality Education, is considered one of the most important Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because it is the foundation for achieving sustainable development. Education is a fundamental human right and plays a critical role in breaking the cycle of poverty, promoting gender equality, reducing inequality, and fostering economic growth and development.
Access to quality education is essential to ensuring that individuals have the knowledge and skills necessary to lead productive and fulfilling lives. A well-educated population is better equipped to make informed decisions, participate in the democratic process, and contribute to the development of their communities and societies.
Education is also critical in achieving many of the other SDGs, such as SDG 1, No Poverty, SDG 2, Zero Hunger, and SDG 3, Good Health and Well-being. By providing individuals with the skills and knowledge to secure decent work and earn a living wage, education is essential to reducing poverty and hunger. Education is also critical to promoting good health, as it helps individuals make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Furthermore, education is crucial to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls. SDG 5, Gender Equality, cannot be achieved without ensuring that all individuals have access to quality education, regardless of their gender.
Educating girls and women can have a transformative impact on society, as it can break down gender stereotypes, increase women’s participation in the workforce, and promote women’s empowerment. Education is also essential for achieving SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth. A well-educated workforce is essential to driving economic growth and innovation. By providing individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workforce, education can help to reduce unemployment and promote sustainable economic growth.
Finally, education is critical for achieving SDG 16, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. Education is essential for promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, as it helps to promote tolerance, understanding, and respect for diversity. Education can also help to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance, which are essential for building strong and effective institutions.
SDG 12, is focused on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. It aims to promote sustainable economic growth and development by encouraging responsible and efficient use of natural resources, reducing waste generation, and promoting sustainable lifestyles. It is considered one of the most important SDGs after SDG 4, which focuses on quality education.
The importance of SDG 12 lies in the fact that unsustainable consumption and production patterns are among the leading causes of environmental degradation, resource depletion, and climate change. In order to achieve a sustainable future for all, it is critical to promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production. This involves reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency, as well as promoting sustainable lifestyles and responsible business practices.
The targets of SDG 12 are closely related to many other SDGs, including SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 14 (life below water), and SDG 15 (life on land). For instance, by promoting sustainable consumption and production, SDG 12 helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change, which is a key focus of SDG 13. Similarly, by reducing waste and pollution, SDG 12 helps to protect the health and biodiversity of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, which are the focus of SDGs 14 and 15.
In addition, SDG 12 is closely linked to economic growth and development. Sustainable consumption and production can drive economic growth by promoting resource efficiency and innovation. It can also create new business opportunities and promote job creation, which are essential for achieving SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth).
Moreover, SDG 12 is a key driver of responsible and sustainable production and consumption practices. It encourages companies and individuals to adopt sustainable production and consumption practices that promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility. This is essential for achieving SDG 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure) as it promotes sustainable economic growth and technological innovation that support the transition to a sustainable future.
SDG 11 aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. This goal recognizes the role of cities in driving economic growth and innovation and promoting social and cultural development. SDG 11 targets the improvement of the urban environment by enhancing public transport systems, providing affordable housing, and making cities more accessible and inclusive for all people. It also aims to increase the urban green space, improve air quality, and reduce the adverse impact of urbanization on the environment.
SDG 11 is important because the world’s population is rapidly urbanizing. In 2018, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2050, this figure is projected to rise to 68%, equivalent to an additional 2.5 billion people living in urban areas. The rapid growth of cities poses several challenges, including increased demand for resources, energy, and transportation infrastructure, as well as environmental degradation, pollution, and waste. SDG 11 provides a framework to address these challenges and build resilient and sustainable cities.
One of the key targets of SDG 11 is to provide affordable, safe, and sustainable transport systems for all. This target recognizes that mobility is critical to economic and social development, and that urban transport systems play a crucial role in connecting people to opportunities, goods, and services. However, the current transport system in many cities is unsustainable, with high levels of pollution, congestion, and inequality. Addressing this challenge requires a significant investment in public transport infrastructure, such as mass transit systems, bike lanes, and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, as well as promoting the use of low-emission vehicles.
Another important target of SDG 11 is to provide affordable and adequate housing for all. This target recognizes that access to safe and affordable housing is a basic human right and a prerequisite for economic and social development. However, many people in urban areas struggle to find adequate and affordable housing, which can lead to social exclusion, poverty, and homelessness. To address this challenge, SDG 11 advocates for the construction of new affordable housing units, upgrading existing informal settlements, and promoting inclusive and participatory planning and decision-making.
Finally, SDG 11 aims to enhance the resilience of cities to natural and man-made disasters. This target recognizes that cities are vulnerable to a wide range of hazards, including climate change, earthquakes, and pandemics, and that building resilience requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach. This approach includes strengthening early warning systems, improving disaster preparedness, and investing in disaster-resistant infrastructure.
SDG 13, which is “Climate Action,” is one of the most critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because it aims to combat one of the biggest threats facing humanity: climate change. The world is experiencing a growing number of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and other climate-related disasters, which pose a severe threat to people’s lives, homes, and livelihoods. Therefore, it is crucial to address climate change and its impact through SDG 13.
The goal of SDG 13 is to strengthen the resilience of people and countries to climate-related disasters and to take urgent action to combat climate change. This SDG recognizes that climate change is a global challenge that requires global action, and it calls on countries to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect vulnerable populations from the impacts of climate change.
Climate change has a significant impact on the environment, leading to biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation, and land degradation. SDG 13 aims to address these environmental challenges by promoting sustainable land use practices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting the use of renewable energy.
As the impacts of climate change are global, and therefore, addressing climate change requires international cooperation and partnerships. SDG 13 calls for partnerships between developed and developing countries, as well as between governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector, to take urgent action to combat climate change. The links with the sequence of SDG’s in order of dependency.
Lastly, SDG 13 is critical because it recognizes the need for urgent action. Climate change is a pressing issue that requires immediate action to prevent further damage to the planet and its inhabitants. By taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate-related disasters, countries can protect their citizens and safeguard the planet for future generations.
SDG 5, which aims to achieve gender equality, is a critical goal for sustainable development. After addressing SDG 13, which focuses on climate action, it is important to prioritize SDG 5 because of its potential to impact a wide range of other goals.
Gender equality is essential to achieving sustainable development because it addresses the root causes of poverty, inequality, and discrimination. When women and girls are empowered and have equal access to education, healthcare, economic opportunities, and political participation, they are better able to contribute to their families, communities, and society as a whole. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but it is also crucial for promoting economic growth, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability.
There are several reasons why SDG 5 is critical to achieving sustainable development. Firstly, achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is a key factor in reducing poverty. When women are economically empowered, they can better support their families and contribute to their communities. According to the World Bank, closing the gender gap in labor force participation could increase global GDP by $28 trillion by 2025.
Secondly, gender equality is essential for promoting social justice and reducing inequality. Women and girls are often marginalized and face discrimination in many areas of life, including education, employment, and access to healthcare. Addressing these disparities can lead to more inclusive and equitable societies.
Thirdly, gender equality is crucial for promoting environmental sustainability. Women play a critical role in natural resource management and conservation, and their involvement can lead to more sustainable use of resources and better environmental outcomes. Studies have shown that when women are involved in decision-making processes related to the environment, the resulting policies are more effective and better suited to local needs.
In addition to its intrinsic value, achieving gender equality is also essential for achieving other SDGs. For example, SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) are closely linked to gender equality, as women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty and food insecurity. SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being) is also closely linked, as gender-based violence and discrimination can have significant negative impacts on women’s health.
Furthermore, SDG 5 is closely related to SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), as gender-based violence and discrimination are major barriers to peace and security. When women are not safe and free from violence, they are unable to fully participate in society and contribute to their communities.
SDG 15 aims to protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss. It recognizes the crucial role that ecosystems and biodiversity play in providing a range of ecosystem services that support human well-being, including food, water, and clean air.
After the achievement of SDG 5, which focuses on gender equality, ensuring the protection of terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity becomes even more important. Women are known to be important agents of change in environmental conservation and biodiversity protection. By empowering women and ensuring their full participation in decision-making processes related to sustainable development, SDG 15 can be achieved more effectively. It is necessary to remember that as we address each SDG in that order or priority, all SDG’s that follow are impacted in certain percentages. This means, that as we reach this point, a lot of work has already been done to establish the framework to resolve this SDG.
Moreover, SDG 13, which focuses on climate action, has direct implications for SDG 15. Climate change is a major driver of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and its impacts are projected to intensify in the coming decades. Therefore, it is essential to take climate action to protect and conserve terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity.
SDG 3, which is focused on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages aims to ensure access to quality healthcare and medicines for all, and to reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
After the achievement of SDG 15, which focuses on protecting, restoring, and promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, it is essential to prioritize SDG 3 to ensure the well-being of individuals within these ecosystems. Environmental degradation and climate change can have a significant impact on human health, particularly in vulnerable communities. The achievement of SDG 15 alone may not be sufficient to protect the health of individuals within these ecosystems, as they may still be exposed to environmental risks that can impact their health.
Furthermore, the achievement of SDG 3 can also lead to improvements in other SDGs, particularly those related to poverty reduction (SDG 1) and education (SDG 4). Access to quality healthcare and health education can help break the cycle of poverty and improve economic productivity, ultimately contributing to poverty reduction. Additionally, promoting health education and awareness can help reduce the prevalence of communicable diseases, which can often be linked to poverty and poor living conditions.
