Action for SDGs: Gender Equality to unleash the full potential of youth

The power of feminist theory and action is what young people need to create understanding across differences and learn how to lead healthy lives and make social change.

Zimbabwe United Nations Association (ZUNA) embarked on the “Different Gender Same Agenda” project. Located in a patriarchal society, gender equality issues are important.

That is why ZUNA firstly engaged in giving an introduction to the project to school patrons and to more than 70 students at the beginning of the school year. Then the book “We should all be Feminists” was given to patrons and students.

The orientation and assessment workshop went further, involving two more schools and creating a wider understanding amongst students and increasing the scope of the project.

Two students from Glenview High School present their research findings.
Credit: Kudakwashe Chinjekure

“Gender Equality is about empowering our young girls to explore their worlds without fear of breaking barriers to reach their full potential” Munesu Mushonga

The aim of the awareness campaign is to create a gender-aware generation that takes into consideration the concept of gender inclusiveness in leadership, community participation, policy and decision making. High school students have a tendency to flock to courses that bridge what they learn in the classroom to the outside world. Educators would make a difference. A social transformation will take a village of teachers, scholars, and activists and there is need to reach out to these groups.

A teacher facilitating a workshop on gender equality with high school students

Teachers and educators need to be capacitated, they need support with age appropriate and relevant content that speaks to their communities.
They need to do more global research on issues of gender and sexuality and bring that knowledge back to their schools.
Organizations and schools need to engage in partnerships on how to bring more gender research into the curriculum design.

The “Different Gender Same Agenda” has assisted in changing mindsets and attitudes of young people in Zimbabwe.

Feeling inspired to take action?
JOIN the Global Day of Action “We the People #Act4SDGs on Sept 25

On 25th September 2017, 2nd anniversary of the SDGs we are calling for actions across the world to tell people about the global goals and tell our leaders how we are performing. We the People #Act4SDGs.

Read stories from all over the world and be inspired …

Action for SDGs – Marketing for a Greener Mindset: Addis Sustainable Life

Addis Sustainable Life (ASL) is a social and business venture based in Ethiopia working on campus sustainability and the distribution of recycled-paper products for the local market.

It was founded in 2014 as a practice-based capacity building platform for young volunteers to provide solutions for sustainable living habits.
As part of its business venture, ASL designs and distributes handmade, biodegradable products from waste paper and traditional raw materials like “Kacha” and “Enset” fibers.

ASL further supports small-scale local enterprises to market and distribute its handmade eco-friendly paper products for private companies in Ethiopia.

ASL Eco-Friendly Recycled Paper Products

The most important change ASL brought within the University community was the “change towards a greener mindset”. The idea of campus sustainability was quite new and ASL pioneered the initiative for young people to engage in simple resource efficiency and recycling habits. Practically, ASL’s major beneficiaries were young student volunteers, green entrepreneurs and low-income enterprises working on the handmade paper production. Apart from raising awareness among students and volunteers, ASL has also been able to reach private companies and convince them to use eco-friendly products and support small scale local green enterprises to provide a better market for green goods and enhance the distribution of recycled materials.

ASL Book donation facilitation for Addis Ababa University students; on Environment, Climate Change and related publications.

ASL served as a platform that allowed young volunteers to think and design waste separation methods. They did this through a Design Challenge Competition for students to come up with cost effective waste separation bins and managed to produce recycled prototypes.  

The aim of Addis Sustainable Life is to mobilize youth for climate action within Universities and address one of the most important elements of sustainability such as resource efficiency and paper waste recycling.
It also functions
 as a creative platform for young green entrepreneurs to create income by marketing and distributing eco-friendly paper products while helping protect the environment. It eventually sensitized private companies to go green while using recycled paper products to promote their business.

Feeling inspired to take action?
JOIN the Global Day of Action “We the People #Act4SDGs on Sept 25

On 25th September 2017, 2nd anniversary of the SDGs we are calling for actions across the world to tell people about the global goals and tell our leaders how we are performing. We the People #Act4SDGs.

