The Millennium Development Goals, adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, are the world's targets for dramatically reducing extreme poverty in its many dimensions by 2015 income poverty, hunger, disease, exclusion, lack of infrastructure and shelter while promoting gender equality, education, health and environmental sustainability. These bold goals can be met in all parts of the world if nations follow through on their commitments to work together to meet them. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals offers the prospect of a more secure, just, and prosperous world for all. The UN Millennium Project was commissioned by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to develop a practical plan of action to meet the Millennium Development Goals. As an independent advisory body directed by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, the UN Millennium Project submitted its recommendations to the UN Secretary General in January 2005. The core of the UN Millennium Project's work has been carried out by 10 thematic Task Forces comprising more than 250 experts from around the world, including scientists, development practitioners, parliamentarians, policymakers, and representatives from civil society, UN agencies, the World Bank, the IMF, and the private sector. This report lays out the recommendations of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Environmental Sustainability. It identifies key environmental challenges, such as degradation of land, watersheds and marine fisheries, deforestation, pollution, and climate change. The Task Force proposes specific interventions and policy changes required to improve environmental management at the country, regional and international level. These bold yet practical approaches will help countries make progress towards environmental sustainability by 2015.

Foreword -- Task force members -- Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Abbreviations -- Millennium Development Goals -- Ten key recommendations -- Executive summary -- Part 1 The problem -- 1 Call for operationalizing environmental sustainability Environment and human well-being -- Links to other Millennium Development Goals -- Other links -- 2 Driving environmental change -- Direct drivers of environmental change -- Indirect drivers of environmental change -- Controlling the drivers of environmental change -- Key elements of environmental change -- Regional diagnosis of environmental conditions -- 3 Why has environmental sustainability been elusive? Lack of clear operational objectives -- Insufficient direct investment in environmental management -- Poor integration into sector policies -- Inadequate institutional capacity, misalignment of goals, and poor governance -- Widespread market failures and distortions -- Underinvestment in science and technology -- Difficulty of regional and international cooperation -- Limited public awareness -- Part 2 The solution -- 4 Investing in environmental management -- Element 1: agricultural production systems -- Element 2: forests -- Element 3: freshwater resources and ecosystems -- Element 4: fisheries and marine ecosystems -- Element 5: air and water pollution -- Element 6: global climate change -- 5 Structural changes for environmental sustainability -- Strengthening institutions and governance -- Correcting market failures and distortions -- Improving access to and use of knowledge -- Mobilizing science and technology for sustainable development -- 6 Implementing strategies for environmental sustainability -- National implementation mechanisms -- Regional implementation mechanisms -- Global implementation mechanisms -- Notes -- References