SDGs in the Light of Synergies, Trade-Offs, and Inclusive Development


It is undebatable that one of the most important natural resources are represented by freshwater systems. The preservation of the natural function of ground and surface water is both a challenge and an obligation. However, the question often arises as to how far sustainable resource use and conservation can be achieved in the context of SDGs and the global need for growth. Unfortunately, the achievement of “real” sustainable development is still hampered by numerous compromises in favour of conservative economic growth over social well-being and environmental sustainability.  The debate on social well-being and ecological viability, including climate protection, forms the concept of the “inclusive development” within the SDGs´ framework. The current discussion supports the thesis that without a commitment to inclusive development, the SDGs run the risk of not directing the substantive transformation needed to achieve strong sustainable development at states and global level.

Continued economic growth, which is further bound to the “business-as-usual” paradigm, will fail to achieve sustainable development. As long as this paradigm does not undergo a paradigm shift, an inclusive development approach is necessary to balance or minimize the dominance of the conservative business-as-usual growth approach.

Over time, the global community has learned that ecological issues are not so much one-off, isolated incidents as they are intertwined with development and growth issues.  The insight that resource exploitation is limited has transferred our awareness and action, at least to some extent, to a new qualitative level where ecological and economic opportunities are evaluated in the same way, thus paving the way for the achievement of sustainability goals.


The session will examine ways of SDG synergies and trade-offs, transformation processes (examples from developing countries/emerging economies), and measures that could create sustainable development and organised monitoring and control structures, addressing SDGs and inclusive development approaches. Reports on research on natural resource governance or other objectives in the context of the SDGs  – also in interaction with national and international policy – are welcome.


  • Introductory note 10 (min.)
  • 6 Specialist presentations (each 10 min.)
  • Discussion / questions (50 min.)


SDGs, Inclusive Development

Oral Presentations

  • Checco, Guilherme Barbosa; Capobianco, João Paulo Ribeiro: Sanitation tariff as a key instrument for water security
  • Datla, Anand : Okavango River Basin – Achieving RBO Goals Adapting the Provisions of SADC Protocol & UN Watercourses Convention
  • Tejeda-González, Juan Carlos; López-de la Cruz, Jesus; Mendezcarlo-Silva, Violeta; Salto-Quintana, Felipe; Padilla-Díaz, Joel; Hernández-Cortés, Mayra Vanessa; Pérez-Cabrera, José Miguel; Alfaro-de la Torre, Ma. Catalina: Understanding Water Governance through Strategic Environmental Assessment approach
  • Gichohi, Wanjiru; Sang, Paul; Kosimbei, George: ‘Owners’ vs. ‘Beholders’: community agency and sustainability of water supply projects in Nairobi City’s informal settlements

Poster Presentation

  • Khalifa, Muhammad : Harnessing synergies between climate action and economic growth in Sudan

Hosted by

Andreas Haarstrick

Professor for Bioprocess and Environmental Engineering

Technische Universität Braunschweig