Opening Panel: Paving the way for the Sustainable Development Goals in Practice
SDG(s) in Focus: Goal #5, 17
One of the biggest strengths of the SDGs is that they provide a common language to address some of the most pressing challenges we face - not only between different geographies, but between different sectors and stakeholders. But five years into Agenda 2030, is this common language actually bridging any gaps? Is this “language”, and participating in this conversation accessible for all?
In many cases, sustainability as a concept has been co opted by the private sector, at times merely replicating existing power structures and excluding those that paved the groundwork for these goals to exist, such as Indigenous people, among others. While the global main stage may often exclude these groups, there is a lot to learn from the many people actively engaging with the goals in practice across Canada and the world. If the legacy of Agenda 2030 is to be more than a marketing exercise, we need an approach that centers the work of these local communities, national and local governments, Indigenous peoples, as well as the fundamental inclusion of women, non-profit, and private stakeholders alike.