Ecologies of sustainable development goals: a mid-term perspective

Daanish Mustafa, Perdita Matson, Erin Roberts, Justin Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are in trouble half-way towards their target date of 2030. With increasing global inequalities, and reversal in developmental gains because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as financial and political instability, achieving the goals in the next seven years seems difficult. We undertake an exercise in defining an ecological system of the SDGs to argue that focusing on two sentinel goals of SDGs 5 & 12 (‘gender equality’ and ‘responsible consumption and production’) could be key to achieving the other goals. The linkages posited in the SDG ecosystem are based upon our reading of the literature from a political economic and political ecological perspective. Prioritising SDGs 5 and 12 requires more of political rather than a financial commitment. The paper proposes a pathway to achieving some success in realising SDGs during their remaining half-life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • consumption
  • development
  • ecology
  • gender
  • SDGs


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