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Goal #7Environmental Sustainability
Introduction

Reducing poverty and achieving sustained development must be done in conjunction with a healthy planet. The Millennium Goals recognize that environmental sustainability is part of global economic and social well-being. Unfortunately exploitation of natural resources such as forests, land, water, and fisheries-often by the powerful few-have caused alarming changes in our natural world in recent decades, often harming the most vulnerable people in the world who depend on natural resources for their livelihood.

The Targets

Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
  • Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
  • Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020.

Did You Know?

In our world today around 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation and some 1.2 billion people do not have access to an improved source of water. (Source:Why do the Millennium Development Goals matter? Brochure)

Achieving the Goals

In 2007 Madagascar’s government established 15 new conservation areas covering over 2.65 million acres of wildlife. The new parks will protect several threatened ecosystems including wetlands and rain forests.

Read the full story from National Geographic

Goal News

The UK and Netherlands, together with the World Bank, today announced funding
of up to £3 million (Euro 4 million) for a new research study that will
support developing countries to prepare for climate change.

The two governments will jointly fund the research study which will help
developing countries understand the costs of adaptation and how to prepare
for the impacts of climate change.

The joint announcement by Netherlands Development Minister Bert Koenders,
UK Environment Minister Phil Woolas and World Bank Director of Environment,


Climate change and global poverty are the key global justice challenges of our times. Both are serious challenges to the future health and prosperity of our planet. They must be combated simultaneously; we cannot take care of one before addressing the other. An effective attack on poverty and the ill-effects of climate change requires taking comprehensive action that encompasses both issues.


Small island States today called on industrialized countries to take a leadership role at the Bali Climate Change Conference and adopt targets to keep the world from warming past the point where catastrophic impacts would occur.

“No island should be left behind,” said Angus Friday of Grenada, the Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States. These vulnerable countries, he said, are already feeling the impact of climate change in the form of more hurricanes, cyclone and typhoons.


As he prepares to depart for the landmark United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged world leaders at the meeting – which he characterized as a “test of our collective will” – to negotiate an agenda to create a new deal to tackle global warming.

“Our ultimate goal is a comprehensive agreement on climate change that all nations can embrace,” he told reporters in New York, voicing hope that the Conference will yield a “roadmap to a better future.”


New Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, affirmed the importance of the Millennium Development Goals in his first press conference since the Federal election.

When describing his post-election conversations with world leaders, Mr Rudd declared that climate change and the challenge of achieving the Millennium Development Goals were two key areas he wished to work on.