The United Nations Organization recently released its 6th Global Environment Outlook ( GEO 2019). The report substantially contains sound scientific knowledge that policy and decision makers can use as guide in steering national and local governments, as well as business organizations and every citizen, toward building a truly sustainable world by year 2050.
The organization brought together hundreds of scientists and peer reviewers who collaborated with partners and institutions. To which the underlying purpose is to come up with useful information in achieving the previously established Sustainable Development Goals and the Internationally Agreed Environment Goals as embodied in the Paris Agreement.
Goal of the 2019 GEO: “Healthy Planet, Healthy People”
This year’s GEO goal is based on the premise that in order to make the planet healthier, inhabitants particularly the people residing in it, must lead healthy lifestyles. Yet as the report states, people’s opportunities in life depend on what are afforded to them as sustainable economic and social prosperity, which in most cases are not at all equal. The reality is that there are disparities in wealth and income.
Therefore recognition must be made that economic, social and environmental aspects are bound to each other. Poverty, inequality and gender discrimination, resulting to sizable loss of human productivity, does not contribute to the present innovations required for living sustainable lives.
Previous GEOs have provided evidence that there is pollution, environmental degradation, climate changes, and resource depletion, which the 2019 GEO recognizes as having links to disparities in income and wealth.
Inequality here is also in terms of global locations in which poverty of a population as results of violent conflicts or wars, cultural erosion, poor governance, resistance to globalization and similar conditions that can impoverish a nation. The key indication of the linkage is the need to create a new framework for sustainability that embraces all factors as integral parts; for all aspects and in all levels of sustainable development, be it global, regional and national.
Understanding the 2019 GEO Report
Based on our understanding of the 2019 GEO Report, the ability of a population to contribute to attainment of sustainable goals depends on the economic, social and environmental conditions present in the region. It is as simple as saying that if a large part of the population making up the region cannot afford to buy sustainble products that can lessen, if not eliminate plastic wastes that contribute to pollution, that region cannot be expected to contribute to the attainment of sustainability goals.
A sustainable product as simple as a glass baby feeding bottle, is not a popular choice to replace the non-biodegradable plastic bottles if majority of households in that region cannot afford to buy the sustainable kind. More so the latest best bottles for anti colic innovation, which can make caring for infants less difficult. Often times, a mother has to stay home to care for the baby, frequently foregoing opportunities to earn additional income that could improve the economic condition of the family.
Based on premises similar to the example provided above, the 2019 GEO calls on policy and decision makers, not to singly consider economic, social or environmental impact. Mainly because such elements share a natural link. That if the imoact of one is overlooked, goals to create healthier lifestyle for the people cannot be achieved, and therefore impede actions and innovations designed toward building a healthy environment populated by healthy people.