Sustainable Development Goals

A UNESCO Global Geopark contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are 17 goals to make the world a better place by 2030. The SDGs were created in 2015 by all countries affiliated with the United Nations (UN). But what exactly are these goals?

1. No poverty: this goal is about the reduction of poverty in all its forms. Both financial aspects and the impact of poverty on people's lives.
2. Zero hunger: this goal is about malnutrition in different countries. With us it is more about food waste and sustainability of food production.
3. Good health and well-being: in the Netherlands and Belgium the focus is on alcohol consumption, smoking and obesity. But this goal is also about mortality from disease and mental health problems.
4. Quality education: education is important for all people, young and old. Education ensures that all working people have sufficient skills to function in today's society.
5. Gender equality: this is not only about pay for work, labor participation and men or women in business but also violence against women. For example, many buildings in the Netherlands colored orange during Orange the World.
6. Clean water and sanitation: clean water and sanitation are well organized with us. Therefore, our focus is more on efficient water use.
7. Affordable and clean energy: being less dependent on fossil fuels is what this goal describes. That is why Belgium and the Netherlands are developing and using many technologies for energy saving or, for example, solar and wind energy. You too can easily contribute to this by, for example, scaling down your electrical appliances or lights when you are not using them.
8. Decent work and economic growth: economic growth is sustainable when labor, raw materials and capital are used responsibly. But also when profits are distributed fairly among citizens and businesses. 
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure: develop and build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and encourage innovation within business.
10. Reduced inequalities: when everyone has equal opportunities to be part of the social infrastructure, this goal is achieved. This is about equality between countries but also within one's own country.
11. Sustainable cities and communities: make cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, sustainable and resilient. This means, for example, affordable housing.
12. Responsible consumption and production: more efficient use of resources reduces pressure on the environment and dependence on them.
13. Climate action: the effects of climate change threaten people and nature. This is why the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. This agreement defines, among other things, that we must take action to combat the impact of climate change.
14. Life below water: climate change, pollution and overfishing threaten life in water. Something from which we as humans derive utility and pleasure.
15. Life on land: sustainable management, restoration and protection of life on land are defined in SDG 15. 
16. Peace, justice and strong institutions: Experiencing insecurity can have a major impact on personal lives and affects prosperity. Effective, accountable and transparent institutions are essential to developing and maintaining that prosperity.
17. Partnerships for the goals: achieving all these goals cannot be done alone, but international good cooperation is needed for this purpose.

What can you do?

  • Discover your hidden impact on the planet and get some simple tips right away via this website.
  • Save water by taking shorter showersr or washing your clothes less often, for example. WWF has written more tips for you here.
  • Buy sustainably, for example second-hand stuff or clothes. Buy only what you need. Milieu Centraal's Dutch Label Guide will help you a bit on your way about the different labels for sustainable choices.
  • Make your home more sustainable. You can do this by having more insulation or double glazing.
    Travel consciously and compensate for your travel. Read more about climate-wise travel here.
  • Calculate your carbon footprint and start reducing it via this website.
  • Make your garden green! Lay grass instead of tiles on your balcony or in your garden.
  • Join a local action in Belgium or the Netherlands.
  • Respect nature! Or even better, do your part by taking care of litter.
Sustainable development goals in cirkel

A UNESCO Global Geopark wants to do this by learning from the past, developing in the present and protecting for the future - together for our planet. We do this in various ways. For example in education but also by protecting nature.

From the UNESCO Global Geopark network there is also a working group that focuses entirely on the SDGs, this is the SDG Working Group EGN (for contact please email