Action Taken on Climate Change: previously ignored, has soared to the top of people’s priorities around the world.

               

PREVIOUSLY IGNORED, ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE HAS SOARED TO THE TOP OF PEOPLE’S PRIORITIES AROUND THE WORLD.

In 2015, 10 million people raised their voices on what mattered to them, their families and their communities in the largest global consultation ever undertaken by the UN. Out of 16 priority areas, Climate Action ranked dead last. 2 years later, Climate Action has soared to one of the top citizen priorities across the globe.

Past MY World 2015 data from data.myworld2015.org showing that action taken on climate change was previously ranked last

The MY World survey was the driving force behind this consultation, which shaped the Sustainable Development Goals -the universal to-do list to end poverty, address inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030. This global survey, led by the United Nations and partners, aims to invite everyone to share their views with world leaders, to build dialogue between government and citizens and influence decision-making.

According to the latest data of the global survey, ‘Action on Climate Change’ is either the top priority or one of the 4 greatest global challenges for people around the Globe. This is a big shift in people’s perception and an important message for everyone: governments, the UN, development activists and practitioners, and change agents.

Screenshot showing the current ranking of climate action on data.myworld2030.org

The questions asked are very personal. “What is most important for you and your family?”. It’s increasingly clear that people recognize that climate change is becoming an important issue for them in their daily lives.

Every step taken for Climate Action is a step further in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The adoption of both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement demonstrate the political will needed to end poverty and human suffering, while also protecting the environment that we and future generations depend upon for our for our health and prosperity. These agendas are closely interlinked and many of the actions taken to address the Goals are also helping people to fight and adapt to climate change.

While governments have committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, all people can be part of this movement to make it a reality. Now is the moment for nations, private sector and organisations to listen to citizens and make the necessary changes to address these challenges.

*This is not a representative survey.

About MY World 2030

MY World is the UN survey that asks citizens if they are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals, which six of the 17 Global Goals are of immediate concern to them and if the situation of these has got better, stayed the same or got worse over the past 12 months.

Survey results and data visualizations can be viewed at http://about.myworld2030.org
www.myworld2030.org

About the UN SDG Action Campaign

The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in the SDG implementation.

With a proven track record on innovative and impactful engagement techniques since 2002, the UN SDG Action Campaign works to create awareness about the Agenda 2030, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, to make the Goals attainable by 2030. The Global Campaign Center in Bonn is a strategic hub to deliver the UN SDG Action Campaign’s mandate to inspire people’s action on the Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Campaign Center is central to the UN’s strategy of providing real-time cutting-edge advocacy support, big data expertise and analytics to Member States and partners across the globe.

http://un.org/sdgaction


For more information or interview please contact:
media@sdgactioncampaign.org

High-Level Event on Innovation for SDGs & Climate Action at COP23

Governments, businesses and civil society together with the United Nations have started to mobilize efforts and develop break-through solutions to achieve a zero emissions world and make the SDGs a reality.  And yet scaling up and speeding up of such action is needed to make sure we deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

On 15 November 2017, in the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference  we invite will government, private sector & civil society to showcase innovative and transformative solutions to the worlds biggest challenges, and explore ways to replicate and scale them.

This event will be a forum for interdisciplinary knowledge transfer and showcase cutting-edge ideas from different stakeholders, world regions and sectors. To participate as a speaker and present one of the transformative solutions showcased please fill out this form. 

When: Wednesday 15 November. 1.30 –  2.30pm
Where: Climate Planet, between the Bonn and Bula Zones of COP
Who: High-level UN and government representatives, private sector leaders, innovators, pioneers and civil society.
*Accreditation is not required.

During this interactive event, High-level speakers representing the UN and government will open the event. Subsequently about five to ten selected representatives of government, business and civil society will each speak for 1-2 minutes in a dynamic pitch session on the SDG and climate action innovation they are presenting.

The speakers then go to different, visibly marked areas of the Planet, where they will present and showcase their innovative program or solutions for Climate Change and the SDGs. Participants can wander freely to explore the solutions being presented, thereby enabling the speakers and participants to share insights, ideas and lessons learnt. During this informal, guided networking drinks will be served.

