TITLE: Review of targets for the Sustainable Development Goals: The science perspective
AUTHOR(S): ICSU & ISSC
ABSTRACT: This report summarises the strengths and weaknesses of the SDGs from a scientific perspective, assessing whether the goals and targets are backed up by scientific evidence, whether or not they address the economic, social and environment dimensions of sustainable development in an integrated way, and whether they are specific enough for successful implementation and monitoring. Overall, the authors judge that 49% of the 169 targets are well developed, that 54% could be strengthened by being made more specific, and that 17% require significant work.
The report acknowledges that sustainable development relies upon water resource management and service, although notes that SDG6 is very ambitious and could be very difficult to achieve in full. SDG6 is supported by science, but the report argues that some of its targets are ambitious or ambiguous, as they fail to indicate the population percentage that should be beneficiaries by 2030. It also recommends that a degree of flexibility be retained, as different countries will have different priorities, from controlling solid waste to reusing water. It also recommends that targets 6a and 6b could be merged or integrated into SDGs 10 and 16 respectively.