What Are the 17 SDGs, and How Is Their Impact Visible in Lebanon? | Antonine University


What Are the 17 SDGs, and How Is Their Impact Visible in Lebanon?

SDG 1: No Poverty
  Goal 1 aims to eliminate poverty in every way and everywhere. To achieve this, we need to increase and enhance programs that protect and support those who are poor and vulnerable. We should also work on making sure that countries with weaker institutions are better prepared for disasters and can reduce the risks and damages caused by them.

In Lebanon, significant efforts are being made to help the poorest and most vulnerable in the country through targeted initiatives. Despite these efforts, many remain below the poverty line and are at risk of being left behind.

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SDG 2: Zero Hunger
  Goal 2 aims to eliminate hunger, ensuring that everyone has enough food and promoting sustainable farming. To achieve this, we need to make sure that everyone can access safe, healthy, and sufficient food. This requires the use of farming methods that can withstand challenges and produce food sustainably. Having more and better information about food access can help us measure progress towards Goal 2 and guide efforts to address hunger.

In Lebanon, sufficient and good food is available, but it is not always accessible to everyone. Therefore, there are a number of people who struggle to make ends meet and tend to consume food products that lack nutritional value.

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SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
  Goal 3 aims to guarantee good health and well-being for people of all ages. This involves ensuring that everyone can access healthcare that is safe, affordable, and effective. To achieve this goal, efforts are needed to provide universal access to services related to sexual and reproductive health, prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and treat and prevent other public health problems.

In Lebanon, significant progress has been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common causes of death, such as coronary heart disease and respiratory diseases, and in improving access to quality health services. However, there is still work to be done to improve the population’s overall health and ensure affordable health care for all.

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SDG 4: Quality Education
  Goal 4 aims to make sure that everyone has equitable and inclusive opportunities to receive a quality education and successfully complete their studies. This goal emphasizes the importance of acquiring knowledge, skills, and values that enable individuals to thrive and make positive contributions to society. The targets of this goal include achieving literacy and numeracy among young people worldwide, increasing the availability of scholarships for developing countries, and ensuring that everyone can access affordable and high-quality technical, vocational, and higher education on an equal basis.

In Lebanon, there has been significant progress in increasing enrollment in primary education and maintaining high literacy rates among the youth. However, there is still room for improvement, including reducing repetition and dropout rates and increasing enrollment in education for all children and youth.

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SDG 5: Gender Equality
  The achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls to reach their full potential is key to Goal 5. Achieving this goal requires the elimination of all forms of discrimination, violence, and harmful practices against women, as well as access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Working towards this goal also involves achieving gender parity in political, public, and economic life.

In Lebanon, despite some progress made towards equality and empowerment, women still face inequality in society, politics, legal affairs, and the labor market. They do not benefit from equal rights, and Lebanon has not yet achieved full and unconditional equality between men and women.

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SDG 6: Clear Water and Sanitation
  Goal 6 aims to ensure the availability of clean drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as improvements to the quality and sustainability of water resources. Achieving Goal 6 involves effective and integrated water resource management and improved sanitation facilities for all. To achieve these outcomes, international cooperation and the involvement of local communities will need to be expanded.

In Lebanon, major advances have been made, and the majority of people now have improved access to water supply. However, the population still experiences frequent water shortages, and in many places, the water is not safe to drink. While Lebanon has relatively well-established water and wastewater networks, only a small portion of the water and wastewater is treated and managed safely.

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SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  Goal 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Achieving this goal means ensuring access to electricity, clean fuels and technologies for cooking, and increasing the use of renewable energy through both international cooperation and expanded infrastructure and technology for clean energy.

Lebanon has a high potential to transition away from oil as the main source of energy and rely more on renewable energy from resources such as the sun, wind, and water. Significant efforts are needed to improve greenhouse gas emissions and increase the affordability of energy.

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SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  Economic growth and employment are important for achieving the economic security that is crucial to the attainment of Goal 8, as is equitable access to financial services. To meet this objective, countries and industries must protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, women migrants in particular, and those in precarious employment.

While Lebanon’s economy has shown a high level of resilience in the face of regional instability, supported by sectors such as tourism and construction, it has struggled in recent years, and growth rates have dropped. Even in previous periods of growth, the economy was unable to generate sufficient jobs, leading to high unemployment rates, especially for women and youth, as well as high emigration of educated youth out of Lebanon.

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SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  Goal 9 encompasses infrastructure development, industrialization, and innovation. Achieving this goal requires the development of quality, reliable, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure. This will involve innovation and the creation of new and more sustainable industries, spurred by investments in research and development.

