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Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

The natural resources base and ecosystems must be managed sustainably to meet people’s food requirements and other environmental, social and economic needs. Climate change, increased water scarcity and conflicts over access to resources all pose challenges to environmental sustainability and food security.

Hunger and poverty often compel the poor to over-exploit the resources on which their own livelihoods depend. Strategies, polices and institutions  for conserving, protecting, and enhancing natural resources should be strengthened to provide an enabling environment and should be based on the specific resource constraints faced in any given location.

FAO supports sustainable natural resource management including agricultural water use efficiency; land and soil productivity; sustainable forest management, aquaculture and inland fisheries; integrated crop and livestock systems; pesticide management and watershed management.

FAO also supports the major UN Environmental Conventions notably Biological Diversity, Desertification and Climate Change. FAO’s agriculture, natural resources, forestry, fisheries, social and economic and technical programmes devote considerable portions of their resources and effort to meet the MDG7 and related targets.


MDG7 has four targets

  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources
  • Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
  • Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
  • Achieve, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers