Agenda 2030 & Oceania: a brief look at the "state of the art"

Our “world tour” through Agenda 2030 focuses in this article on the situation in Oceania.

This continent is mostly formed by Australia, a State that covers 7/8 of the land of the entire continent, more than half of the total population and almost the entire GDP.

As is the case for many other territories, also the States of Oceania (and Australia above all) have been highly committed to the identification of the objectives to be achieved by 2030. Debates, conferences and studies have seen an active engagement also from the civil society, contributing to tackle the issue with rigor and sensitivity.

It is therefore possible to say that the contribution of this continent to the creation of the Agenda 2030 has been fruitful and decisive.

In this sense, the “sensibility” of Australians on this theme is quite evident, as shown by the statement included on the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: “The 2030 Agenda is both a domestic and international agenda. It is well-aligned with Australia's foreign, security, development and trade interests - especially in promoting regional stability, security and economic prosperity. It also helps Australia in advocating for a strong focus on economic growth and development in the Indo-Pacific region and in promoting gender equality, governance and strengthening tax systems.”

Getting more into details, we can see that Australia has presented its latest report on the implementation of the sustainable development goals in July 2018. In the report, the Austrakian Government has listed a number of initiatives adopted, including the following:

  • “Strategic Plan on Gender Equality”, that has allowed women to improve their living condition (reach leadership roles, improve their economical status, not being victims of violence, etc.);
  • “National Strategy on Disability”, thanks to which many people with serious health issues have been able to integrated more in the society;
  • “Urban Greening Strategy”, already tested in Melbourne’s suburbs, that should help mitigate the sufferings due to the heat perceived in the big urban centers;
  • Adoption and implementation of the “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030”, project for the reduction of and for an increased resilience towards catastrophes;
  • Defense of the 66 humid areas in Australia, assessed of global relevance also from the Ramsar Convention;
  • The “Melbourne Water” Society, in charge of the management of water, operates respecting SDGs 6, 11 and 15 (thus giving a fundamental contribution to a more efficient use of water, the most precious good for all living beings);
  • Already from 2015 the Australian Government has supported “Good Shepherd Microfinance”, aiming at the development of a “Financial Inclusion Action Plan” (focus on financial inclusion and resilience for the most vulnerable actors in this sector);
  • Development and implementation, already in other cities in the world, of the “Plan International Australia”, that has contributed to an increased security in big cities (especially for young women).

All the above meritorious initiatives have unfortunately been overshadowed lately by one of the biggest tragedies that Oceania (ad the entire world) has ever had to face, jeopardizing many of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda: the terrible fires that have devastated Australia in the last months.

Approximately 84,000 km2 have burnt, one billion animals have been involved (and most probably killed by the fires), devastating CO2 emissions, entire cities surrounded with smoke, citizens forced to abandon their homes, and much more.

This is unfortunately not only a result of bad luck, and leads to a dramatic observation: Australia is also not doing enough to contain global warming and its consequences.

If on one hand Australian decision-makers have been committed to the achievement of the objectives of Agenda 2030 (as listed above), on the other hand the plans and actions to contain the increase of the average temperature and its dramatic consequences have still been insufficient:

  • A study published on “Climate Analytics” shows that Australia is responsible for 1.4% of the CO2 emissions globally, against a population of 0.3% of the global total population (study on 2017);
  • The “Climate Change Performance Index (Ccpi)” has listed Australia as one of the countries with policies that are less suited to fight climate change (data from end of 2019);
  • The site “Climate Action Tracker” explains that the policies Australia adopted in 2019 in its fight against climate change are completely insufficient, as are the efforts made from 2015 to date.

In conclusion, it is clear that the road towards full sustainability is long and complex, even for Oceania. While for some of the SDGs the path taken is the right one, for other goals the efforts until now have been totally inadequate.

The hope is that the latest catastrophe will lead national and international decision-makers to conclude that there is no time to waste: the moment for action is now, and any delay compromises our hope for a better future for the new generations and the entire planet.

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  • L'Autore

    Alessandro Fanetti

    Alessandro Fanetti è nato nel 1988 a Siena e attualmente tratta le questioni inerenti l'Agenda 2030 delle Nazioni Unite per Mondo Internazionale. Da sempre appassionato di geopolitica (con focus sulle aree del centro-sud America ed ex-URSS), collabora anche con l' "Istituto di Alti Studi in Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliarie" (IsAG) e con "Opinio Juris – Law and Politics Review". Ha conseguito un Master in Intelligence Economica presso lo IASSP di Milano nel 2020 e ha frequentato con successo un corso sulla geopolitica latinoamericana e caraibica promosso dalla "Escuela de Estudios Latinoamericanos y Globales" (ELAG) nel 2021. Infine, è iscritto all' "Associazione Italiana Analisti di Intelligence e Geopolitica" (AIAIG) ed è l'autore di un libro intitolato "Russia: alla ricerca della potenza perduta - Dall'avvento di Putin alle prospettive future di un Paese orfano dell'URSS" (Edizioni Eiffel, 2021).

    Alessandro Fanetti was born in Siena in 1988. Since 2019 he has been writing posts for "Mondo Internazionale" on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He has always been passionate about geopolitics (with a particular focus on Latin America and former USSR area), he also writes for IsAG and Opinio Juris - Law and Politics Review. He holds a Master degree in Economic Intelligence and actually he's writing a book about post-Soviet Russia. In the end, he is a member of the AIAIG and he is the author of the book "Russia: alla ricerca della potenza perduta - Dall'avvento di Putin alle prospettive future di un Paese orfano dell'URSS" (Edizioni Eiffel, 2021).


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Australia SDG's Incendi report 2018 climate change

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