Read more stories of Action for SDGs from all over the world and be inspired …

 

Action for SDGs: Civil Society takes the lead! Peru and the Agenda 2030 Ambassadors

The 2030 Agenda Peru Ambassadors Program is promoted by The Millennials Movement, the World We Want Platform and the UN Inter-Agency Network for Youth Development – Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality.  The Program aims to facilitate the educated participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the process of dissemination, sensitization, implementation and citizen monitoring for 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals at the country level.

Youths discussing SDGs with the CSO Red de Mujeres Iberoamericanas

Through the program, the participant CSOs members join a capacity-building and evaluation process, deliver actions to sensitize their community the 2030 Agenda and SDGs, articulate their organizational goals with the Sustainable Development Goals and bring the voices and opinions of Peruvian men and women to UN and global leaders through the survey My World2030.

“The 2030 Agenda Peru Ambassadors Program, have allowed us interact with other people with similar ideals as our organization, making us feel that we are not alone, that we are accompanied by other youth who have the same desires to make of this a better world.”
– Jessica Danae Tapia Acero, Youth for Change / Líderes por el Cambio

Facilitating this way is a sustainable and inclusive process to achieve the SDGs by 2030. It is important to mention that the program raises awareness about the importance of gender equality to achieve the SDGs through program curricula and as a transversal matter. As it is hard to think about sustainable development when 50% of the population worldwide can’t give their 100% to achieve it.

Peru’s Youth Ambassadors for the Agenda 2030
Credit: Inpulsa Turismo

In 2016 the program reached 16 regions of Peru where 22 CSOs and 162 of their members became “citizen ambassadors” for the 2030 Agenda. 57 actions on the ground were delivered and 2,557 My World surveys were facilitated.

“The Ambassadors Program for the 2030 Agenda has shown us that it doesn’t matter how small the decisions we make every day are, every single decision in every single regards can actively contribute to achieve SDGs by 2030.”
– Rosario Diaz Garavito, The Millennials Movement

The 2030 Agenda Peru Ambassadors Program promotes participation of the CSOs and visualization of their effort as relevant contributions in their communities. CSOs have been contributing to the development process through their communities for quite some time, but many of them do not relate their efforts as contributions to achieving sustainable development at the national level, as some of them are not even familiar with these international instruments.

ICJ Lima

It is clear that the program contributes to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).  The program also includes gender equality approaches that need to be considered while delivering concrete actions to Peru. Peru is a country with different issues regarding gender inequality, according to the last National Gender Inequality Report 2015, the levels of inequality include both economic and political spheres.

Feeling inspired to take action?
JOIN the Global Day of Action “We the People #Act4SDGs on Sept 25

On 25th September 2017, 2nd anniversary of the SDGs we are calling for actions across the world to tell people about the global goals and tell our leaders how we are performing. We the People #Act4SDGs.

Read more stories of Action for SDGs from all over the world and be inspired …

 

Action for SDGs: High School students engage to raise awareness about the SDGs at Cottonwood Festival in Flintridge, California

High School students from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy joined together to have a session about the Sustainable Development Goals and set up a hub at the Cottonwood Festival in Flintridge, in which they aimed to raise awareness about the Global Goals.

They managed to spread the knowledge through the session and eventually filled in several MyWorld2030 surveys.

Most of the participants were new to the global goals. They found out SDGs are of crucial importance in their everyday lives, to the point that when filling the survey they could not even choose 6 out of 17 because they all mattered to them.

The hub was focusing on SDG13 Climate Action, which was the most related to the course the students are currently undertaking. They created pins of the SDGs by recycling plastic bottles caps, showing their engagement in climate action.

Students from the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy marking the recycled bottle caps with SDG numbers from 1-17.

“I just learned about these goals today!”
One of the participants after visiting the student-made hub at the Festival.

There has been a lot of curiosity around the SDGs, people felt the need to know more, asked for further information and eventually engaged towards their achievement and evaluation through the MYWorld2030 survey.

A visitor filling out the “My World 2030” survey after listening to the student’s introduction about the SDGs at the festival.

 

FEELING INSPIRED TO TAKE ACTION?
JOIN THE GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION “WE THE PEOPLE #ACT4SDGS ON SEPT 25

On 25th September 2017, 2nd anniversary of the SDGs we are calling for actions across the world to tell people about the global goals and tell our leaders how we are performing. We the People #Act4SDGs.

 

Read more stories of Action for SDGs from all over the world and be inspired …

SDGs at the German Government’s Open Days

On 26th and 27th August 2017, the German Government held their annual Open Days, this year under the motto “Fancy a date with democracy?”.

People in Berlin had a chance to visit the German Chancellery and the Federal Ministries as well as the Press and Information Office. The UN SDG Action Campaign coordinated an interactive space on the SDGs at the Chancellery Gardens jointly with the German Chancellery sustainable development team and the German Council on Sustainable Development.

Overall, the Open Days attracted more than 120.000 visitors, including families and young people who all had the opportunity to interact with the German federal government and administration.

The Campaign team raised awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals and featured a range of innovative tools for citizen engagement. Children and adults were especially keen to try United Nations Virtual Reality and get an impression of what life is like in Liberia after Ebola, in a refugee camp in Jordan or in the Gaza strip. Many visitors took the opportunity to share their views on the Goals by taking the MyWorld 2030 survey and checking out the views of other citizens from around the world on the MYWorld 2015 and MyWorld 2030 data visualization platforms.

The Open Days also featured the Humans of My World exhibition, which showcases personal testimonies from around the world on why the SDGs matter to the people being quoted.

Read more about the Government’s Open Days 2017 on the website of the German Federal Government here (in German).

Stay up to date and catch the next SDG Action Campaign Hub by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Have your Say on the SDGs taking the MYWorld2030 survey.

#MAKEOVERMONDAY, #VIZFORSOCIALGOOD & United Nations Collaboration

Makeover Monday & Viz For Social Good collaborate with the UN to support the Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign ahead of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Another exciting social data collaboration is underway and this time the projects #MakeoverMonday and #VizForSocialGood are working with the UN SDG Action Campaign to visualize data on people’s views on the state of poverty, inequality and climate change.

The analysis and visualizations from the #dataviz community will assist the UN SDG Action Campaign team in communicating the survey results to world leaders.

The data visualization challenge for this collaboration will kick off on Monday, 4 September and will run through to Friday 15 September.

The following sections provide an overview of the organization, the goals for the data challenge and give background to the MY World survey project. At the end of this article is a list of additional resources, including links and a webinar.

ORGANIZATION

The United Nations SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General administered by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in the SDG implementation.

Building on innovative and impactful engagement techniques deployed since 2002, the UN SDG Action Campaign intends to create awareness about the 2030 Agenda, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, and help make the Goals attainable by 2030. http://sdgactioncampaign.org/

COMMUNICATION GOALS

The United Nations MY World 2030 survey is gathering people’s views on the state of poverty, inequality and climate change, based on where you live. The project continues on from the highly successful MYWorld 2015 project which gathered and channeled the voice of over ten million people into the deliberations of what the Goals should be.

MY World 2030 is an initiative of the UN SDG Action Campaign, UNDP and the Overseas Development Institute with thousands of additional outreach partners from UN agencies and NGOs, to youth groups and private sector companies. Data will be gathered to build up a picture of progress over the next fifteen years.

https://myworld2030.org/

GOAL

Your vote matters. The UN is working with governments everywhere to implement the ambitious set of Goals to address extreme poverty and preserve the planet. The data from this MY World survey are publicly available and open to everyone to analyse and share. These data will be presented back to world leaders and decision makers at key moments over the next fifteen years, both formally through political processes and informally through creative ‘People’s Voices’ exhibitions and films.