The Venue
The Climate Planet is a 20m globe. Inside the large globe is a 4m globe, onto which a specifically produced movie about climate change will be projected – including live views of the earth taken by NASA. The Climate Planet is brought to Bonn by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is open to the public. 

For further information please contact: support@sdgactioncampaign.org

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) will be a busy and exciting two weeks in the efforts to support UNFCCC and member states to raise public awareness about the interconnectedness of the SDGs and Climate Action, and to bring in citizen voices to deliver the message of the importance of multiple stakeholders working together to achieve change. Take a look at the lineup of all the immersive experiences, events, exhibitions, and conversations ready for COP23.

 

SDGs & Climate Action interlinked at the heart of COP23

Every step taken for Climate Action is a step further in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement provide a clear framework for action towards a better world for every person and for the planet.

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) will be a busy and exciting two weeks in the efforts to support UNFCCC and member states to raise public awareness about the interconnectedness of the SDGs and Climate Action and to bring in citizen voices to deliver the message of the importance of multiple stakeholders working together to achieve change.

Here’s the lineup of all the immersive experiences, events, exhibitions, and conversations ready for COP23. Interesting in attending any of these sessions? Register here 

REGISTER FOR EVENTS HERE

SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday 17th November
Change-making through New media and Virtual Reality
where: Bonn Zone, at the Talanoa Space
when:  1.00 – 2.00pm

NOTE: This event is ONLY open to COP23-accredited participants. If you don’t have COP23 accreditation already, you cannot get accredited at the entrance and you will be turned away. For those who are not eligible to attend, we invite you to watch the livestream of the event on our Twitter account via Periscope at http://twitter.com/sdgaction 

Join the UN SDG Action Campaign and Scenic VR for an interactive panel on the virtual reality film “Guardians of the Forest”, as well as the role of virtual reality in supporting indigeneous priorities in crafting a new climate reality.

Speakers:

  • Kristin Gutekunst – Executive Producer, UN Virtual Reality and New Media, UN SDG Action Campaign
  • Brittany Neff & Benjamin Ross – Co-directors, Guardians of the Forest – CoReality
  • Carol Gonzalez Aguilar – Coordinator of Women and Family – Organización de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonía Colombiana (OPAIC)

Wednesday 8th November:
Innovative leadership: Engaging everyone in driving local action for SDGs & Climate Change
where: Talanoa Space at the Bonn Zone
time: 11.30am to 12.30pm 

How can local and sub-national efforts to adapt and build resilience to climate change thrive? What examples can we see of new leaders taking innovative actions to engage everyone: governments, citizens, innovators, businesses, and organisations, in setting priorities and developing solutions to the SDGs & climate change? How can these local solutions be scaled to make more tangible change?

The purpose of this session is to share inspiring examples and insights of how multiple stakeholders across subnational governments, private sector, and civil society organisations are taking innovative approaches, exploring collaboration and engaging millions of people to make tangible change at the local and global level.

@SDGAction #ACT4SDGs

Wednesday 15 November:
High-Level Event “Innovation for SDGs and Climate Action”
where: Climate Planet, between the Bonn and Bula Zones.  Find it here
time: 1.30 to 2.30pm

Through an innovative and interactive format, this event will showcase selected transformative solutions tackling the biggest challenges for humanity and the planet. These innovative solutions will be presented by governments, private sector and civil society in a dynamic pitch session followed by targeted networking, Participants will wander freely to explore the solutions being presented, thereby enabling the speakers and participants to share insights, ideas and lessons learnt.

Moderator: Laura Hildebrandt, Policy Specialist, UN SDG Action Campaign

Welcome Remarks

  • Mr. Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Secretary General and Director Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UN Development Programme

Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Dr. Ifeolu Falegan, Senior Advisor, Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs to the President of Nigeria

Screening of innovation video, UN SDG Action Campaign

Multistakeholder pitch session

  • Luca Bucken, Liter of Light
  • Isabel Naguib, Foodsharing Bonn
  • David Katz, The Plastic Bank
  • Carlos Eduardo Sturm, Brazilian Forest Service plus various other speakers
  • Sarah Teeter, TerraCycle
  • Nick Davis, GridMarket
  • Jane Madgwick, Wetlands International
  • Valeria Valotto, Progetto Quid

*No accreditation needed

EXHIBITIONS

6 – 17 November

SDG Virtual Reality Space
where: Bonn Zone, at UNFCCC/Momentum for Change stand

Curated by the UN SDG Action Campaign, this exhibition includes a multitude of immersive experiences and a participatory activation through the MY World 2030 survey. The United Nations VR series supports the UN system in communicating and advocating for the advancement of the SDGs and Climate Action. Bringing people’s voices to COP23, participants can have a peek into how the SDGs and Climate Change manifest in peoples daily lives and across the globe and discover and share citizen perceptions on progress through MY World 2030.

