No one is excluded! The Agenda 2030: A New Blueprint

Why Gaia?

In the 1970s, Chemist James Lovelock introduced the Gaian theory, which posits that the Earth is a living planet, a single living organism. Every element of life on earth creates and maintains the conditions of life. Humans, in this vision, are not detached from Nature but are part of it. We reflected on how this vision aligned with GaiaLux’s mission, hence the name (some extra reading).

GaiaLux is an initiative dedicated to resources and education for sustainability, with the vision that we are all one family. At GaiaLux, we advocate for sustainable living and equitable resource distribution. We believe in the inclusivity of all beings and the interconnectivity of life on Earth and we think that the Agenda 2030 can provide a powerful blueprint to this mission.

What is the Agenda 2030?

The United Nations’ Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is a global action plan for people, planet, and prosperity. It covers all vital dimensions of human and ecosystem well-being: social, economic, ecological, and worldwide culture. The Agenda was set by Member States of the United Nations on 25 September 2015 to improve our planet and living beings’ conditions. It is composed of 17 Goals with 169 Targets to be accomplished by 2030.

The road to the Agenda 2030

The Agenda 2030 has a long history and it draws on the United Nations’ blueprint Millenium Development Goals set at the UN World Summit in 2002. With respect to the MDGs (eight goals to be achieved by 2015), the SDGs broaden the look to include the well-off countries from the North globe and improve the social and environmental components.

4-dimensions approach to Sustainability

The Agenda 2030 is a global action plan for people, planet, and prosperity, covering all the important dimensions of human and ecosystem well-being:

Social, economic, ecological, and Empowerment&Action

The 5 principles of the Agenda 2030

The five principles of Sustainability, as advocated by Agenda 2030, are Universality, Inclusiveness, Interconnectedness and Invisibility, Leaving no one behind, and Multi-stakeholder Partnership. These principles aim for a world where everyone has access to essential services, education, and a clean and functioning ecosystem. They are the bedrock of social and economic well-being.

The concept of ‘prosperity ‘ in the Agenda 2030

Although reference is still made – here and there – to the traditional concept of “growth” (see SDG 8 for example), the 2030 Agenda opens up a new vision of ‘well-being’ as a multidimensional concept. Have a look at the essential dimensions of a fulfilled and happy life. Nowadays, economists have started to enlarge the approach to well-being, going beyond the strictly economic material consumption measured by the GDP. However, our economic policies and data monitoring are still struggling to incorporate this new vision.

One of the notable innovation of the Agenda 2030 is SDG 10

Economic equality in society positively impacts the care for our environment and support for policies favoring the environment. A clean and preserved environment benefits everyone, especially the less affluent who heavily depend on natural resources for their living and are the most affected by pollution and climate-related extreme events.

The ‘Wedding-cake’ approach to the Agenda 2030

Environmentalists from the Stockholm Resilience Center propose a slightly different lens to the SDGs: a vision that emphasizes the funding role of the Biosphere which provides living beings the essential life-supporting ecosystem services, such as a hospitable climate, clean water, food, fiber, and many others good and services. In this vision, we are all integral parts of the living being system.

The Ecosystem is essential to our Well-being

The Ecosystem provides essential life-supporting services to living beings; Essential material, clean water and energy resources, sinking function to absorbe the waste produced by our economy and our daily life, priceless source of recreation, beauty, spiritual values, and other amenities.

The cost associated with the use of Nature has been traditionally named as ‘externalities’. This term carries the inference that Natural resources are infinite and can be used in unlimited way. 

How does our daily lifestyle play an impact on the Biosphere?

We contribute to the degradation of our Ecosystem – which is in turn so detrimental to our well-being – in many ways…directly and indirectly…

The SDGs review framework

To track the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets, a global indicator framework was established by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) in March 2017. The framework has 231 unique indicators which are complemented by indicators developed by the member states at the regional and national levels. These indicators serve as a measure of our progress towards achieving the SDGs. Tracking the progress of the SDGs is essential in ensuring we are on the right path towards achieving a sustainable future. The High-Level Political Forum, established in 2012, meets annually for eight days with a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level.

SDG Tracker

SDG and Me

More food for thoughts

How does our lifestyle contribute to the Ecosystem’s degradation?

Who makes my goodies?

How climate change is affecting people around the globe?

Planetary boundaries

The flow chart shows the main most critical planetary boundaries and describes how humans have impacted on the Earth biophysical integrity since Olocene. The flow chart show all the interactive forces in place. Authors report only the biophisical interactions that they were able to measure.

  1. Climate change, mainly caused by the alteration of the C02 cycle, but also Methan, Nitrogen, Florine gasses.
  2. Ocean acidification.
  3. Ozone layer depletion.
  4. Nitragen and Fluorine cycles alteration.
  5. Fresh water cycle alteration.
  6. Land system degrade.