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[Feature] [20 Must-know GEI] 1. Our Future Direction

by Eco Generation | 10-06-2016 10:21 Comments 8 recommendations 0

20 Must Know Series-Title

1. Our Future Direction

[A letter from the future 1]
20 Must know issue 1-1
     Hello, friends! I learned how you lived in the past at school today. 
     I can't believe such dense forests and diverse ecosystems existed. I was jealous that you could live without worrying about lots of diseases and clean water and air, because we always have to be careful here. Ah, some rich people live with no worries, but most of us?
     If you had made more active efforts when you realized that Earth reached its limit, wouldn't our lives now have changed a bit? 
     Although I live in a different time from yours, we live in the same place, Earth. Your daily choices make big differences to me. If only you had considered me more, your future generation..!

[A letter from the future 2]
20 Must know issue 1-2
     Hello, friends! I learned how you lived in the past at school today.
     Thank you for keeping Earth beautiful. I learned that you worked together to wisely solve environmental problems such as pollution and climate change. Thanks to that, now we can live in this beautiful environment.
     Moreover, most people live equally now no thirsty or hungry people, and all of us have human rights. I heard all of this is thanks to your efforts. 
     We are very grateful for your efforts to live harmoniously with not only other people, but also nature, because you have allowed us to have this life. I hope you keep considering my generation in your daily life.

     Which letter from the future do you want to receive? Let's imagine the two kinds of future described in the letters and our life affecting the future.
      'A letter from the future' shows that our behavior now is affecting our future generations. We need to recognize that our current life was affected by the past and will affect future generations.
     Then, shall we look back on our past and present? Human beings have enjoyed material affluence and convenience. And for more convenience, many countries are crying for development. It seemed that science and technology could solve any problems and create a better world. However, Earth has become devastated as our lives became convenient. The world is suffering from climate change, loss of biodiversity, and desertification. In the end, people have started to worry if we can keep living on Earth. We are concerned about sustainability of the Earth. 

1. What is sustainability?
20 Must know issue 1-3     Is the vegetable garden grown by Jenny and her friends sustainable? Sustainability means a certain condition lasts for a long time in a restricted environment. If Jenny and her friends harvested only the amount they need and let the leaves grow naturally, their vegetable garden would be sustainable. However, if they keep being greedy for their own interests and harvest all the lettuce, it won't be sustainable.
     What can they do to make their vegetable garden sustainable? They can set rules for the vegetable garden, considering both it and themselves. If they care for nature, eat only the amount they need, and consider the next people who will harvest the lettuce, Jenny and her friends' vegetable garden would be sustainable. 
     Many places around the world are also talking about sustainability. Shall we stop developing and maintain the status quo for sustainability? There are still people suffering from disease and hunger who need development. Sustainable development means identifying the problems of current development and pursuing new ways to develop. The sustainable development of human beings should be a balanced development considering economic growth, environmental conservation and social equality while at the same time not jeopardizing our future generations' ability to satisfy their basic needs. For sustainable development to solve the problem, we have to set action agendas.  

20 Must know issue 1-4
     Sustainable development was mentioned for the first time in 'The Limits to Growth' by the Club of Rome in 1972. The concept was roughly agreed to in 'Our Common Future' by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987. In 1992, the 'Rio Declaration', the principles to implement 'sustainable development', and 'Agenda 21', an action plan for the Rio Declaration, were adopted at a UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio, Brazil. Global efforts for sustainability continued in 2000, The Millennium Summit held in the United Nations headquarters in New York suggested Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the commitment to reduce global poverty by half by 2015, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) effective from 2016 through 2030. In order to overcome the limitations of the MDGs, in that they are biased toward aspects of humans and society, the SDGs put emphasis on environmental and economic aspects at the same time for balanced sustainable development. For this, participation and action by all people according to national and local circumstances are required.

2. What goals for sustainable development by 2030?

     SDGs were agreed to and established by 1.4 million people from governments, civil societies, research institutes and companies around the world and consist of 17 goals with 169 targets. The 17 goals are not separated from each other for instance, Goal 1) End Poverty is related to Goal 2) End Hunger, Goal 3) Healthy and Goal 4) Education. In addition, Goal 13) Climate Change, Goal 14) Marine Resources and Goal 15) Terrestrial Ecosystems have an influence on each other. What are the relationships among the goals? Let's think about it.

3. What can we do for sustainable life? 

     Do you think the SDGs are too hard for you to accomplish? There are many that you can practice in your daily life. 
-Goal 7) Energy: Make energy-saving behavior and reducing oil and gas consumption into a habit. Install mini solar power generators to produce electricity with solar energy, a renewable energy. 
-Goal 12) Sustainable consumption and production: Think before you buy if you really need it. Additionally, consider if the purchase has a negative effect on the environment, helps the local economy or is excessively packaged. 
      There are many things we can practice in our daily life for sustainable life. Let's find possibilities for change and things we can practice in every corner of our life for a sustainable society.

[Learn More!]

If the world were a village of 100 people (Ikeda Kayoko, 2009)
The book explains global issues such as food, poverty and inequality easily by presuming the world population is 100 people. It is an easy-to-read book that would take you about 10 minutes, but shows a wide range of themes related to global sustainability.

KOICA (2015) 지속가능개발목표(SDGs) 수립현황과 대응방안, 한국국제협력
United Nations (2015) Sustainable Development Summit : Transforming Our World for People and Planet
United Nations (2015) Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Script by : Prof. Yoon, Sun-jin's Environment & Energy Lab
                Seoul National University
Illustration by : Kim, Jeong-kyeom


  • says :
    Great article!! In our daily lives, we should cultivate habits channeled towards sustainability of the environment and mankind. Thanks for sharing.
    Posted 27-07-2016 16:28

  • Arushi Madan says :
    This is very informative.
    Posted 24-07-2016 04:15

  • says :
    Sustainability goes around the long term goal. We should set policies that take into consideration our future generation,therefore our children.
    Posted 10-07-2016 16:29

  • says :
    Thanks for sharing....
    Posted 08-07-2016 22:39

  • says :
    Great articulation. Reminds me of my 'hey human me nature' article hehe. It's very informative.sadly our greed is taking us to future one amid our extraordinary effort to make future 2. But with time and such lucid writing like this I am sure we will be reaching wider audience and prepare to get letter of future 2 )
    Posted 26-06-2016 17:14

  • says :
    This was very useful! Thanks for sharing
    Posted 17-06-2016 04:10

  • Anthony Emecheta says :
    Great piece. I have already shared it with my friends.
    Posted 14-06-2016 18:21

  • says :
    OMG, this piece is so classic and extraordinary. The writer is good and the message is so clear. I'll re-blog this on my WordPress and share with my entire network. Such an amazing work.
    Posted 10-06-2016 18:31

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