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!  

Bringing the SDGs to the center of global media discussions at the Global Media Forum

Media is playing a major role in challenging the narrative about progress in the developing countries and shining the spotlight to the people who are often left out of the conversation. Is the UN is providing the tools, information and resources available to make sure journalists can succeed in their missions? Are media professionals aware that these tools exist?

For the 10th year, around 2,0000 journalists, media professionals, communications experts, politicians and civil society representatives from 130 countries gathered for the Global Media Forum in Bonn. This year the forum, focused on identity and diversity, hosted key international speakers such as the entrepreneur and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, to discuss the innovations of the digital world, artificial intelligence and journalism, the threat to values that populism represents, the role of the media, as well as international politics, human rights and innovative journalism concepts.

The UN SDG Action Campaign invited participants to experiment with the existing tools for communicating the SDGs and to participate in the creation of new ones: A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs.

credit: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2017

A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs. The participants discovered the MY World 2030 survey, the stories behind the data, youth-led solutions and the power of a single story from the Building Bridges Foundation.  How do we engage those millions left further behind in the conversation? How do we make people shift from observers to doers?

In our interactive SDG Space the participants had the opportunity to fully immerse in refugee realities, the life of an Ebola survivor or the struggle of a mother after losing a son to a bombing in the Gaza strip. The MY World 2030 Survey generated great interest and expectation and a number of representatives participated in the survey.

Congratulations to all participants and organisers for bringing together great ideas, new approaches and generate active discussions around key issues, we are sure will ignite positive actions in the near future.

See all photos of these 3 days of interaction

Linking Climate Action to the SDGs key to achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement

By Hilary Ogbonna, Programme Specialist & Africa and Arab States Focal Point, UN SDG Action Campaign

The year 2015 was a landmark for international development cooperation. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction by Member States was an indication of the political will to end poverty and human suffering, whilst protecting the environment upon which present and future generations depend for their existence and survival. These agendas and frameworks are particularly complementary and will require coordinated actions at local, national and global levels to achieve.

As national implementation of these global instruments begins, the need to ensure linkages between the SDGs and Climate Action was the centre of discussions at the Climate Change Conference (SB46) in Bonn, Germany. The focus of the Global Experts Meeting on Adaptation at the conference was exploring strategies that will promote a cohesive national implementation framework which ensures that Climate Action contributes to the achievement of the SDGs.

The ravaging effects of climate change constitute a major threat to achieving the SDGs. Climate change poses substantial risks to agriculture, health, water supplies, food production, nutrition, ecosystems, energy security, and infrastructure. Across the regions of Africa, Asia and the Latin America and the Caribbean, there have been continuous changes in weather patterns that have led to low agricultural yields impacting negatively on food security, livelihoods and incomes. In the Horn of Africa, UN Agencies have reported that famine induced by drought is threatening the lives and well-being of more than 10 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Eritrea. The shrinking of Lake Chad over the past three decades apart from affecting livelihoods, has also served as a driving force to the terrorist insurgency and insecurity affecting Nigeria, Chad, Cameroun and Niger. In a similar vein, coastal erosions occasioned by rise in sea levels continue to ravage Small Islands nations impacting on tourism, infrastructure and the socio-economic fabrics of the populations.

Based on the foregoing, it is important to note that national efforts at ensuring adaptation and building resilience to climate change can only flourish if there is a concerted strategy and action to implement the SDGs across sectors. The embedding of a stand-alone goal on climate change (Goal 13) in the SDGs is a recognition of this complimentary and re-enforcing nexus. The same situation is also applicable to other related goals such as building resilient infrastructure and promoting sustainable industrialisation and innovation (Goal 9); making cities and human settlements safe and sustainable (Goal 11); ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns (Goal 12); conserve and sustainably use marine resources (Goal 14) and protect, restore and sustainably use land resources, combating deforestation, desertification and biodiversity loss (Goal 15).

It is imperative to note that without coordinated and collaborative approaches at linking Climate Action and SDGs programs in terms of national implementation strategies, institutional coordination, financing, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, any little gain made in one could easily be eroded by the inaction in the other.

