SDGs report card is out, and Asia-Pacific is failing

Asia-Pacific region is failing to meet targets for almost two-thirds of the SDGs, says a UN report on the progress of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2017, released last month.

In 2015, UN member countries agreed on a set of 17 global goals that would be achieved by 2030. Under each of the 17 goals, there are also specific targets to be measured by certain indicators. 

The UN progress report for the Asia-Pacific region shows that out of 57 sustainable development targets, the region is lagging behind on 37; seven targets are considered in "a deteriorating situation", according to the report released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-Escap) in May 2018. 

In her foreword, Shamshad Akhtar, the UN's under-secretary-general and Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific states: "At the regional level, satisfactory progress has been made towards eradicating poverty (Goal 1) and promoting good health and wellbeing (Goal 3). But at the current rate of progress, only Goal 4 focused on achieving quality education and lifelong learning opportunities will be met". 

Environmental inadequacy

Since 2015, there has been a deterioration in the health of the Asia-Pacific's oceans. Measures to conserve and sustainably use ocean, sea and marine resources (Goal 14) need to be strengthened. The report finds there has been no progress made towards protecting, restoring and promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (Goal 15). 

The news about the region's forests is also dire: The protection of forest areas and the reduction in degradation of natural habitats has weakened at the regional level since 2015. In terms of biodiversity loss, "the whole region is regressing". 

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