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Sustainable Development Goals

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global agenda, adopted by countries in 2015, with a vision of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. 

The 17 SDGs and 169 targets are part of what is known as the 2030 Agenda, which recognizes "that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development." In adopting the agenda, countries resolved to take the "bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind."

The goals and targets are universal, meaning they apply to all countries around the world, not just poor countries. Reaching the goals requires action on all fronts – governments, businesses, civil society and people everywhere all have a role to play.

To learn more about efforts to implement the SDGs around the world, visit IISD’s SDG Knowledge Hub

  • Blog
    Ensuring Access to Water and Sanitation for All: What SDG 6 wants to achieve and why it matters

    Ensuring Access to Water and Sanitation for All: What SDG 6 wants to achieve and why it matters

    This World Water Day, we take a look at Sustainable Development Goal 6 ("ensure access to water and sanitation for all") and explain what it is meant to acheive, and why it matters.

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  • Blog
    Four Ways Cities are Localizing the SDGs

    Four Ways Cities are Localizing the SDGs

    Four cities in North America are working to track how well their citizens are doing against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more.

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  • Policy Brief
    Measuring Winnipeggers' Convenient Access to Public Transit

    Measuring Winnipeggers' Convenient Access to Public Transit

    IISD has developed a method to track convenient access to public bus transit in Winnipeg, in Canada and globally. 

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  • Commentary
    The End of the Line? How to save our fish

    The End of the Line? How to save our fish

    Target 14.6 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls on the WTO for the elimination of subsidies that contribute to overexploitation of fisheries by 2020. Mark Halle explains why this matters, and where we need to go from here.

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  • Policy Brief
    Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities: SDG 8

    Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities: SDG 8

    IISD’s SDG Indicator Portal tracks SDG progress in 13 cities across Canada. The third brief in this series provides an overview of SDG 8—promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all—across cities in Canada.

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  • Briefing Note
    Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities: SDG 3

    Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities: SDG 3

    This briefing note is the second in the series Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities which reviews data from 14 Canadian cities found on the IISD-SDG Indicator Portal.

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  • Briefing Note
    Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities: SDG 1

    Tracking the SDGs in Canadian Cities: SDG 1

    The first brief in this series provides an overview of SDG 1—ending poverty in all its forms everywhere—across cities in Canada.

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  • Blog
    Disaggregated Data is Essential to Leave No One Behind

    Disaggregated Data is Essential to Leave No One Behind

    If we are to truly achieve the SDGs—and be sure to"leave no one behind"—we need the kind of complete picture that only disaggregated data can provide.

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  • Blog
    Why Innovation Is Critical to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

    Why Innovation Is Critical to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

    The SDGs are interconnected and complex. We are working to tackle that problem head-on while developing innovative approaches to achieving them.

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  • Guidebook
    Practice Guide to Auditing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Gender equality

    Practice Guide to Auditing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Gender equality

    This guide is the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation’s first methodology focused on SDGs and was produced in collaboration with IISD and Women Deliver, and with funding from Global Affairs Canada as part of its support of the Foundation’s International Legislative Oversight Program. 

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