 

SDG Interactive Space at the Climate Planet
where: Climate Planet between the Bonn and Bula Zones 

The Climate Planet is a 20m globe, brought to Bonn by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Inside the large globe is a 4m globe, onto which a specifically produced movie about climate change will be projected – including live views of the earth taken by NASA. Around the Planet, we will showcase the SDGs in innovative and interactive ways, human stories behind the SDGs, citizen perception data and the MyWorld 2030 survey. See teaser and more information 

*No accreditation needed

Humans of MY World Exhibition
where: Bonn Zone, in the hallway on the way to meeting rooms 1-4

Millions of individuals have raised their voices on what matter most to them and how we are making progress on the SDGs through MY World, the United Nations survey for a better world. Each of them has a story to tell. This exhibition features content from the photo-narrative series Humans of MY World, shedding light on the human stories behind the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this exhibition, you will have the chance to “meet” 17 individuals from around the world and learn why the SDGs are important to them. Take a look at the photo series 

Sharing People’s commitment to SDGs and Climate Action at the #SDGStudio

The #SDGStudio is a mobile interactive space open to innovators, influencers, governments, businesses, activists and organisations to generate dialogue and share change-making actions and commitments from across the world to serve as an inspiration for everyone to engage in taking action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

During COP23 we will be at the Bonn Zone and the Bula Zone, asking leaders to share their commitments and efforts for Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals with the world. Come and speak up!

Will you not be there? You can be part of the #SDGStudio from wherever you are. Speak up, tag @SDGAction and #SDGStudio and be part of the conversation.

All stories are shared on the SDG Studio Youtube Channel and distributed through the SDG Action platforms – website and social media channels – as well as through our media partners and UN communications channels.

We will share live all sessions and behind the scenes unique content  through our social media platforms. Follow @SDGAction in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss anything.

For a map of the different locations click here.

SDGs and Climate Action interlinked at COP23

4th Annual Data Playground: an interactive event showcasing data and innovations for the SDGs.

The UN SDG Action Campaign, UN Global Pulse, and Microsoft organised the fourth annual Data Playground, an interactive event showcasing data and technological innovations for the SDGs.

Data Playground and Breakout sessions 
120+ innovators from both the public and private sector gathered at the event. After a word of welcome by Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of Global Pulse, and Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign, the attendees participated in a total of six breakout sessions, including “AI for Earth” – by Microsoft and “MY World 2030”.

Moreover, throughout the reception visitors could try out the latest and greatest in immersive storytelling with the UNVR 360 exhibition, and the Institute for the Future special demo Simtainer. They also had the opportunity to explore and share citizen perceptions on the SDGs with real time SDG data visualisations, and the MY World 2030 survey.

 

We would like to thank everyone, especially our inspiring speakers and colleagues for a vibrant DATA PLAYGROUND 2017 and are looking forward to welcoming you next year!

Interested in data for good? Check out http://data.myworld2030.org/

 

 

 

Action for SDGs: Youth Entrepreneurs for Social Good

Young people are the core power to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.  Therefore it is essential to introduce them to the concept of sustainable social businesses and the role of innovation so that they can better lead the innovation in industry and infrastructure and solve social problems through unique innovative ways.

“Youths show a great sense of social responsibility. They understand the concept of social business and they have their own innovative ideas. I hope that they can put their plan into practice and more exchange opportunities between China and Bangladesh can be organized.”

Lamiya Moshed, Executive director of Yunus Center

China-Bangladesh Social Business Young Leaders Program is organized by Youthink Center and gets support from Yunus Centre, Social Business Youth Alliance, Grameen, Intel and other social businesses in Bangladesh. It is a one-week program where the participants will engage in dialogue with Nobel Laureate and SDGs advocate Professor Muhammed Yunus, visit Grameen Bank, lead a social business in Dhaka and then design their own social business idea.

