Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

Resource scarcity, climate change, food insecurity and inequity all signal the need for a radical change in our society. To address this, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development along with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to stimulate action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is supporting countries implement the new sustainable development agenda by ensuring the integration of the environmental dimension into national policies and building capacity to tackle these issues and track progress. The four core principles that underlay UNEP’s approach to the 2030 Agenda include: integration, universality, human rights and equality, and innovation.

With most of SDGs focused on the environment, UNEP works towards achieving targets on a variety of cross-cutting themes:

  • By working towards improving global air quality and eliminating harmful levels of lead in paint, UNEP is contributing to Goal 3 and Goal 12 which aim to ensure healthy lives for all, and promote the environmental sound management of chemicals to minimize their effect on humans and the environment.
  • UNEP is supporting the U.S. government and other key organizations to halve food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030 to achieve Goal 12 and specifically, Target 12.3.
  • UNEP works throughout North America and globally to achieve Goal 14 to conserve oceans from marine debris through the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.  
  • By raising awareness on the illegal trade in wildlife, UNEP’s work contributes to Goal 15 to protect biodiversity and supporting efforts to tackle trafficking of protected species flora and fauna.  

See how UNEP is working with to achieve the Agenda’s ambitious goals and targets with a focus on those that have a direct link to the environment here.


To promote environmental awareness to young people in North America, Nippon TV and UNEP have partnered on a series of animated public service announcements. They feature the popular Japanese characters Sorajiro, Potsie and Kumo.

Sorajiro and his friends link