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UN Sustainable Development: Clean Water

How the Water Quality & Consumption Attribute Aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed upon by 193 States Members in 2015 and provide a global framework to address sustainability challenges facing the planet. Public gardens through their collections, displays, research, education, and outreach programs can significantly contribute to the SDG goals and targets.

The Public Gardens Sustainability Index is intended to share examples of how gardens are contributing to specific SDG goals and to inspire gardens to advance their own garden programs to further the mission of their institution while connecting to local, national, and global sustainability efforts. This Index is a first step guide on how to “get started” with implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 2015. It aims to help gardens of all sizes and governance models understand the SDG Agenda, to start an inclusive dialogue on SDG implementation, and to prepare SDG-based local or national development strategies (or align existing plans and strategies with the goals). This is a great resource for those interested in better understanding the SDGs and how your institution can contribute by thinking about ways to implement some of these strategies. 


Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6):

Public gardens have the opportunity to inspire future generations to think more sustainably about their own water use practices. Adaptive and innovative water management is an integral part of the management of gardens. The Water Quality & Consumption Attribute stresses the important role public gardens play in managing water resources in the most sustainable ways possible.


Life Below Water (SDG 14):

Public gardens should encourage responsible protection and use of the ocean or waterways. This is important to combat the adverse effects of overfishing, growing ocean acidification due to climate change, and worsening eutrophication (excessive nutrients from fertilizer runoff).



The SDG framework provides a helpful point of reference to demonstrate the fundamental importance of plants for the planet and their importance to the environment, economy, and human health. The Association is dedicated to sharing resources that provide updates on the SDGs, particularly those that impact our industry and members.

Resources that the Association has on the UN SDGs from past conferences and from external sources: