Where has all the good news gone?
By Nicky Dodgson, Global Goals Centre volunteer
In 2015 193 developed and developing countries adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With agreement to achieve the 17 goals by 2030, the SDGs (or Global Goals) are a commitment to a future that is both fair and sustainable.
The vision set out in the Global Goals is of a world where discrimination is no longer tolerated; where people of all countries, backgrounds, sexualities, mental and physical abilities, genders and ages are not only safe but have equal access to our societies and have their most basic needs and human rights met. Where we have fair pay and conditions at work, and everyone has access to education. Where we have tackled the climate crisis and achieved sustainability, and we are protecting our planet for future generations of humans and for other species with whom we share the Earth.
Of course, there is bad news. Let’s face it, with so much of it in our daily feeds, you could be forgiven for thinking that achieving these goals by 2030 can’t be done. There are millions of people living in poverty across the UK alone, as well as people suffering hate crime and other forms of discrimination every day for their differences. Looking across the world to developing countries we see people fall victim not only to unfair trade but to the earliest effects of climate change and have fewest resources to deal with them. People are fleeing war zones and, in some areas, struggling to be offered safe refuge.
We know there is a long way to go on the journey for peace, equality and sustainability. But there is hope: There is amazing work being done in communities across the world, fighting for environmental and social justice, and helping to make it a reality by doing things differently. Having moved to Bristol earlier this year, here alone I have already found independent zero waste shops, amazing community groups supporting and raising the voices of disabled people, refugees and minority communities and sharing culture, arts and learning opportunities, as well as environmentally-focused organisations, campaigns and businesses promoting re-using, making and mending everything from clothes to furniture, to save our natural resources.
Across the world right now there is an awful lot of bad, but there is a massively increased awareness of the struggles we face and the changes we need to make; from actions from environmental movements like Extinction Rebellion (XR) pushing for action on the climate emergency, to huge reductions in people buying single-use plastics, to solidarity movements like All Out gaining international support for repressed LGBTIQA+ communities. There is good news. From deforestation being stopped in Indonesia (https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/indonesian-ban-on-clearing-new-swaths-of-forest-to-be-made-permanent/?fbclid=IwAR3_KsqnkFD3k25ZRcFFX0yoJnho33p5BA_HJstU2ggPXEOFs64PLqui398) to the indigenous women helping to empower each other and fight oppression and environmental devastation in Guatemala (https://newint.org/features/2019/04/09/place-healing), to the Norwegian Parliament refusing to support drilling for fossil fuels in the Arctic https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/norway-oil-drilling-arctic-ban-labor-party-unions-a8861171.html To people like you, bothering to read about it and hungry for change.
The moment I read about the Global Goals Centre project I knew I wanted to be involved. To bring together all these inseparable issues and help share the actions we can take to make change. To share best practice on sustainability, and to raise the voices of the victims of discrimination and inequality to help teach those more fortunate about the hardships they face, and what they can do to stop it. For there to be a home for the SDGs that educates, inspires, and helps us to act together to reach that peaceful, equal and sustainable future that we just cannot do without.
You can volunteer to help the Global Goals Centre project by contacting Jenny Foster, Project Lead email@example.com 07970-878337
If you’re a business or charity that wants to sponsor the Global Goals Centre you can see all the ways you can support us here: https://www.globalgoalscentre.org/sponsorship