PROJECT

Using MY World2015 data visualizations at http://data.myworld2015.org/ and recently created MYWorld 2030 data visualisations using Tableau at http://data.myworld2030.org/ as a reference, create:

  1. A visualization based on the pie charts in http://data.myworld2015.org to understand demographics (including disability status) of survey respondents.
  2. A visualization for the 3rd rating question on MYWorld, “Would you say the situation on your chosen Goal has got better, stayed the same or got worse over the past 12 months?”
  3. Any data visualization or Tableau story related to survey data which can be included in http://data.myworld2030.org/

Selected visualizations will be:

  1. Featured on UN SDG Action Campaign social media.
  2. Potentially featured on other communication channels. (e.g. website, publication) This will be determined and evaluated by UN SDG Action Campaign.
  3. Selected visualizations will be presented back to world leaders and decision makers at key moments over the next fifteen years, both formally through political processes and informally through creative ‘People’s Voices’ exhibitions and films.

DATA

Kindly take the survey to understand the data: https://myworld2030.org/

Data sets:
Formats: XLS TDE TWBX

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Watch the webinar for a comprehensive introduction to the project and the various people involved and a chance to ask questions ahead of the data challenge

About MYWorld

Design Resources

Global Goals Icons

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

  • Sign up as a volunteer
  • Use the hashtags #MakeoverMonday and #VizForSocialGood on Twitter to submit your visualization(s) and a link (if applicable).
  • Mention @TriMyData (Eva, Makeover Monday), @VizWizBI (Andy, Makeover Monday), @datachloe (Chloe, Viz for Social Good) & @SDGaction (SDG Action Campaign), e.g. by tagging these Twitter handles in your images.

TIMEFRAME

  • 3 September 2017: Data will be published
  • 4 September 2017: Official start to the data challenge
  • 15 September 2017 (11:59pm PT): deadline for submissions to Viz for Social Good and the UN SDG Action Campaign

MY World Mexico’s Youth Taking Action in 2017’s HLPF

Written by: Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, National Operations Coordinator & Jesús Epifanio Vicencio Prior, Content and Writing Division at MY World Mexico.

Last month the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was held at United Nations Headquarters with the purpose of giving a space to different stakeholders for the sharing of their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The HLPF is the United Nations main platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs that provides the full and effective participation of all States Members of the United Nations and States Members of specialized agencies. This year’s team was “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. The set of goals that were reviewed in depth were Goal 1 (No poverty), Goal 2 (Zero hunger), Goal 3 (Good health and well-being), Goal 5 (Gender equality), Goal 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), Goal 14 (Life below water), and Goal 17 (Partnerships for the goals).

In accordance with Paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States decided that the HLPF shall carry out regular Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs which included developed and developing countries, as well as relevant United Nations entities and other stakeholders. The HLPF reviews this year were state-led, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants, and provided a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.

This year’s VNRs aimed to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The VNRs also focused on strengthening policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs. The VNR countries submitted comprehensive written reports that were be made available in the VNR database. In addition, each VNR country provided main messages summarizing their key findings. In addition, the Secretariat invited all relevant stakeholders to host side-events during the HLPF. In total, 147 side-events, 3 special events, and 10 learning courses and workshops to favor the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the SDGs were organized. MY World Mexico was able to join events daily and participate in key meetings with stakeholders at the global and national levels.

For this year’s HLPF five team members from MY World Mexico were selected by as a result of their work on the ground since 2016 to represent My World Mexico at this outstanding event.

As result, our participation increased the voices and impact of young people and volunteers of MY World Mexico due to the campaign’s work related to the implementation of SDGs and its monitoring through the MY World 2030 survey. In addition MY World Mexico’s partnerships strengthened with key meetings and approaches (like Ilmi Salminen, United Nations Youth Delegate of Finland; Anne-Sophie Dubrux, United Nations Youth Delegate of Belgium; Adil Skalli, Project Office, Climate Change, Global Goals Camp; Model Assemblies, United Nations Association in Canada; Steve Lee, Executive Director, Foundation for Environmental Stewardship, among others).

