The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals – also known as SDGs – are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
Why Singaporeans should understand SDGs
The 17 goals at large may not directly impact our daily lives. Speaking from a Singaporean’s point of view, it may not be common to see poverty, forest fires or a turtle having a straw stuck in its nose.
But we cannot be complacent. We should not take these privileges for granted.
After all, we share one ocean. We are under the same sky. We have to stop living under the thoughts of “there’s no difference if I refuse a straw when hundreds and thousands are still using it”. It is important to start thinking instead, the beauty of how everyone can come together to make a positive impact.
We have to take small steps to create a big (and positive) change.
Here’s a scare: Singapore has the most Light Pollution in the world. Yes, Light Pollution is a thing and it directly affects our health.
Photo Journey Through SDGs
For a start, we should understand about the different goals. Then, you will find out which goal tugs at your heartstrings. Who knows, you may feel so strongly about a certain cause that you decide to champion it. To help you understand better, we’ve picked 5 goals to bring you through a photo journey!
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
Photo credit: Chan Wai Meng, Singapore
We can take steps as small as taking a daily stroll or visiting the fitness corner to achieve big change to our health, developing a sustainable lifestyle!
Photo credit: SNCF Singapore
Health is Wealth. It is important to have the right facilities to support the people from young to old, allowing the people to age gracefully.
Quick Fact: 17,000 fewer children die each day than in 1990, but more than five million children still die before their fifth birthday each year.
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Photo credit: Koh Lye Huat, Singapore
Having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape poverty. Can some jobs be digitized to increase productivity and improve well-being of workers?
Photo credit: Ahmad Iskandar Bin Abdullah, Singapore
In Singapore, we lack labour in industries such as construction. We should ensure all workers are treated fairly and promote a safe and secure working environment.
Quick Fact: Men earn 12.5% more than women in 40 out of 45 countries with data.
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
Photo credit: Ong Yi Chao, Singapore
An inclusive society ensures no one is left behind. We can achieve more together when we empower every individual.
We should focus on what people can do, instead of what they cannot do. With organisations like Runninghour Co-operative promoting inclusivity, there will be reduced inequalities and A Better Society.
Quick Fact: Social protection has been significantly extended globally, yet persons with disabilities are up to five times more likely than average to incur catastrophic health expenditures.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Photo credit: Desmond, Singapore (@desss_l)
The Marina Bay Sands contain green features that include a rain oculus to collect rainwater and a green roof to absorb and reduce ambient temperature. Now that we know such structures exist, imagine a future where skyscrapers are designed to conserve the environment, leading to more sustainable cities!
When we make use of science and technology sustainably, we can see a greener pasture. Communities can thrive on their own where people can live happier and healthier.
Quick Fact: The world’s cities occupy just 3 per cent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Photo credit: Harriet Koh, Singapore
Don’t just say no to straws. There are so many other things that can contribute sustainable consumption and production patterns, such as reducing food wastage (remember to tell the cai fan uncle you want less rice if you can’t finish it!).
Photo credit: NTUC FairPrice, Singapore
You can conveniently bring these recycling bag along wherever you go to store your shopping loots. Make it a habit and turn it into sustainable actions!
Quick Fact: Each year, an estimated 1/3 of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tons worth around $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.
We hope you managed to get a gist of how SDGs can look like in the eyes of Singapore. There are still much more that we can do to improve situations for A Better Society.
Do you have an SDG story to share? 📸 Share it through photos and you might walk away with $1,000!
Co-op Hot Shots 7 is a photography competition organised by the Singapore National Co-operative Federation.