Sustainable Development Goals Scotland

In 2015, the First Minister pledged that Scotland would lead the way to deliver a more equal, more just world. In signing Scotland up to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Scottish Government made a bold statement of intent not just to the people of Scotland but to the world.

Scotland should be a place where people can satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a good quality of life. Unfortunately, this is simply not a reality across our country today. These Goals give us the framework to achieve real change, from eradicating poverty to ensuring a good home for us all.

The backstory

The Rio Group

The Rio Group was founded by Scottish Wildlife Trust, Sniffer, and CIFAL Scotland in 2011 to provide a platform for discussion in Scotland for organisations interested in engaging with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Its vision was for Scotland to be a world leader in Sustainable Development and fully implement all the Sustainable Development Goals

Since 2011, The Rio Group ran several events designed to enable interested organisations to exchange knowledge and also to collate priorities from Scotland to feed into the development of the SDGs at international level. One example is the document we developed - ‘A Flourishing Scotland’ which set out ten ‘celebrations’ and ten ‘ambitions’ civil society organisations in Scotland wished to see reflected in the finalised SDGs. This was formally submitted to the United Nations in 2012.

The post-2015 group

Since the SDGs were adopted in 2015, the remit of the Rio Group evolved. The mission shifted to be a catalyst for achieving the full implementation of the SDGs within Scotland.

This became the Post-2015 SDG group which oversaw targeted events designed to help keep the SDGs high on the political agenda whilst promoting both practical and policy initiatives to help ensure all the goals are being prioritised and acted upon by the Scottish Government, by civil society and by the business community.

Scottish Government working groups

In 2015 and early 2016, the Scottish Government supported a number of engagement groups involving business and others. However, these failed to gain traction and there was a bit of a hiatus following the Holyrood election, EU referendum.

Scotland's Sustainable Development Goals Network

In January 2017, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, with support from the Big Lottery Fund UK and the Scotland Malawi Partnership, initiated conversations with former post-2015 group members to revive the group, reposition the conversation around the SDGs in Scotland and start planning for this website as well as the creation of Scotland's SDG Network.

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