6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where are we?

 UNDP South Africa
Photo: UNDP
  • Over 1990–2009, only 20 African countries reduced their CO2 emissions, while 34 increased them.
  • Evidence in several African countries suggests that deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate.

Africa is making progress on Goal 7, but achieving and sustaining environmental sustainability is a challenge as the continent remains at a high risk of the effects of climate change, evidenced by its recent severe droughts and floods.

Africa is doing well in limiting CO2 emissions and ozone-depleting substances, yet forest cover is shrinking, and most countries struggle to meet targets on water and sanitation. To improve access to water and sanitation, countries must concentrate efforts in rural areas and low-income groups, as urban–rural income disparities in access are holding back progress.

UNDP's work in Africa

  • UNDP in West Africa

    Lighting up West African villages
    UNDP West Africa

    Poor access to modern energy services is a reality for too many African villages. While this limitation generally constrains development, it especially affects the situation ofmore

Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums