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  • Conor McIntyre

Sustainable Development in Ireland and Galway’s Big Role

t has been well-quoted – “We have not inherited the world from our forefathers but borrowed from our children”.


Sustainable Development means making progress and getting our needs fulfilled without compromising the needs of future generation. United Nations has prescribed 17 Sustainable Goals which cover issues of poverty to peace and justice.


Ireland has always been a leader in implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) domestically and globally. Playing the role of co-facilitator with Kenya, Ireland developed and adopted 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Ireland made significant changes in its economic, environmental and social policies when it adopted its first national sustainable development strategy. Recently, Ireland prepared a National Implementation Plan 2018-2020, to achieve SDG by 2030.


With its first Voluntary National Review, it looked forward to an opportunity for enhancing cross-Government awareness and engagement with the SDGs. It also launched Project Ireland 2040 in 2018, with a vision to make Ireland, a better place for all. Project Ireland 2040 has two components National Planning Framework to 2040 and the National Development Plan 2018-2027.


Why is Focus on Galway?

Amongst all the efforts by government, the NUI Galway, came up with NUI Galway Sustainability Strategy 2017-2020, which envisions to establish university as the green, healthy and safe campus. NUI Galway being a signatory to the SDG Accord, is deeply committed to sustainability and lauds sustainability as one of the key values. NUI as a community and a research-led university, tries to incorporate sustainable development in their curriculum and pledge to make teachers, students, researchers and innovators, capable enough to tackle the challenges related to sustainability.


Through teaching they try to make students understand the prime importance of sustainability and through their researches, they try to show the path of achieving the SDG.


To achieve the SDG and make Irish people aware of them, they have many student organizations, societies and clubs. They also host on-campus institutional awards and student led project related to sustainability.


Their main objectives are:

  • To improve energy efficiency by 45%.

  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15%.

  • To convert total energy into renewable energy.

  • To preserve Biodiversity by implementing Biodiversity Action Plan.

  • To offer health and well-being research facilities.

  • To promote social well-being.

  • To stop the wastage of water.

Ireland has never stepped back from taking any initiative when it comes to sustainable development. The way its university is committed to achieve SDG, is an example that should be followed by other countries.

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