The UN SDG Action Campaign has a unique mandate to do mobilisation, awareness creation, monitoring SDGs implementation, inspiring actions with innovations and data, and building partnerships and capacity at national and local levels will be focusing on drawing these linkages in our programs and partnerships. The Campaign will work across our partners in the UN System, Member States, civil society, private sector and innovators to ensure that the nexus between Climate Action and the SDGs continues to influence policy development, implementation, review and reporting at all levels. The Campaign will deploy its tools and comparative advantages in promoting citizens’ voices and facilitating dialogues through MY World Survey and the Humans of My World, promoting platforms for advancing and sharing best practices such as the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development and the use of technology and innovations to share human stories, build empathy and inspire actions.

Internship opportunity: SDG Engagement and Outreach

Join our dynamic team in Bonn, Germany! We’re looking for interns to support SDG engagement and outreach.

Intern, SDG Engagement and Outreach

Location : Bonn, GERMANY
Application Deadline : 15-May-17 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left : 5d 17h 43m
Additional Category : Management
Type of Contract : Internship
Post Level : Intern
Languages Required :
English
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
22-May-2017
Duration of Initial Contract : 3-6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment : 3-6 months
Background
In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by UN Member States. Central to the Agenda is the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which define a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity to be undertaken by all countries until the year 2030.

As the successor to the Millennium Development Goals, after the adoption of new Agenda, the formerly UNMC (United Nations Millennium Campaign) was extended as a special initiative of UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon mandated to support peoples’ participation in SDG implementation. The now called UN SDG Action Campaign works to build new multi-stakeholder partnerships to ensure a transparent dialogue between decision makers and their constituencies, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable populations. It works to leverage cutting-edge communication technologies, to show the human story behind development challenges and create deeper empathy and understanding between decision-makers and their people. Finally, it uses data, technology and innovation to empower people with the knowledge and tools to become actively involved in supporting their governments with SDG implementation and to continue to involve as many people as possible in the decision-making process.

Responding to requests from Member States for coordinated support from the UN development system in implementing the 2030 Agenda, the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), under its Sustainable Development Working Group, elaborated a common approach for effective and coherent implementation support, under the acronym ‘MAPS” (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support). As part of MAPS, the UN SDG Action Campaign has started last year to develop its own strategy for popularizing the goals, including the setup of a Global Campaign Center in Bonn (Germany) to act as a hub to inspire people’s action on the SDGs, connect and amplify stakeholder efforts, open up measures of accountability, aggregate citizen-generated data, showcase impact, share best practices, and incubate and test out innovative efforts around SDG implementation.

As a part of centralizing the services and providing global support to partners the UN SDG Action Campaign is aiming to streamline online platforms, strengthen communications activities and the delivery of campaign toolkits to facilitate large scale advocacy and citizen dialogue efforts around the world.

The UN SDG Action campaign is seeking to engage 2-3 interns to assist with SDG campaign outreach and engagement activities. The interns will support the preparation and delivery of tools and services to partners and UN country teams, in the areas of communications, project coordination, and development of online platforms. The interns will be based in Bonn, Germany.

Duties and Responsibilities
The specific activities assigned to each intern will be aligned with their skills and background in the areas of communications, project coordination, data visualization/management and online engagement. The duties and responsibilities will include:

1. Product and Services Development

  • Support the expansion of the UN SDG Action Campaign toolkits, including drafting updates and coordinating translations, testing and roll out of tools including for: My World 2030, World We Want, Virtual Reality, People’s Voices Challenges, and more.

2. Partnership Mobilization and Support

  • Provide ongoing support and follow-up to coordinate campaign and outreach services with UN SDG Action Campaign partners
  • Engage with UN SDG Action Campaign partners to understand national/local campaign priorities and opportunities and to promote and provide support for campaign tools and services.

