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Scotland’s progress on sustainable development lays backdrop for country’s recovery

Mon 3rd August 2020 - News, Sustainable Development Goals

This week, the Scottish Government published its landmark review of the progress Scotland has made in delivering the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. 

The review was developed in partnership with SDG Network Scotland, a coalition of over 500 organisations and individuals including Learning for Sustainability Scotland, and provides the most detailed and honest analysis to date of any nation within the UK on progress towards the SDGs. Its contributors urge ‘leaders and champions from all areas of Scottish society, including children and young people,’ to make the choice to join them to drive the sustainable development agenda forward. 

Scotland is making good progress but the report also highlights a number of gaps and challenges for the country that existed before the pandemic and suggests how we can move forward. Now in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of a global approach to a green and just recovery is further heightened, and Scotland’s role in this is crucial.

The report makes the case that the Scottish Government can do more to ensure all policy action complements and promotes sustainable development aspirations, not least through further work aligning Scotland’s National Outcomes to the SDGs to ensure the country does not lose sight of where it needs to get to by 2030.

Rehema White, Chair of Learning for Sustainability Scotland said:

As a UN Centre, we are aware that global aspirations are usually pursued by local and national bodies. The UN SDGs are the responsibility of everyone. This review is an excellent example of how a network of individuals and organisations can work together with government to assess progress against the SDGs. This review is only the first step, but it is a significant one in considering how we can address inequalities, protect the environment and stimulate prosperity in Scotland.

Paul Bradley, Coordinator of the SDG network, said:

“The timing of the publication of this review could not be more important, as Scotland plans to build back better and aim for a sustainable future. Through this network organisations and individuals have come together in partnership with the Scottish Government to show their commitment to creating a fairer and healthier planet, and I would encourage more to join the coalition to continue this important work.”