Rick Clugston

Rick Clugston

Director, Sustainability and Global Affairs

Rick Clugston, Ph.D. is the Co-Director of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future and directs the Sustainable Development Programs of Forum 21. From 2009 to 2012, Rick directed the Earth Charter Project at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. From 1989 to 2009, Rick served as Executive Director of the Center for Respect of Life and Environment in Washington, DC, where he assisted religious and academic institutions in transforming their teaching and practices to support strong sustainability. Rick was Publisher and Editor of Earth Ethics: Evolving Values for an Earth Community and the Deputy Editor of The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (MCB University Publications).

Q&A with Rick

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and why do they matter?

The 17 SDGs, their 169 targets and 250+ indicators provide an integrated framework for building a just, sustainable and peaceful future. Adopted by the 194 member states of the UN in 2015, this framework aims to provide the basic social protection floors necessary for all people to meet their basic needs while living within planetary boundaries. The SDGs address both the problems of underdevelopment, the challenges of violence and corruption as well as the limits of development driven by short term economic gain at the expense of people and the planet.

How can people outside the UN help push these goals forward?

Basically people can draw on a wealth of resources to guide understanding and action at the national and local level. Action for Sustainable Development is a major source for such resources.

Why should faith communities care about the SDGs?

The SDGs provide a comprehensive, agreed upon framework for good globalization, and thus are worth studying and pursuing by faith communities seeking social and ecological justice. The SDGs, in the current indicators, still rely too heavily on short term economic growth, Religious and spiritual groups have a critical role to play in deepening (as well as implementing) the SDGs- Faith communities affirm (and sometimes practice) the much needed corrective of living with gratitude, humility, and compassion. They need to weigh in on policies needed to create a world that works for all.

How is CEE helping achieve the vision and goals of the SDGs?

By convening representatives of different religious, spiritual and values based communities to review Agenda 2030 (when the goals are to be realized), and to establish joint policy priorities for lobbying our various governments- in CEE’s case the US government in particular.

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