It's already half-time – SDGs of Agenda 2030

In 2023 the world is at halftime in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On current trends, one thing becomes clear: We’re at halftime but nowhere near halfway. In the face of global crises and geopolitical conflicts, the path to sustainability has recently even been backward. Still, there are seven years left to turn the tide. Time to ask ourselves: so far, what has been achieved and what needs to happen to ensure that the SDGs can be kept?

Dr Christine Chemnitz, Director Agora Agrar, takes stock of the progress made in implementing the goals and its different dimensions - focusing SDG 1 and 2. Sten Schurer and Kilian Blumenthal, Water and Energy for Food (WE4F), take a look at SDG 6 and 7, which are dedicated to water, sanitation and energy. Connecting consumption, production and food security, Dr Bettina von Reden, Fairtrade Germany, reports on SDG 12. Dr Alisher Mirzabaev, Center for Development Research (ZEF), comments on the climate targets of SDG 13. SDG 14 and 15 address life under water and on land - a review is given by Julian Münster, GIZ, on marine resources and Dr Fergus Sinclair, IACGR, on ecosystems.

"At the halfway mark of the 2030 Agenda, results are sobering. If we continue as we are today, hundreds of millions of people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030. But despite the setbacks caused by Covid19, conflicts and climate change, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are and remain a global achievement and an indispensable compass for our actions."

- Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

What about the specific targets? – Opinions on different SDGs

With the Agenda 2030, the global community has set itself 17 goals for a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable future ensuring the pledge to leave no one behind. But what's the score on different targets? And which approaches and ideas are already contributing to a sustainable future for all?

SDG 5 – Leave no women behind

By 2030, all forms of discrimination against women and girls worldwide should be ended, according to SDG 5. However, the involvement of women* is crucial to achieve the goals against poverty and hunger: SDG 1 and SDG 2. Therefore, policies must be designed with women's* empowerment in mind, says Sara Worku, coordinator of the Alliance 2015 in Ethiopia. In an interview with journalist Jan Rübel, she talks about the importance of access and why SDG 5 offers an important space for gender equality.

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SDG 6 – Water scarcity in agriculture, an accessibility issue?

Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) concerns availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation. Water and sanitation are essential for sustainable development, providing a range of services which underpin poverty reduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. Sten Schurer, Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) on the problem of water scarcity and possible solutions for improved access to water.

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SDG 7 – How to achieve a succesful energy transition in East Africa?

Everyone should have access to affordable, reliable and modern energy - these are the objectives of SDG7 on energy. But how can an energy transition be achieved that also promotes sustainable agricultural and food systems? An example from East Africa by Kilian Blumenthal, Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Kenya.

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Ms von Reden, does SDG12 mean renouncing consumption?

Sustainable Development Goal 12 calls for sustainable production and consumption by 2030, which is what the certification organization Fairtrade Germany is dedicated to. But how far are we from reaching this goal, and what has already been achieved? Bettina von Reden talks about diversity, renunciation and more awareness.

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SDG 14 – Living aquatic resources as part of the food system

Life below water – that’s the title of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14. The aim is to protect this life and its unique ecosystems through the sustainable use of the oceans and their resources. Having healthy oceans, as well as seas and rivers, is fundamental to the livelihoods and balanced diets of millions of people who rely on fish and other aquatic foodstuffs. A stocktacking by Julian Münster, GIZ.

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