6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where do we stand?

Millions of hectares of forest are lost every year, threatening this valuable asset. Global greenhouse gas emissions continue their upward trend.

Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) continued their upward trend and those in 2011 were almost 50 per cent above their 1990 level. Millions of hectares of forest are lost every year, many species are being driven closer to extinction and renewable water resources are becoming scarcer.

Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), 1990 and 2010 (Billions of metric tonnes)
Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014

Bar Chart
  • Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased by almost 50 per cent since 1990.
  • Protected ecosystems covered 14 per cent of terrestrial and coastal marine areas worldwide by 2012.
  • Over 2.3 billion more people have gained access to an improved source of drinking water since 1990, but 748 million people still draw their water from an unimproved source.
  • Between 1990 and 2012, almost 2 billion people obtained access to improved sanitation. However, 1 billion people still resort to open defecation.
  • One-third of urban residents in developing regions still live in slums.

Read more in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014

UNDP's work around the globe

1.2 years
remaining
until 2015

1990 2015
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