Furthermore, the achievement of SDG 3 can also support the achievement of SDG 10, which is focused on reducing inequalities. Access to quality healthcare and medicines can help reduce the gap in health outcomes between different population groups, particularly in marginalized communities. Additionally, SDG 3 promotes universal health coverage, which can help ensure that everyone has access to healthcare regardless of their socioeconomic status.
SDG 10 is focused on reducing inequality and promoting social, economic, and political inclusion of all people, regardless of their race, gender, age, disability, or social status. It is the most important SDG after SDG 3, which is focused on good health and well-being because inequalities in health outcomes and access to healthcare are often the result of broader social and economic inequalities.
One of the main reasons why SDG 10 is so important is that it seeks to address the issue of income inequality, which is a major driver of poverty and social exclusion. According to the United Nations, income inequality has been on the rise in many countries around the world, with the top 1 percent of earners capturing a disproportionate share of economic growth. This concentration of wealth and power can undermine social cohesion, increase political instability, and perpetuate systemic discrimination and exclusion.
Furthermore, SDG 10 recognizes that inequalities are not only about income, but also about access to basic services and opportunities. For example, people with disabilities, women, and minority groups often face significant barriers to education, healthcare, and employment. This lack of access can exacerbate inequalities and perpetuate a cycle of poverty and exclusion.
Another reason why SDG 10 is important is that it recognizes the need for more inclusive and participatory decision-making processes. In many countries, marginalized groups are excluded from the political process, which can limit their ability to influence policies and programs that affect their lives. By promoting greater participation and engagement, SDG 10 seeks to empower these groups and ensure that their voices are heard.
In addition, SDG 10 is closely linked to other SDGs, particularly those related to poverty eradication, education, health, and gender equality. By addressing inequalities in these areas, SDG 10 can help to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all.
Finally, it is important to recognize that SDG 10 is not just about reducing inequalities in developing countries. Inequalities also exist in many developed countries, where people may face barriers to healthcare, education, and employment due to their race, gender, or social status. By addressing these inequalities, SDG 10 can help to create more inclusive and equitable societies around the world.
SDG 14 is focused on the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas, and marine resources. As much as it seems to be an essential goal because it is linked to the health of the planet, the livelihoods of millions of people, and the sustainability of global economic growth, it ranks last in the sequence. It seems that the fragility of the oceans and sea life is dependent on resolving all the other development goals, and only then, we will be able to secure the total conservation of oceans, seas and marine resources. This is not to say that we have to address this SDG last. As in all other SDG’s, work must be made continuously to push them as far as possible. The difference is that we will not be able to completely resolve this SDG until all others are resolved.
The oceans cover about 70% of the earth’s surface and play a critical role in regulating the climate, providing food, and supporting biodiversity. However, human activities such as overfishing, pollution, and climate change have led to a significant decline in the health of the oceans. The negative impact of these activities has affected marine ecosystems and threatened the livelihoods of the communities that depend on them.
The importance of SDG 14 is further emphasized by the fact that millions of people rely on the oceans for their livelihoods, including fishing, tourism, and shipping. However, the depletion of fish stocks due to overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution has led to a decline in the economic and social well-being of coastal communities. SDG 14, therefore, seeks to ensure the sustainable use and management of marine resources, which will, in turn, provide economic and social benefits for coastal communities.
Moreover, SDG 14 is also critical for achieving other goals, such as SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), and SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being). The ocean provides food and nutrition for millions of people globally, making SDG 14 important for ensuring food security and reducing poverty. Additionally, the ocean is a source of medicinal compounds that have been used to develop drugs for treating cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. Therefore, ensuring the health of the ocean and its resources is essential for achieving good health and well-being.
In conclusion, the dependency order seems to be critical. If we do not come up with sustainable strategies for each of these SDG’s along the way, and one SDG at the top is hindered, it will subsequently undo a lot of the progress that another dependent SDG would have made. For example, if we made strides to resolve SDG 7 (energy), and we falter on SDG 17 (Partnership), and a war breaks out on a level that hinders energy production, then SDG 7 will undo much of the progress made on SDG17, and so on. The upstream dependency is also not in the same order, and that would have to be a different article. But to show you the initial findings, the sequence is so far as follows from most dependent to least dependent:
SDG9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 15: Life on Land
SDG 14: Life Below Water
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 10: Reduced Inequality
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
SDG 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
As it is evident, it is not simply a reversal of the dependent SDG’s, but rather follows a different logic based on multifaceted criteria.
In conclusion, there needs to be policy action on prioritizing sustainable development goals, and funds allocated according to a sequence that generates the most efficient and most sustainable path to achieve these goals.