What is SDGs?
In the modern world we live in, challenges on a global scale such as climate change, natural disasters, communicable diseases, and conflicts strongly affect the economy, the environment, and society at large. Rapidly advancing urbanization and the ageing of society are among various newer issues that also need to be addressed. It is apparent that dealing with these varied challenges will not be possible without international cooperation on a broad scale.
Reflecting this situation, a new agenda was passed at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 under the title "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", also known simply as the "Agenda 2030". This agenda was adopted in an effort to define universal goals that must be tackled jointly by the developed countries including Japan and the developing countries. A collection of 17 goals to be achieved by 2030 was defined. These Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs each comprise a number of specific targets, totaling 169. The objectives of the SDGs are interrelated and mutually indivisible. Their achievement requires integrated and harmonized global efforts in the economic, social and environmental dimensions.
The sub-theme of the Agenda 2030 is "Transforming our world" which points towards the need for countries around the world including Japan to take “the bold and transformative steps” urgently to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient development path and thereby achieve the SDGs. These goals therefore represent a consensus: they are accepted by all countries and apply to all. In Japan, in order to comprehensively and effectively realize the SDGs, a Cabinet body called the SDGs Promotion Headquarters headed by the Prime Minister and composed of all ministers was established in May 2016. After an extensive exchange of opinions involving a wide range of experts, the body formulated its SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles in December 2016. These principles embody the following vision: "Be the champion of sustainable and resilient society in which no one is left behind. ...Be a leader in creating a better future, in which the three dimensions of sustainable development, namely, economic, social, and environmental are improved in an integrated manner." The aim is to take the initiative in the implementation of measures to achieve SDGs and make efforts both in Japan and in cooperation with other countries to achieve sustainable societies.
For promoting SDGs domestically, the SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles states that "Local governments and other local stakeholders are absolutely essential to the nationwide implementation of SDGs-related measures." Aiming to implement the actions for SDGs, the Japanese government strongly promotes the idea of harnessing regional creativity and engagement throughout Japan so that it could also accelerate vitalization of local economy.
17 Goals are as follows:
Sustainable Development Goals
Kansai SDGs Platform supports the SDGs