Photo: World Bank Group
By committing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), countries pledge to pursue progress on economic, social, and environmental targets, in a balanced and integrated manner. The SDGs are cross-cutting and ambitious, and require a shift in how we work in partnership. They also push us to significantly change the level of both public and private investment in all countries.
We need creative solutions to leverage each partner’s comparative advantage. We also need to mobilize private sector investment and innovation in support of the SDGs.
SDGs and Beyond
Depuis cinq ans, la communauté internationale observe la Journée internationale des forêts le 21 mars. Cette journée est l'occasion de rendre hommage aux forêts et aux arbres en se rappelant les nombreux bénéfices économiques et sociaux qu’ils apportent à l'humanité. Depuis que je suis devenu président de la Fondation mondiale du cacao en juillet 2016, j'ai accordé beaucoup d'attention aux forêts d'Afrique de l'Ouest, première région de production mondiale de cacao. Ces forêts tropicales, et d'autres dans le monde entier, jouent un rôle indispensable dans la lutte contre le changement climatique en stockant du carbone. Elles répondent également à des besoins vitaux au niveau local, en régulant les températures, en aidant à générer des précipitations et en purifiant l'air et l'eau. Des forêts saines aident les communautés rurales à prospérer. Le paradoxe est que, au cours des dix dernières années, ces forêts indispensables ont été abattues à un rythme alarmant en Côte d'Ivoire et au Ghana. Les producteurs de cacao, confrontés à des défis tels que la baisse des prix, le changement climatique et la faible productivité, veulent augmenter la superficie des terres sur lesquelles ils cultivent le cacao. La cacaoculture, essentielle pour produire une de nos gourmandises favorites, le chocolat, est maintenant considérée comme un facteur majeur de déforestation dans ces pays.
- SDGs and Beyond
Peace – something that many of us take for granted in our own lives – is elusive for millions of people around the world, including in southern Philippines. Long-standing conflict between the government and rebel groups, and a complicated patchwork of clan and family conflicts, has led to decades of economic stagnation and poverty in one of the Philippines’ most beautiful and productive regions – Mindanao. A peace process is hopefully nearing its conclusion and is expected to bring autonomy and with it, greater opportunities for peace and development to the people of the Bangsamoro.
The Philippines is a middle-income country – with GDP at $2,953 per capita and a robust economy, with almost 96% enrollment rate in basic education, and improving health indicators such as child mortality; overall the country is doing well. But these numbers mask sharp regional contrasts: in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) the GDP per capita is only $576 – equivalent to countries like Rwanda and Afghanistan – the poverty rate is 53.7%, and more than 50% of its employed population are in agriculture with 80% of them working as subsistence farmers, living precariously from crop to crop. One crop failure can mean ruin for a family.
Rapid urbanization in the Philippines has brought new jobs, educational opportunities, and better living conditions for some. However, it has also brought challenges, which you’ll see when you move around the streets of Metro Manila. It’s a large sprawling metropolitan area of over 12 million, with congestion that is estimated to cost US$70 million (₱3.5 billion) a day. When it rains, streets and homes are quickly flooded because many drains are clogged or non-existent. Because of lack of affordable housing, an estimated 11 percent of the city’s population live in slums. With 17 cities and municipalities in the metropolitan area, trying to tackle these challenges becomes stuck in deep complexities of urban governance and management. While other cities in the Philippines don’t face the scale of these challenges, they tackle similar issues.
Before I set foot in this beautiful country, I was told the story of Siv Mao and her newborn baby.
Last year, Siv Mao, a young woman from a village in northern Cambodia gave birth to a boy after an emergency Caesarean section at a new hospital in her province’s capital.
The boy was named Rith Samnang “Lucky” for a good reason: without the doctors and modern equipment in the new 16 Makara Hospital in Preah Vihear, he wouldn’t have been able to survive.
The traditional midwife had difficulty assisting the birth at her home, and other hospitals were far away.
Baby Lucky is a symbol of Cambodia’s development success in the last decade: the country has gone a long way in improving economic and social conditions for its people, especially the poorest.
I work in one of the most rewarding fields imaginable – helping low- and middle-income countries develop so that poor people have a fair chance at reaching their full potential. My field of work is at a critical crossroads, and it is no exaggeration that the decisions we make this year will have an impact on everyone in the world and especially the poorest.
In September 2000, world leaders committed to the Millennium Development Goals.
Until then, few dared to imagine goals such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, universalizing access to education or reducing maternal mortality would be possible. Now, with 500 days left before the end of 2015, the MDGs are less a leap of imagination and more of a challenge that many leaders feel is within reach.
Last month, it was time for the project's third phase: a competition to surface new ideas for mass transit options, road safety and mobility information. This event, called the MueveTT Innovation Challenge, brought together 14 teams of people to brainstorm ways for the government, companies, universities, organizations, citizens, and others to work together toward the vision of smart cities.