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Sustainable Development Goals E-InventorySustainable Development Goals E-Inventory

Crowdsourcing proposals for post-2015 to feed into the intergovernmental process on SDGs
Overarching proposal
Individual goal
  • Proposals
  • Comments
    Sustainable systems in the post-2015 development agenda: Keeping societies, economies and ecosystems resilientFoster the resilience of societies Foster the resilience of economies Encourage the self-regulation processes of ecosystems Safeguard and strengthen the resilience of the eco-social triad
International Expert Group on Earth System Preservation (IESP)
Sector/Stakeholder Type:
Research/Academia,Scientific & Technology Community
Location of author:
Date of publication:
Proposal : Sustainable systems in the post-2015 development agenda: Keeping societies, economies and ecosystems resilient

Summary : The purpose of sustainable development is to prevent natural and societal systems from collapse and to preserve their services for future generations. To prevent collapse a new balance must be found that takes into account the three dimensions of sustainability science: society, economy and ecosystems. This can be achieved by keeping this eco-social triad and its subsystems in a state of resilience.
Gain of advanced knowledge (science), transfer of knowledge and skills (education and training), encouragement of creativity as well as moral values must be guiding principles for setting sustainable development goals and their implementation.
Resilience is maintained as long as the eco-social triad and its sub-systems keep a strong ability to respond dynamically to disruption, making them able to bounce back to a balanced state when the ambient conditions are changing. This adaptive process preserves the systems functionality and integrity. It drives sustainable development processes.
In the case of ecosystems, adjustment to changing environmental conditions is taken care of by self-regulation processes. In social and economic systems self-regulation is to a large extent substituted by intentional actions based on fundamental knowledge, but also on skills, experience, wisdom, will, sense of responsibility and courage.

Thematic Area(s):
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Goal : Foster the resilience of societies

Targets and Indicators:
  • Target 1.1 Improvement of cognitive understanding of societal systems and dissemination of the respective knowledge achieved.
  • Target 1.2 Guarantee of equal rights and social justice independent of gender, race, religion or ethnicity.
  • Target 1.3 Alleviation and eventual eradication of poverty.
  • Target 1.4 Development of innovative methods of building the capacity to overcome global threats.
  • Target 1.5 Implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation (HRWS) through generally accepted measures based on the principle of progressive realization.
  • Target 1.6 Reduction of population growth through voluntary means.
  • Target 1.7 Development of guidelines for human behavior based on moral values and ethical behavior specially focused on natural resources and the environment.
  • Target 1.8 Reduction of the vulnerability of complex societal systems (urban agglomerations, communication and mobility infrastructures, and industrial societies) to climate change.
  • Target 1.9 Innovation in the modeling of socio-technical systems as nonlinear complex systems for better understanding and guidance of societal and technical development.

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Goal :  Foster the resilience of economies

Targets and Indicators:
  • Target 2.1 Improvement of international cooperation.
  • Target 2.2 Enhancement of the resilience of economic systems through development of incentives favoring small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).
  • Target 2.3 Enhancement of the resilience of farming and food supply systems through support of production and distribution schemes serving consumers and preserving local land ownership.
  • Target 2.4 Development and implementation of technologies for water conservation, pollution reduction, and recycling that will meet the increasing demand for water for human use and maintenance of aquatic ecosystems.
  • Target 2.5 Pursuit of a new economic paradigm that favors qualitative growth over maximum production and revenue.
  • Target 2.6 Development of innovative technologies serving local demands and their application in rural areas.
  • Target 2.7 Improvement of general public understanding of the contribution of individuals to environmental degradation and ecosystem shifts and the obligation of each person to cooperate in the efforts to reverse detrimental developments.
  • Target 2.8 Improvement of risk dynamic modeling of economic and financial systems for the purpose of managing unforeseen developments.

Thematic Area(s):
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Goal :  Encourage the self-regulation processes of ecosystems

Targets and Indicators:
  • Target 3.1 Curtailment of clear cutting of tropical and boreal forests as well as draining of wetlands.
  • Target 3.2 Preservation, increased attention, and monitoring of aquatic ecosystems.
  • Target 3.3 Development of domestic regulations as well as international agreements and treaties to protect glacier regions (Arctic, Antarctic, Himalayan and others) from economic exploitation.
  • Target 3.4 Protection of sensitive areas requiring their safeguarding by the public and through internationally binding law.
  • Target 3.5 Advancement of organic farming to further develop sustainable agriculture.
  • Target 3.6 Worldwide banishment of discharge of untreated sewage and other waste materials into natural ecosystems.

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Goal :  Safeguard and strengthen the resilience of the eco-social triad

Targets and Indicators:
  • Target 4.1 Investment in research to better understand the interdependencies between the sub-systems of the eco-social triade.
  • Target 4.2 Maintenance and enhancement of the resilience of the eco-social triade as an important goal in decision making from the earliest stage.
  • Target 4.3 Management and understanding of the complexity of the relevant eco-social systems within our societies by developing and applying new inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches and methods.
  • Target 4.4 Recognition of the value of ethical behavior focused on natural resources and the environment.
  • Target 4.5 Cross-sectoral approaches to water, food, energy production, and ecosystem management as the basis of advanced water resources management.
  • Target 4.6 Enhancement of the resilience of the eco-social triad to mitigate impacts of droughts and floods.
  • Target 4.7 Improvement of the handling of huge amounts of data (“big data”) as well as information and communication networks because of the increasing complexity of eco-social and socio-technical systems.

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