Students talking with Nobel Prize Laureate and SDGs Advocate Prof. Muhammad Yunus

The student teams undergo three main phases:

  1. Learning: Students learn about social business and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  2. Field Visiting: Students go to different social businesses to learn about their models and practices.
  3. Designing and competition: Students design their own social business and present it to partners and stakeholders.
Bangladesh entrepreneurs presented lectures on project promotion, investor’s
attraction, branding construction etc. and provide one-to- one training to help participants design
their business plan.

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 …

 

Advancing partnerships to accelerate #SDGInnovation

The SDG Innovation High-Level Event at the UN General Assembly  brought together governments, the UN-System, Technology leaders and relevant partners to share best ideas, inform policy and inspire collective action for the SDGs 

We would like to thank everyone, especially our inspiring speakers and colleagues for a vibrant #SDGInnovation forum at the 72nd UN General Assembly.

On Monday 18 September, the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (UN Global Pulse) and the SDG Action Campaign convened governments, CEOs of major technology leading companies and innovators at the High-Level Event on SDG Innovation during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly

This unique event exposed governments to breakthrough ideas and innovations available, and leading tech innovators to the concrete problematics and challenges of countries in advancing the Agenda 2030.

The event opened with inspiring remarks from H.E. Miroslav Lajčák President of the United Nations General Assembly, stressing the need for collaboration and strong partnerships to solve the global challenges humanity is facing:

“No matter how powerful or creative an institution or an individual might be, no one can solve today’s complex challenges alone. The solutions must involve everyone – governments, academia, the private sector, youth, civil society, and innovators like you.
“We have seven billion minds on the planet that must be engaged in finding solutions to the intractable challenges facing humanity today. Innovation and technology enables collaboration across boundaries and time. Let us unleash innovation to unlock the potential of every person everywhere, especially young people.” H.E. Miroslav Lajčák President of the United Nations General Assembly

Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn delivered and inspiring Keynote focusing on partnerships and the power of networks. Followed by Marc Benioff, Founder and CEO of Salesforce in conversation with Ashish Thakkar, Founder of Mara Group and Chair of the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council.

“To achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals governments, NGOs and the private sector must all work together to unleash a massive wave of entrepreneurship that generates the breakthrough companies at a record pace. That is how we will create greener power, distribute more food and create hundreds thousands of new jobs for the growing middleclass. To succeed we need networks; networks of capital, networks of expertise, networks of customers, networks of distribution and networks of transport” Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn 
 “Technology is never good or bad, it’s what you do with it that matters.” “The fourth industrial revolution is upon us. How do we harness the power of new tech for Sustainable Development innovation and good?” Marc Benioff, Founder and CEO of Salesforce 

Among the group of participants were:

  • H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia
  • H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, United Arab Emirates
  • Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman Mozilla
  • Aliko Dangote, Founder and Chair of Dangote Group
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chair of Bharti Enterprises
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and WikiTribune
  • David Wallerstein, Chief Exploration Officer, Tencent
  • Badr Jafar, Investor and CEO Crescent Group
  • James Manyika, Chairman, McKinsey Global Institute
Adoption of any kind of social disruption is impossible for the public or private sector alone. Thanks to close cooperation between public and private sector, Estonia is the only nation in the world which offers 24/7 online services to it’s people. H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia

You missed it or want to review the inspiring ideas shared during the session? You can watch the whole event again here:

you can also check the social media story in Storify
and find yourself and key speakers in the event photos.

The result was a greater understanding of the key success factors in harnessing innovation to accelerate delivery on the SDGs.

Let’s maintain and ramp up the momentum started by the High-Level SDG Innovation forum, build strong partnerships and together accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

Sign in and join a global network of SDG Innovators 

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 …

“The SDGs in Action: Country-led, Country-owned”

Join the conversation at the UNGA Side Event on “The SDGs in Action: Country-led, Country-owned” on 21 September 2017, hosted by UNDG.  Speakers include Heads of State/Government and Ministers from the Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Colombia as well as the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the UNDG Chair. Find more information here

Colombia pioneers the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In the early days of SDG implementation, the Goals have proven to be a powerful driver of Colombia’s National Development Plan, the Peace Agreement, and local development plans.

