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Regional themes > MDGs Last update: 2020-11-27  

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Environmental Monitoring Group

The Millenium Development Goals: A guide for South African civil society
Using the MDGs to promote environmental sustainability and socio-economic justice

Quinn Bernier, Annie Chimphango and Thabang Ngcozela

Environmental Monitoring Group


SARPN acknowledges the National Development Agency of South Africa as the source of this document.
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In September 2005, world leaders will meet in New York to discuss the status of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and efforts to promote environmental and social sustainability. Civil society (CS) cannot miss an opportunity to engage in this process. This guide is intended to help South African civil society understand the MDGs and how they can be used to encourage a more sustainable South Africa.

The structure of this guide is as follows: Environmental sustainability in South Africa reviews current national trends concerning issues of socio-economic equity and environmental sustainability. Defining a development agenda charts the evolution of the international commitment to development while A new approach, Reporting on the MDGS and the Millennium Development Goals all familiarise CS with the MDGs and explain how they function. Using this guide introduces the themes that will be covered in the rest of the booklet, explaining how CS can engage with the MDGs to promote sustainability. South Africa’s commitment to sustainable development provides evidence of South Africa’s repeated pledge to support sustainable development. The following sections—Using the MDGs to monitor sustainable development in South Africa, Using the MDGs to strengthen the existing work of NGOs, Using the MDGs to advance a sustainable development agenda, Using the MDGs to mobilise additional resources—all examine indepth ways that CS can engage with and use the MDGs. The next five sections discuss different aspects of the process of implementing and monitoring the MDGs in South Africa. The Checklist for civil society and Finding more information are tools to facilitate engagement with the MDGs, providing sources for more information, useful contact information and a checklist to prepare civil society organisations (CSOs) to engage with the MDGs. Annex One offers a detailed look at South Africa’s progress in realising the MDGs so far.

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