We were able to share best practices of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs locally, nationally and internationally, which were acknowledged by its focus on volunteering. On the other hand our team improved youth advocacy skills and got to explore new opportunities for MY World Mexico to improve and innovate our work (specifically, key points to improve MY World Mexico as a network of youth talent).

We established frequent communication and collaboration with youth around the world, to advocate for the involvement of young people in the governance processes aimed to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. This included a close dialogue with Mexico’s Presidency to interact on new ways to include youth in SDG action and discussion mechanisms at the national level.

Read MY World Mexico’s Full Report on the 2017 HLPF: here.

Cycling across Europe for Climate Action

1 man, 1 woman, 2 bikes, 10,000 km and 9 months to complete it in.
Inka, 19 years old, and Fabian, 18, are two teenagers with a mission: cycling across Europe and discovering people engaged in making a difference for our climate. They are setting an example to many and their message is clear: a sustainable and carbon neutral way of travelling is possible and it does not take too much effort.

These young advocates are the Ambassadors for Climate Neutral Now, a project run by the UNFCCC.  They visited our Global Campaign Centre to learn about the SDGs, and tell us their story of how they became passionate activists for Climate Action. Meet them and be ready to be inspired! 


“People shouldn’t be scared of doing things just because it’s not what is expected. Just do it if you think it is important! ”
Inka – Climate Ambassador

They have so far cycled over 4,000 km to reach Germany from Porto, Portugal on their way to Greece, after which they will return to Bonn in time for the annual UN Climate Change Conference COP23 (6-17 November).

Along the way they are interviewing people from key projects and initiatives, focusing on the UNFCCC secretariat’s Climate Neutral Now and Momentum for Change initiatives but with a view to also seeing what key NGOs such as C40 Cities, their respective mayors and city administrations are doing in terms of climate action.
They agreed to record our chat in a live interview that went on line on the same day on Facebook and that is now available on YouTube as well.

The planned trip of Inka & Fabian
Credit: Europe on four wheels


They are still travelling through Europe and they will be spreading the word and raising awareness on what can people do to be Climate Neutral and try to combat climate change.

Follow them on their trip on Facebook, Instagram and their blog
If you wish to know more about the project and about Climate Action visit : UNFCCC Newsroom 

Inspired by this story? Discover other stories of how people are taking action for SDGs (Humans of MY World) or take action!  

Citizen Scorecard: Two years on, how have people’s lives changed on key SDG targets.

  • 20% of people surveyed struggle to have enough food to eat

  • 8 key findings that can help us understand perceived progress on the SDGs two years after their adoption

  • One in three respondents are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • explore data

This and other key findings are part of the results of several pilot studies collecting perceptions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to assist decision-makers in SDG review activities. The results, collected through a collaborative research project between the UN SDG Action Campaign and Paragon Partnerships, in particular Kantar Public and Lightspeed, as part of the MY World 2030 project, were presented today during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations. The Forum is the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals held from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017.

The UN SDG Action Campaign & Kantar Public have developed and tested a question library of almost 100 SDG Questions and then conducted a research study in 11 voluntary reporting countries for this year. The results are representative and weighted samples across the following countries provide a baseline against which to measure progress in future years.

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • The Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Thailand

Key Findings

  1. One third of people are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

    Overall. One in three respondents are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals. Younger respondents (ages 16-29) were more familiar with the SDGs than older respondents. There are huge differences among countries. Respondents in Thailand (the least developed country in the sample) were the most aware, while respondents in Denmark (the most developed country) were least aware. Japan and Argentina were the countries with least awareness levels, with over 80% of the population not aware of the SDGs. There is a lot to be done!

  2. SDG 1 / 20% of the population is still struggling to afford basic needs. 

    This percentages goes up to 35% for those who haven’t completed primary education.