In the department of Nariño on the Pacific coast, young people are overcoming adversities and inequalities. Here is their story on how rural entrepreneurship contributes to peaceful communities.

Chocó and Guajira are among the poorest departments in Colombia, but also home to some of the most biodiverse regions. Here, the 2030 Agenda brings an opportunity to plan a future where the environment is the basis for sustainable and inclusive growth.

The City of Montería has become one of Latin America’s greenest cities, linking green urbanism, transportation and renewable energy to the SDGs. Read more about Montería’s journey.

SDG 6 is coming to life – Korean professor invents device for safer drinking water

For the SDGs to come to life, it is often said that we need new ways of working, new partnerships and everyone to participate – not only governments and UN agencies.

Professor Kyoung-Woong Kim has embraced this message. Together with his team at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, he has developed a water purification device with the potential to change the lives of millions of people.

So how does the device work? As a specialist in soil and underground water contamination, Professor Kim has developed a membrane allowing the purification device to selectively remove water pollutants including pathogenic bacteria. This means purifying contaminated water to 99.9% drinking water. What’s more, the device can be easily installed in disaster-affected areas since its design allows water to flow through the membrane by manual pedaling, without any need for electricity.

Today, 663 million people are still without access to safe drinking water. To achieve SDG 6 local communities, researchers and business need to come together.

Through project “Ongdalsam”, or “Small water spring” in Korean, Professor Kim aims to engage with developing countries where climate change, rising sea levels and water-borne diseases caused by polluted drinking water is a threat to development. The project was first known across Korea when it was discovered in 2009 that the device could purify two liters of water per minute, providing drinking water to about 200 people a day. Since then the device has traveled to Sudan, Fiji, and Kiribati and soon to Tuvalu, where climate change is a threat to water security.

Global sustainable development requires more researchers and entrepreneurs to follow in Professor Kim’s footsteps.

SDG10: Reducing inequalities –
Early attention to the rights of girls and boys with disabilities in Mexico

In Mexico, an initiative on reduced inequalities focusing on children with disabilities has improved the lives of 12,000 boys and girls. So far, 350 caregivers in 9 states have been trained to improve the quality of care and to achieve the full development of children’s skills and abilities.

The Mexican Ministry of Social Development leads a Childcare Facilities Program for Working Mothers that includes 9,200 facilities and reaches 300,000 children in poverty-stricken homes; about 1.7% of whom have a disability. A while ago the UN carried out an analysis of the program, which showed that those in charge of caring for children with disabilities, mostly women, did not have the adequate training to detect developmental challenges, nor to provide caring that allowed the children to reach their maximum potential.

This is the background to a pilot initiative* that aims to increase the quality of care for children with disabilities. So far, 350 caregivers in 9 states have been trained, benefiting more than 12 000 girls and boys. Focus lies on early intervention. The idea is that attending to children with disabilities at an early age will foster the full development of their skills and abilities, give better opportunities to complete schooling and ultimately increase their prospects of leading a life as a fully empowered society member. Caregivers were also trained in human rights, diversity, inclusive planning of educational activities, accessibility and development of community support and networks.

All people may at some point in their life experience a disabling situation. It is a universal issue and is as such addressed throughout the SDGs. For these 12,000 boys and girls, the pilot initiative has meant real change and development. This is what the 2030 Agenda is about: implementing public policies that target the most vulnerable to ensure that no one is left behind.

*The pilot initiative “Model of care and inclusive care for children with disabilities in the framework of the Program of Childhood Stages to Support Working Mothers” is funded by the United Nations Fund to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) and brings together UNDP, UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization/WHO. The project seeks to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, signed by the Mexican government in 2007.

Country-led progress on the SDGs – the journey of The Gambia

Only nine months ago, the Gambia stood on the verge of conflict. Yet since then, the leadership has launched a reform agenda towards a progressive democracy that addresses the needs of all its citizens. A new chapter has begun.

After 22 years of authoritarian rule, The Gambia is facing a unique opportunity for transition. The African Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals can be powerful levers for change as the government stands committed to achieving the SDGs.

