Political Ecology of SDGs

Authors: Daanish Mustafa*, King's College, London, Justin Sharpe, King's College, London, Erin Roberts, King's College, London
Topics: Development, Cultural and Political Ecology, Gender
Keywords: Political Ecology, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Gender, Development, Sentinel SDGs
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


The sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a consensus framework for development practice over the next decade. For better or for worse the international development aid is likely to be channeled through the SDG framework. Being a consensus framework, the 17 SDGs can be subjected to many criticisms. The chief among them being that they represent a disjointed, depoliticised, technocratic engagement with development. There have also been calls in the literature to define links between SDGs and context specific prioritization of the same. The poster is an attempt at defining the ecology (interlinkages) between the 17 SDGs from a political ecological perspective. Based upon an extensive literature review, and insights from the political ecological literature, my team presents a framework, which may become a conduit for a politicised engagement with the linkages and prioritization of the SDGs. We posit that SDG5: Gender Equality and SDG12: Responsible Production and Consumption are the sentinel SDGs with the highest density of downstream linkages to all the remaining SDGs. We therefore argue that none of the SDGs will be attainable without attending to these two in the first instance. We also simplify the linkages between SDGs to focus on the ones that the preponderance of evidence in the literature suggests have a causative relationship with the other SDGs. The chain of causation that thus emerges serves as a useful pedagogical and heuristic tool for a politicised engagement with the SDGs.

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