Interviewed in Forbes on Towards a Better World

Terry Waghorn from Katerva interviewed me for Forbes.



Terry Waghorn: These new Global Goals for Sustainable Development will replace the Millennium Development Goals at the beginning of 2016 – what is the difference between the Global Goals and the Millennium Development Goals and why should we care?

Felix Dodds: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were a result of the Millennium Declaration Heads of State agreed to in 2000. The MDGs were developed afterward by experts and focused action in eight areas only for developing countries. By 2011, it was clearer that in the future there couldn’t be any development which was not sustainable development and that ALL countries needed to redress their development to keep it within what we were now calling planetary boundaries.

The approach by economists to the environment has been to treat it as a free resource until it was polluted or used up. For example, the Living Planet Index shows a decline of 52 percent in biodiversity in the last 35 years. We were seeing a crisis in so many areas – another example being that two-thirds of the world’s fish stocks are either fished at their limit or overfished. Climate change is already being impacted across the planet with changes in weather patterns. The list could go on and does a. As governments started to realize the extent of the challenges we were facing, it became clearer that the only way forward was through an agreed global plan. Hence the 17 Global Goals and the 169 targets.

They are different than the MDGs because they apply to every country, and they don’t just address development, but also economic and environmental issues and also governance. They particularly address the causes rather than what the MDGs did, which was to address the symptoms.

Waghorn: The 17 Global Goals cover such a wide range of issues is it possible to address them all?

Dodds: This will need to be a partnership between governments and stakeholders none of us can do it alone but together working to this new blueprint, which we all contributed to create. The September meeting was the first UN Conference I have gone to where there was no condemnation of the outcome by NGOs, because we were partners in the creation of the agenda. We have our marching orders and now we need to focus on creating partnerships to implement at the local, state and national levels. It’s a very exciting time to be engaged in sustainable development.

The interview continues here.





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