25 November 2011, Nyangen – Girl explaining the meaning of the photo she has taken for the Participatory Photo Exhibition at the Reastitution. Boys and girls were asked to describe their village, its problems and its achievements using a digital photo camera.

For the Millennium Development Goals, the precursors to the SDGs, Gambia indeed made significant progress in several areas. Gender equality was one. In 2015, the practice of female genital mutilation or cutting was criminalized, placing The Gambia among 26 other African countries that have banned this nefarious practice. The targets on water and sanitation were met with over 85% of the population having access to clean water and sanitation. Child mortality was significantly reduced.

But unfinished business remains. Many mothers still die while giving birth and The Gambia aims at a maternal mortality ratio of less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030 or sooner.

Almost one in three Gambians are vulnerable to food insecurity. To achieve SDG 2, the recently launched National Zero Hunger Strategic Review is identifying hunger gaps at all levels. This will be followed by regional consultative sessions throughout the country.

As a low-lying country, situated close to the sea, The Gambia is one of the most vulnerable places in the world to climate change. To adapt and mitigate the impacts, the government is implementing a series of actions. The Climate Change Early Warning Systems are being strengthened. Energy and environment concerns are being mainstreamed into national, regional, and local policies, strategies, programs, and plans. Disaster hotspots are being identified to enhance the resilience of coastal and vulnerable communities.

Key to all of these challenges is the younger generation. With a population of only 2 million, The Gambia accounts for a disproportionate number of people embarking upon the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in search for a better life. By August 2017, Gambians accounted for 5.6% (or 6 294 persons) of all arrivals in Europe from the Mediterranean, according to UNHCR.

The government is now developing a migration policy, through a participatory and inclusive approach, including youth organizations. But the Gambian youth must also see a peaceful, sustainable society with opportunities for decent work, access to education and healthcare to feel like they play are a role, are excited about and confident in the country’s future.

This is the moment for Gambia to scale up and gain momentum on what has been set in motion. If wholly-owned by the people, and led by the government, the SDGs can be a vital travel companion on their journey.

Join the conversation at the UNGA Side Event on “The SDGs in Action: Country-led, Country-owned” on 21 September 2017, hosted by UNDG.  Speakers include Heads of State/Government and Ministers from the Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Colombia as well as the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the UNDG Chair. Find more information here

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 …

 

High-Level Event on Innovation and Technology

UN High-Level Event on Innovation and Technology, convened by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General’s Global Pulse and the SDG Action Campaign

Monday, 18 September 2017

10:30 – 13:00

UN Headquarters, Conference Room 2

Event registration is closed, but a livestream will be available at: http://webtv.un.org/ and social media coverage with hashtag: #SDGInnovation 

SDG Innovation is convened by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the UN SDG Action Campaign, and supported by leaders in the technology sector. It will bring together Heads of State and Governments, CEOs of major technology companies, and innovation and thought leaders to strengthen cooperation and solve major challenges for the people and the planet. Participants will share cutting-edge ideas on frontier issues and new technologies, and explore concrete ways to replicate and scale innovations for SDG implementation.

Download programme

OPENING SESSION

  • Opening remarks by H.E. Miroslav Lajčák President of the United Nations General Assembly
  • Keynote Address by Reid Hoffman, Founder and Chair of LinkedIn
  • Marc Benioff, CEO and Founder of Salesforce in conversation with Ashish Thakkar, Founder of Mara Group and Chair of the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council

11:00 – 11:30 PANEL DISCUSSION

How can governments and innovators effectively partner in solving pressing global challenges?

  • H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia
  • H.E. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark
  • Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman Mozilla (Firefox)
  • Aliko Dangote, Founder and Chair of Dangote Group
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chair of Bharti Enterprises
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and WikiTribune

Moderator: James Manyika, Chairman, McKinsey Global Institute

11.30 – 12.50 INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE

What needs to be done to co-create innovation hubs in diverse countries and transfer skills from current epicentres, such as Silicon Valley, to the rest of the world and vice versa?

Moderator: David Wallerstein, Chief Exploration Officer, Tencent

Date:
MON, 2017-09-18 10:30 TO 12:00