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Scotland’s progress on sustainable development lays backdrop for country’s recovery

Today, 30 July 2020, we have welcomed the Scottish Government's landmark review of the progress Scotland has made in delivering the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. 

The review was developed in partnership with SDG Network Scotland, of which we are a member and is a coalition of over 500 organisations and individuals. The review provides the most detailed and honest analysis to date of any nation within the UK on progress towards the SDGs. Its contributors urge ‘leaders and champions from all areas of Scottish society, including children and young people,’ to make the choice to join them to drive the sustainable development agenda forward. 

Scotland is making good progress but the report also highlights a number of gaps and challenges for the country that existed before the pandemic and suggests how we can move forward. Now in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of a global approach to a green and just recovery is further heightened, and Scotland’s role in this is crucial.

The report makes the case that the Scottish Government can do more to ensure all policy action complements and promotes sustainable development aspirations, not least through further work aligning Scotland’s National Outcomes to the SDGs to ensure the country does not lose sight of where it needs to get to by 2030.

Paul Bradley, Coordinator of the SDG Network, said, "The timing of the publication of this review could not be more important, as Scotland plans to build back better and aim for a sustainable future. Through this network organisations and individuals have come together in partnership with the Scottish Government to show their commitment to creating a fairer and healthier planet, and I would encourage more to join the coalition to continue this important work.” 

On welcoming the publication of the report Catherine Gee, our Operations Director said:

“The ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals have never been more important.  We’ve all experienced the health benefits of our local environments during the global pandemic and with the interconnected social, health and justice benefits of a greener more sustainable recovery are clear to see.  Great work has been carried out in Scotland to support the delivery of the 17 SDGs but much more needs to be done. We’ll all benefit if we use the SDGs as a framework for further action, and we will continue to support the Network to make sure we see a clear commitment to ongoing monitoring of progress not just a one-off report.”

You can access the full Scottish Government report here and read more about our work to meet the ambitions of the SDGs in our annual review.

30 July 2020

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