    Thinking about you and your household, which of the following best describes your financial situation?
  3. SDG 2 / The struggle for food is very similar in countries with the highest and lowest Development Index and it affects about 20% of the population who are struggling to have enough food to eat. 

    When asked about how easy or difficult has it been for respondents and their household to have enough food to eat, 20% of all respondents across the sample, without distinction between Low and High Developed Countries (according to the Human Development Index) found it very or quite difficult to have enough food to eat in the past twelve months. Some differences are shown, with Argentina, a country with a Very High HDI level, reporting the most difficulty ( 37% stated “Quite Difficult.”) and Denmark with the least difficulty (55% answering “Very Easy”).

    Question: Thinking about the last 12 months, how easy or difficult has it been for you and your household to have enough food to eat?
  4. SDG 3 / Access to healthcare has not changed since last year. 1 in 4 respondents are not satisfied with the quality.

    For the majority of respondents the situation hasn’t changed. But one in four respondents are not satisfied with the quality of healthcare. Thailand scored as the country where it has most improved.

    Question: How satisfied are you with the health services and treatments you and your household have had over the last 12 months?
  5. SDG 5 / More people agree than disagree that women earn the same amount of money for doing the same job.

    Overall, more respondents agree than disagree that women earn the same amount of money for doing the same job. Regional differences are shown, as the majority of European respondents disagree with this statement, while the majority of S.E Asian respondents agree.

    Question: “Today, in our society, women and men earn the equal amount of money for doing exactly the same work at the same level”. Do you agree with this statement?
  6. SDG 9 / Access to internet is still an issue.

    One in five respondents reported they were “often” or “always” having problems with internet access. Malaysian respondents reported the most difficulty accessing the internet with 11% answering “always” versus the Netherlands as the country with the least difficulty, with 61% answering “never” or “rarely”. The age difference also played a role, with the majority of respondents aged 60+ reporting more difficulty than younger ones.

  7. SDG 14 / The oceans and seas are not clean enough, and half the population agrees. 

    Argentina and Italy scored high (73% in Argentina and 69% in Italy) in the perception that their rivers and lakes are not very clean or not clean at all. In Italy and the Czech Republic, conditions have gotten worse according to around 30% of the people surveyed, whereas in Malaysia and Portugal, conditions were reported to have improved. Sweden and Denmark were the exception, with above 70% of the respondents reporting that their rivers and lakes were very clean or fairly clean.

    Question: In your opinion, how clean are the rivers and lakes around where you live ?
  8. Good Health, Eradication of Poverty and Decent Work are the primary concerns for citizens.

Overall, the top 5 SDGs where: 

It is interesting to note that in MY World 2015, with a much bigger sample size, the top issues of concern were Education, Healthcare, Jobs, Honest & Responsive Government. People are still choosing the same top issues two years on! After good health, the top concerns change for women and men – for women being “No poverty” and men being more concerned with “Decent Work and Economic Growth”. Quality Education also made it as a top concern in Argentina.

Methodological Note

In total, 7,772 respondents took part in the survey in 11 countries, ranging from 350 in Denmark to 1,011 in Czech Republic. Quotas were set by age, gender and region in each country. Respondents were sampled from Lightspeed and TNS online and mobile access panels. Data is weighted by age, gender, and region in each country. Cross-country comparison is based on additional weights by country population size

In other words: assuming probability sample, for a question response of 49%, we can say that in 95 out of 100 surveys, the true value (which would be obtained if the entire population were asked the question) lies between 46% and 52%.

Become a MY World 2030 partner and roll out the survey

MY World Mexico’s Commemoration of World Environment Day & The Ocean Conference

Written by: Jesús Epifanio Vicencio Prior (Content and Writing Division) Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo (National Operations Coordinator) MY World México

One of the key pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is how to protect our planet and secure that future generations enjoy a healthy natural habitat like many of us do. Our environment faces many evident challenges, mainly caused by human activities. These challenges which in many cases have turned into actual issues, have considerable impacts upon human health, biodiversity and climate alterations.

