ENVT5518 The Sustainable Development Goals

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit examines the origin, design, implementation, and measurements of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from a range of scientific, practical, and policy perspectives. It provides students with the tools to contextualise the SDGs from global and local contexts and to understand the interconnectedness between the goals, targets, and indicators. Students will analyse the discourses, challenges, and solutions of sustainable development, from both social and environmental viewpoints and through creative monitoring and evaluation tools. Students will learn how to use the growing online resources on the SDGs, such as the SDG Atlas, the SDG Index and Dashboard, and the SDG Mapping Tool, to critically reflect on their own and other people's lives in the context of the SDGs. Students will also hone and apply their sustainability literacy to examine opportunities and blind spots of the SDG concept through concrete community examples in both the Global South and the Global North. The unit will foster cross-cutting skills and core competencies needed to address the SDGs, including critical thinking, self-awareness, integrated problem-solving, design thinking, social responsibility, and anticipatory, normative, strategic and collaboration competencies.
Students are able to (1) describe the origin, design and structure of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for a more desirable and just future for all; (2) illustrate and explain how the SDGs are connected across time and space, from global progress measurements to local implementation; (3) evaluate opportunities for connecting the global goals with sustainability planning and decision making in your local, and other, communities; and (4) explain the interdisciplinary challenges in, and approaches to, addressing and overcoming social and environmental challenges at local and regional scales.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) reflective journal linking course readings with current events. Students reflect on a total of three SDGs, associated readings, and SDGs in the media, across the three main sections of the unit (social, environmental, and sustainable living); (2) briefing paper on measuring and monitoring one SDG at the regional scale, including analysis of spatial variation/socio-spatial inequalities, measurement challenges, links with other indicators, and critical reflection on how indicators may be used for policy and planning; and (3) design of a community education and engagement programme targeting one or several SDG(s) for a specific locality, including meaningful place-based participatory activities to involve diverse populations, gauge local priorities, design creative supporting materials to run the programme, and ultimately inform policy. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Natasha Pauli and Professor Petra Tschakert
Unit rules
For students in the Master of Environmental Science: ENVT4421 Fundamentals of Environmental Management
Contact hours
Lectures: 2 hours per week for nine weeks; workshop/practical classes: 2 hours a week for nine weeks


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