SDG 3 Case Study: Conserving Urban Forest for Good Health and Well-being

The goal of SDG 3, “Good Health and Well-being” is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. The health and well-being of individuals and communities is a fundamental human rights, and SDG 3 recognises this by calling for universal health coverage and access to essential healthcare services. This includes not only access to basic medical care but also access to quality mental health services and the promotion of healthy lifestyles and disease prevention measures.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of SDG 3 and the need for robust and resilient health systems that can respond to crises. The pandemic has also shown that no country is immune to the effects of global health threats and that cooperation and collaboration at the global level and from different parties, including business, is essential for achieving SDG 3.  

In this article, we share some of the sustainable strategies to achieve SDG 3, Good Health and Well-being and a case study on how conserving urban forests could improve good health and well-being in Singapore. 

Goal of SDG 3
SDG 3's Targets

3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.

3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.

3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.

3.4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.

3.5 Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.

3.6 By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.

3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.

3.8 Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

3.a Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate.

3.b Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.

3.c Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States.

3.d Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.

Sustainable Strategies to Achieve SDG 3

Promoting and investing in sustainable health solutions by businesses is necessary for achieving SDG 3. We summarise the sustainable strategies for achieving SDG 3:

  1. Innovation and research: Businesses can invest in R&D to create cutting-edge products and technology that support well-being and good health. For instance, a business might create new technology or medical equipment that makes identifying or treating medical conditions easier.
  2. Policy influence: Businesses can use their influence to support laws that advance people’s health and well-being. Businesses might review their policy and create policies encouraging workplace support and understanding physical and mental health issues.
  3. Develop and build good practices in the supply chain: Businesses have to ensure their supply chain is sustainable and promotes healthy practices. The initiatives can include sourcing organic and locally-grown produce and reducing waste and emissions.

Case Study: Singapore Promotes Good Health and Well-being with the Conservation of Urban Forests


Singapore is a densely populated urban city-state, and mental health issues are a growing concern in Singapore. Research in 2022 showed that one in three youths in Singapore has mental health symptoms. One of the key factors contributing to mental health issues in Singapore is stress. Singapore is known for its fast-paced and competitive study and work culture. In addition, the high cost of living and pressure to succeed also contribute to stress and anxiety. 

Social isolation is another contributing factor to mental health issues in Singapore. Despite being a densely populated city, many people in Singapore report feeling socially isolated and disconnected from their communities, leading them to loneliness, depression, and other mental health issues. 


There is limited access to mental health services in Singapore. While the city has many mental health services available, these services are often overstretched. The phenomenon leads to long appointment waiting and limited access to specialised mental health care.


The Singapore government has recognised the importance of urban forest conservation to human health and well-being and has implemented some policies and programs to support it. For example, the government has established a network of parks and nature reserves across the city-state and has implemented programs to promote green spaces for recreational activities, jogging and cycling. 

Besides, the government collaborates with trainers and coaches to provide residents with forest bathing or forest therapy experience. The experience promotes relaxation in the limited green spaces in the city, helping the residents to reduce stress and increase awareness about the ecological and health benefits of trees and nature.


The government’s efforts in conserving green spaces and the collaborations with the trainers and coaches have contributed significantly to good health and well-being in the city-state. Also, the efforts have reduced social isolation by encouraging outdoor group activities. By providing natural spaces for recreation and relaxation, reducing stress, and promoting outdoor activities, urban forests have become an essential component of Singapore’s urban landscape, supporting the health and well-being of its residents. The result has been the achievement of Targets 3.4 and SDG 11, “Sustainable Cities and Communities” and SDG 15, “Life on Land”.


In this article, we narrow our focus to target 3.4 of SDG 3, showing a nature-based solution to mental health issues. From the case study, we observe that nature is the best solution to help us to solve health and well-being problems. Furthermore, we need collaborations between the government and businesses or individuals to contribute to the goal.


  1. Goal 3 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved  from

  2. National University of Singapore. (2022, October 11). 1 in 3 youths in S’pore has mental health symptoms, study shows. Retrieved from


Case Study: SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being

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