In 2015, 17 defined and interconnected global goals were set as a blueprint to build a prosperous and peaceful world living in harmony with the environment. Since their initiation, undeniable progress has been made in the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The COVID-19 pandemic has posed its own challenges to sustainable development, and created setbacks in achieving these multifaceted targets. Nevertheless, the conversation continues stronger than ever, and so must we.
Shortly after the announcement of this 2030 Agenda, came Global Goals Week. Global Goals Week is an annual week of action, awareness, and accountability for the SDGs. The purpose of this week-long series of events is to engage people around the world in conversation and action in support of the Global Goals – from engaging in solution-identifying dialogues, to building partnerships and sharing success stories.
This year’s Global Goals Week takes place from September 17 – 26, 2021. Each year, the United Nations Foundation organizes a series of activities towards this shared commitment. Educational resources and events represent just some of the few ways to get involved. The 2020 rendition of this Global Goals initiative saw 63 million individuals joining online, with another 17,500 people engaging in in-person activities. This year, communities around the world will come together virtually and in-person “to solve a wide range of complex global problems from poverty and gender to climate change and inequality”.
Work of the Centre is in alignment with SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities with the goal to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The UN has defined 10 Targets and 15 Indicators for SDG 11. Targets specify the goals and Indicators represent the metrics by which the world aims to track whether these Targets are achieved. Target 11.6, reducing the environmental impact of cities, is most closely aligned to our municipal ecological footprint work. In addition to the work of the Centre, BCIT is taking steps to assess the Institutes contribution towards the SDGs.
With only 9 years left for the achievement of the goals, the decisions made in this next near decade will be meaningful.
The United Nations Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World is a great start to those interested in what they can do towards the accomplishment of the agenda. Next time you use your reusable mug, reflect on which Sustainable Development Goal that small action addressed [Hint: #12], or take your bike on your way to the voting polls instead of driving [Hint: #11]. Perhaps you can take this week to finally transition to that LED lightbulb that has been sitting in your storage all summer, or donate the bag of clothes that you have long wondered what to do with.
This Global Goals Week, let’s take the time to be mindful of how our everyday actions can play a role in the conversation and progress of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Will you be taking action, educating and holding yourself accountable this #GlobalGoalsWeek?