7. Ensure environmental sustainability


7.A) Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse the loss of environmental resources.

7.B) Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss.

7.C) Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

7.D) By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.


Goal 7


As noted in the 2010 United Nations Report, globally the process of deforestation has been slowing down, despite the relentless pace of deforestation in some countries in Africa and South America. Recent years have witnessed ambitious reforestation programmes (mostly in Asian countries) that have led to the plantation of more than 7 million hectares of new forest per year.

South America and Africa struggle to achieve the 7th MDG "Ensure environmental sustainability", indeed they register the largest net losses in forests, at just under 4 million and 3.4 million hectares per year respectively over the period 2000–2010, whilst in Asia, a net gain of some 2.2 million hectares annually in the last decade has been recorded, mainly due to the large-scale reforestation programmes under way in China, India and Vietnam. Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have not declined, with an increase of 3.2% registered in the last year recorded.

Per capita emissions remain at their highest in the most developed regions, with emissions of around 12 metric tonnes of CO2 per person per year in 2007, compared to an average of around 3 metric tonnes per person in developing countries, and an average of only 0.9 tonnes of emissions in sub-Saharan Africa. The decline in global CO2 emissions registered in 2009 as a result of the economic crisis appears to have been short-lived. It is estimated, to the contrary, that the rate of growth in emissions is set to increase, with a rise of 65% from 1990 rates anticipated to the year 2020. In terms of access to safe drinking water, data reveals on the one hand, a reduction in the gap between rural and urban areas. On the other hand, the figures also show a distinct lack of progress in the urban areas of developing countries, in which access to safe drinking water remained almost unchanged between 1990 and 2008.

Even more alarming statistics were presented at the last meeting of the African Development Bank in Portugal in June 2011. The most disturbing results were recorded once again in sub-Saharan Africa, where approximately 40% of the population were still found to lack access to safe drinking water and 69% to modern health facilities. The situation is even worse in rural areas, where 53% of the population lacks access to safe drinking water and 76% lacks access to adequate sanitation.



Fao and the Eight Millennium Development Goals
Green Peace
UNDP - MDGs overview
United Nations The Millennium Development Goal. Report 2010, New York 2010