"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.." - Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, United Nations 42nd General Assembly, 1987.
Over the course of the 20th century, rapid technological and economic advancements have led to changes in human lifestyles, giving rise to various societal issues and accompanying impacts on the environment and ecosystems. "Sustainable development" reflects a response to these negative phenomena, aiming to pursue economic growth while simultaneously considering social inclusivity, environmental sustainability, and incorporating principles of intergenerational equity for both present and future generations. It emphasizes enhancing and creating well-being in the contemporary context without compromising the well-being of future generations. When utilizing biological and ecological systems, the concept also stresses the need to maintain their perpetual renewal.
In September 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit adopted the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," unveiling 17 "Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)" that outline a significant sustainable blueprint until the year 2030. By establishing globally shared sustainable development goals, this initiative aims to engage every global citizen in shaping our envisioned future.
Each country's unique historical, cultural background, socio-economic development level, and resource availability vary, leading to distinct opportunities and challenges. While the 17 SDGs originate from a global perspective, their true impact is dependent on how they are implemented by various entities across different levels and sectors, such as central and local governments, businesses, NPOs/NGOs, and even the general public.
As a part of our planet, our country certainly strives to remain at the forefront of these efforts! The National Council for Sustainable Development(NCSD) under the Executive Yuan began formulating Taiwan's SDGs in November 2016. These SDGs, tailored to Taiwan's development context for the year 2030, along with corresponding indicators, were announced in 2019. This alignment of our nation's future policy development with the United Nations SDGs aims to contribute continuously to the global sustainable blueprint by the year 2030.
The Ministry of the Environment takes on the role of supervising body for NCSD's "Green Environment Working Circle." This includes oversight of Goal 6 "Environmental Quality," Goal 12 "Responsible Consumption and Production," Goal 13 "Climate Action," Goal 14 "Life Below Water," and Goal 15 "Life on Land." The Ministry tracks and reviews the implementation progress of related sustainable development goals.
As the predecessor of the Ministry of the Environment, the Environmental Protection Administration initiated the first "Voluntary Department Reviews" (VDR) report of Sustainable Development Goals. Continuing this tradition, the Ministry of the Environment will periodically update and present VDR report, while also actively engaging in sustainable environmental education and promotional efforts.
- Ministry of Environment