Lebanon has a reputation for vibrant entrepreneurship and has made efforts to improve the conditions for small businesses to grow. However, additional efforts are needed to modernize the infrastructure, promote innovation, and strengthen the industrial sector.

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SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
  The call to reduce inequality through Goal 10 is universal, with a focus on reducing inequalities within and between all countries. Reducing structural factors behind inequalities in income and opportunity, as well as those based on sex, age, disability, origin, class, ethnicity, race, religion, and representation are crucial to achieving this goal. Key to this will be the development of monitoring and guiding indicators and the strengthening of political will for enacting internal policies and for international and regional cooperation.

Lebanon faces a wide range of inequalities, including income, consumption, and social inequality, particularly between Beirut and rural areas. Geographical disparities are further exacerbated due to the manner of allocating funding directly to municipalities, particularly affecting municipalities in rural areas.

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SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  Goal 11 aims to make cities and other human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable while stimulating innovation and employment. As urbanization rises and transforms societies, promoting cohesive city-level strategies to innovate, transform, and drive economic and social sustainable development will be key to achieving the SDGs.

Lebanon has a rich urban cultural heritage, with several of the world’s oldest cities. However, the country has witnessed significant demographic changes, including a high level of conflict-induced urbanization and waves of external and internal displacements. Such increasingly complex urban contexts can make it more difficult to maintain social coherence and ensure inclusion.

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SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  Goal 12 focuses on promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns. This goal presents a challenge to produce and consume less while also meeting other goals related to inequalities in quality of life and consumption. Innovations around sustainable management of natural resources, a reduction in food waste, and an increase in recycling, reuse, prevention, and reduction practices will be crucial to achieving this goal.

Since 2000, Lebanon has implemented environmental legislation requiring industries to minimize their pollution. However, environmental governance at both municipal and national levels of regulation and enforcement needs to be further strengthened for better recycling and waste management.

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SDG 13: Climate Action
  Goal 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, as well as to build resilience in responding to climate-related hazards and natural disasters. This goal represents a collective responsibility to reinforce adaptive capacity and resilience to natural disasters and hazards related to climate change. Achieving this goal requires both the incorporation of measures to fight climate change into national planning, strategies, and policies and the improvement of awareness-raising, education, and institutional and human capacity on mitigation, impact reduction, early warning, and adaptation to climate change.

Lebanon has signed several conventions, such as the Paris Agreement, on climate change, and established several institutions dedicated to the protection of the environment. The country is vulnerable to extreme events such as winter floods and extended hot summer days that are increasing due to climate change. More can be done to reduce Lebanon’s contribution to climate change and increase the capacities of institutions working with environmental issues.

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SDG 14: Life Below Water
  Goal 14 seeks to promote the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. This goal requires the acknowledgement of the value and importance of coastal areas and oceans by governments, industries, and communities. Achieving this goal requires collaboration to improve research capacity, scientific knowledge, and sharing of marine technology to not only enhance ocean health but also to improve the role of marine biodiversity in developing countries.

With around 240 kilometers of coastline, Lebanon’s coastal zone is a key element of its natural capital, beauty, and tourist attractions. However, the lack of protection measures is negatively affecting these ecosystems and the species living in them.

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SDG 15: Life on Land
  Goal 15 focuses on managing forests sustainably, restoring degraded lands, successfully combating desertification, reducing degraded natural habitats, and ending biodiversity loss. Crucial to this goal is integrating biodiversity and ecosystem values into local and national planning, poverty reduction plans, and development processes.

Lebanon, with a unique biodiversity, has an identity that is deeply linked to the cedar tree, yet its forests are at grave risk of disappearing. Development after the civil war has come at a cost to the natural ecosystems, mainly due to unsustainable urban growth.

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SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  Goal 16 seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies based on respect for human rights, the rule of law, good governance at all levels, and transparent, effective, and accountable institutions. For this goal to be achieved, universality is important. Global indicators that allow for context-specific measures and the motivation to act need to be developed. Universal access to justice and information must also be ensured.

Lebanon has a unique political system constructed to safeguard peace and justice. However, parliamentary elections have been postponed twice since the last election in 2009. Many Lebanese are losing faith in the ability of the government to provide services, ensure accountability and justice to the population, and worry about risks of violence and radicalization.

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SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
  Goal 17 aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Key to the achievement of this goal is universal partnership, complemented by stakeholder partnerships to share and mobilize expertise, financial resources, knowledge, and technology for supporting the SDGs in every country.

Lebanon has created successful partnerships with a number of countries and regional groups to share and enhance knowledge and to increase exports. Lebanon has also a strong business community and a vibrant civil society that can become partners in efforts made towards sustainable development.

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