Press release

New report offers comprehensive overview of progress on environment Millennium Development Goal

WINNIPEG—June 2 2015—A new and comprehensive overview of progress on Millennium Development Goal number 7 (MDG-7), Ensuring Environmental Sustainability, based on official indicators and data, has just been released.

June 1, 2015

WINNIPEG—June 2 2015—A new and comprehensive overview of progress on Millennium Development Goal number 7 (MDG-7), Ensuring Environmental Sustainability, based on official indicators and data, has just been released.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), with the support of the United National Environment Programme (UNEP) has just released a report, Global Goals and the Environment: Progress and prospects, that, relying on statistical evidence, pinpoints which goals and targets have been met, by when and where, and in what areas progress has been inadequate compared to national baselines. The research found connections clearly showing that healthy ecosystems are a prerequisite to meeting some of the most essential goals of global development. Protecting the integrity of forests, maintaining the health of fish stocks and keeping the ozone layer intact are of fundamental, not tangential, importance for human well-being. This is particularly the case for the poorest and most vulnerable populations, who are the most likely to directly depend on the provisions of these aspects of the environment for their well-being and often survival. Efforts to reduce extreme poverty are inseparable from efforts to keep ecosystems and environmental conditions healthy and robust.

A shareable infographic that summarizes the report is also available here.

The report found perhaps the strongest evidence of this relationship in the global goals related to reducing maternal mortality and the need for improving sanitation facilities. Data from sub-Saharan Africa show that countries successful in improving access to clean water and sanitation tend to also show significant improvement in maternal health, a finding also supported by more detailed literature on the interconnections of these factors.

Finally, results based on the analysis of MDG-7 performance support the view that strong environmental goals are a must for meeting some of the key human development objectives.

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target year of 2015—form a blueprint agreed to by all of the world’s countries and the world’s leading development institutions. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a proposed set of targets relating to future international development that will replace the MDGs once they expire at the end of 2015. The SDGs were first formally discussed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (Rio+20).

For more information please contact Sumeep Bath at or +1 (204) 958 7740 (in Canada).

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.

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