3. Communications, Media relations and outreach

  • Support the development of coordinated media outreach efforts to increase the awareness of the UN SDG Action Campaign activities
  • Support the on-going outreach activities through drafting messages, creating visuals and editing videos to promote and support UN SDG Action Campaign tools and services

4. Event Support

  • Represent UN SDG Action Campaign, as appropriate, in key campaign moments and sustainable development events, including at booths and exhibitions
  • Provide logistical support to events (as needed)

5. Knowledge Management

  • Support the development of a knowledge sharing platform to offer examples of campaign plans, resources and toolkits to support the outreach and mobilization efforts of UN country team networks and other partners and to ensure synergies across countries and inform the ongoing processes to improve the products and services of the UN SDG Action Campaign
  • Support the capture of good practices in global goals campaigns through research, writing and editing of partner case stories
  • General office support including note-taking, management of routine correspondence meeting scheduling and organization and other general duties.
Competencies
  • Strong writing and clear communications skills
  • Good organizational skills and the ability to work independently on projects
  • Social media, graphic design and/or data visualization skills are an asset
Required Skills and Experience
Education: Current enrollment in Master’s degree (Master’s or equivalent) or final year of undergraduate degree in international relations, sustainable development, social sciences, communications or related disciplines. Recent Master’s graduates can also be considered.
Experience: Academic or professional experience in areas relevant to the SDGs

Experience in partner/customer relations, marketing, communications, or data visualizations

Excellent research and analytical skills required.

Language Requirements: Fluency in English, both written and oral.

Fluency in other languages is an asset.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

How can new technologies ensure we leave no one behind

Professionals developing world class innovation discuss the real potential of virtual reality and new media and the challenges that lay ahead:  How do we make sure it brings a positive impact to global issues.? How can we bring it to everyone and really use it to help the people who need it the most?

 

 

Friedrich Kurz, General Manager Social Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, Marisol Grandon, CEO of Untold Stories, Kristin Gutekunst, Executive Producer of UNVR, UN SDG Action Campaign, Wilfried Runde, Head of Innovation Projects at Deutsche Welle join the discussion at the SDG Live Stage of the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development.

To convey the stories of the most vulnerable people in the world and bring them home to the decision makers and global citizens around the world, pushing the bounds of empathy, the UN SDG Action Campaign has coordinated the United Nations Virtual Reality Series since 2015.

This discussion happened during the first Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. Watch more: http://globalfestivalofideas.org/

 

How is innovation disrupting Global Hunger?

1 in 9 people still goes to bed hungry every night. Right now there are 4 famines active in the world and fulfilling basic food security needs are a great challenge. As the world population continues to grow, much more effort and innovation will be urgently needed in order to sustainably increase agricultural production, improve the global supply chain, decrease food losses and waste, and ensure that all who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition have access to nutritious food. So how do we reach SDG 2, a world without hunger, by 2030?


Bernhard Kowatsch, Head of the Innovation Accelerator at the UN World Food Programme (WFP), explains how innovation is leading to real change. The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Through its  Innovation Accelerator WFP s
upports entrepreneurs & start-ups for #ZeroHunger innovations worldwide. Follow @BKowatsch and @WFPInnovation.

This SDG Action Talk was presented during the first Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. Watch more: http://globalfestivalofideas.org/

 

Sustainable Solutions: Global activists, business leaders and experts join the world’s first playable conference on sustainable development in Bonn

Photo: Over 500 delegates at the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development form the SDG wheel at the World Conference Center (WCC) in Bonn, March 01, 2017. phototek / Ina Fassbender

Bonn, 1 March 2017 I Leading thinkers, policy-makers, business leaders and civil society activists gather in Germany for the first ever Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development, to chart new thinking and action on the world’s biggest development challenges at the World Conference Center in Bonn.

The Festival brings together more than 1,000 experts and activists from over 80 countries to join game designers and policy simulators for the world’s first playable conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Festival showcases the latest innovations, tools and approaches to SDG implementation, while building synergies, increasing mutual understanding, developing solutions and mobilising partnerships and resources to drive action for sustainable development.

Speakers include Alaa Murabit, leading international advocate for inclusive peace processes and UN SDG Advocate, Sarah Poole, Deputy Assistant Administrator, UNDP, Meng Zhaoli, Chief Economist at Tencent, one of the world’s biggest internet companies, David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations and Kumi Naidoo, Launch Director, Africans Rising For Justice, Peace and Dignity.

The Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development is hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and in partnership with an exciting alliance of international organisations. These include the City of Bonn, Cepei, Data-Pop Alliance, Engagement Global, Plan International, Salzburg Global Seminar, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), with other supporting partners.

The first day of the Festival featured the launch of the UN SDG Action Campaign and the opening of the Global Campaign Center. This year’s Festival is the inaugural event of an annual series hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign in Bonn and is designed to meet the needs of the global community of SDG actors and advocates and ensure they have the innovative tools and approaches to accomplish their mission.

Inequality, globalisation, resource efficiency, advancing a green economy and sustaining progress in the face of disruptors to development are some of the key challenges the Festival will tackle. Virtual and augmented reality areas will immerse delegates in alternate life experiences from around the world, while a real-time policy simulation will lie at the heart of the Festival, exploring how we can collaborate to reach the Global Goals.

“We are here to connect the private sector, governments and civil society to provide them with the latest innovations and approaches to realize the SDGs. We have to make sure they can bring real solutions to their regions and inspire billions of people everywhere to work together to take action for sustainable development” said Mitchell Toomey, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign.

 The inaugural Festival will chart new thinking on the world’s biggest development challenges and mobilise key partnerships and resources to drive action now and in the future” said Alex Thier, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

“I am pleased to open the first Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development in Bonn. This Festival, supported by the German government, has brought together people from all over the world to advance the 2030 Agenda. The UN SDG Action Campaign, and its Global Campaign Center in Bonn, is a testament to the universal nature of the SDGs that will be a core theme at this year’s Festival and those to come. The aim of the 2030 Agenda is to bring about fundamental lifestyle changes in all spheres of society, to help to protect and sustain life and the climate on our planet” said Ingolf Dietrich, Commissioner for Agenda 2030, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

“Bonn is very proud to host the global campaign on the SDGs. This festival is a signal to individuals, communities, cities, organisations, businesses and other stakeholders of all kinds to be bold in their vision and to bring ideas together in a culture of cooperation. Bonn is a great place to do so, and we do our utmost to give this a boost by offering a local platform within the programme” stated Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan, who is also First Vice President of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability.

View photographs

Information and interviews

media@globalfestivalofideas.org

Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development
Connect with us: #GFI4SD / Facebook @GlobalFestIdeas  / Twitter @GlobalFestIdeas

Notes to editors:

  • In September 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
  • The Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development is the inaugural event of an annual series of global gatherings, hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign.
  • The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General administered by the UN Development Programme and mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in SDG implementation.
  • The Global Campaign Center, recently inaugurated in Bonn with the support of the Federal Government of Germany, is a strategic hub for the UN SDG Action Campaign, key to the UN’s strategy of providing cutting-edge advocacy support, creative campaigns and big data expertise and analytics to Member States and partners across the globe.
  • The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is the UK’s leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues.
  • The 2017 Festival is organised by a coalition of partners including the UN SDG Action Campaign, ODI, the City of Bonn, Cepei, Data-Pop Alliance, Engagement Global, Plan International, Salzburg Global Seminar, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), with other supporting partners.

UN Talks and UN Day in Bonn

Twenty years ago, on 20 June 1996, the flag of the United Nations was hoisted in front of Bonn’s Haus Carstanjen in the presence of former Environment Minister Angela Merkel and UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The United Nations Volunteers programme had just moved to Bonn, followed by the UN Climate Secretariat shortly after. This marked the beginning of Bonn’s development as Germany’s United Nations City. With roughly 1,000 UN employees and about 20 UN organizations, the location has become a powerhouse for global sustainability that is playing a key role at the international level. The UN SDG Action Campaign is proud to be one of the newest members of the UN Bonn family.

‘Shaping a Sustainable Future’ is the common theme for the work of all Bonn-based UN organizations. From Bonn, we are rendering a key contribution towards the achievement of the 17 SDGs by the year 2030. On the occasion of ’20 years of UN Bonn’, the work of Bonn’s United Nations organizations will be presented during our UN Talks this year.

Continue reading “UN Talks and UN Day in Bonn”