Our country Mexico is a country already affected by theses issues. At the national level, toxic waste; pollution and climate change can be easily identified. Mexico City for example, has one of the highest percentages of annual pollutant emissions in the world. Other cities such as Guadalajara or Monterrey generate around 3.5 and 3% percent respectively. Cities like Mexicali and Tijuana are also among the most polluted cities in the country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 15,000 people die as a result of pollution-related diseases in our country. Mexico also produces an average of 86,349 tons of waste every year, giving this an approximate of 770 grams per person, which mainly occurs in households, buildings, parks and streets. Around 87% of garbage waste is produced in rural communities.

The official statistics provided by the Mexican government, have shown that in the last 3 years, a total investment of nearly $ 1 billion dollars has been done in fighting pollution. Around 44,000 people in our country in the last 8 years, have lost their lives as a result of pollution according to WHO, and 300 children a month die because of air pollution in Mexico.

These statistics replicate themselves as you look into each country’s case. This is why the United Nations has promoted the protection and improvement of environment though establishing June 5 as World Environment Day. The celebration provides the opportunity to develop a basis for well-informed individuals, organizations and companies to promote the conservation of our environment and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The first time the international community commemorated this day was in 1974. Ever since this day has provided individuals and organizations with a platform of public discussion that aims to preserve a healthy Earth. Each year, World Environment Day revolves around a theme that seeks to place attention upon a particular issue. This year’s theme focused on the relation of people with nature to appreciate its beauty and reflect on how we are an integral part of it.

MY World México through its strong national network, partner with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) and Design For Change to promote actions across the country in favor of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, 12, 13, 14 and 15. This aligned with MY World Mexico’s integral strategy to work at the local, national and international levels for the implementation, monitoring, financing, monitoring and socialization of the SDGs in Mexico.

With the support of UNEP, UNV and Design For Change, MY World Mexico launched a call inviting individuals and organizations to promote #SDGAction in favor of the environment. The call reached many organizations and individuals and at the end of the day we were able to register over 30 activities across the country focused on creating awareness and solutions to solve environmental issues at the local level and promote action towards its protection.

Some of these actions included activities such as cleaning of public spaces; reef system tours; conferences and workshops; responsible consumption lectures; reforestations; tours and guided visits to natural parks; among others. Most of the participations were led by high schools, elementary schools, universities, civil society and interested individuals, as well as the private sector. Participant states included Quintana Roo, Veracruz, Yucatán, Puebla, Mexico City, Jalisco, among many others.

In addition to what was being led on the ground, MY World Mexico was also being represented at the first ever United Nations Ocean Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Two of our 2030 Agenda Youth Ambassadors, Leonildo Tun Caamal and Patricia Lineth Cervantes Rodríguez were responsible for taking to the United Nations the results of MY World Mexico’s National Voluntary Commitment towards SDG 14 on Life Below Water published by the United Nations Presidency of the General Assembly.

The results so far, have included a total of:

  • 15 coasts cleaned in 5 states of Mexico.
  • 3 reef visits in Veracruz.
  • Over 50 awareness activities such as lectures, workshops, conferences and others.

As MY World Mexico worked with the United Nations Global Survey For A Better World MY World 2030, we were able to identify that SDG 14 on Life Below Water was positioned as the least important in people’s choices in this consultation exercise before the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2016. This is why the network considered as fundamental to promote #SDGAction and efforts that helped achieved those goals being left behind.

So far, the results have been incredible and people continue to be motivated to work towards the preservation of our environment beyond the dates that commemorate its existence, as well as challenges.  We reaffirmed our commitment to continue to work on towards the achievement of the SDGs, as well as creating and sharing the knowledge, skills and experiences that help others do the same.

Read MY World Mexico’s full report on World Environment Day (Spanish)