The SDG Action Zone held a day of events focused on the planet's survival in the face of unsustainable practices, as part of a three-day series.
Discussions highlighted the role of cities and corporates in steering society’s behavior towards greener and more sustainable ways of living is critical.
Youth were encouraged to press governments to ensure they invest in the future.
The SDG Action Zone held a day of events focused on the planet’s survival in the face of unsustainable practices. The side events were part of a three-day series on people, planet, and partnerships.
In the opening plenary for the SDG Action Zone’s ‘planet’ day on 23 September 2003, moderator Sophia Kianni, Climate Cardinals, called for defining the “new normal” for climate action, and advancing the UN Secretary-General’s climate-positive actions to recover from the pandemic. Genevieve Jiva, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, called on leaders to ramp up climate action, and move away from fossil fuels and towards a just recovery that is people-centered, context-sensitive, and leaves no one behind.
Different generations are required to develop solutions, but youth are especially important since their future is hanging in the balance.
Alexander Rendell, actor and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) National Goodwill Ambassador for Thailand, highlighted the influence of high-profile individuals, such as actors, in shaping a society’s mindset, stating they have a responsibility to educate people on the “triple planetary crisis” of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Rendell also emphasized instilling a belief that individuals can collectively make a big difference.
Regarding the role of indigenous people, Joênia Wapichana, the first indigenous woman deputy elected to Brazil’s National Congress, lamented that indigenous people continue to be insufficiently recognized for their social and environmental services to the planet. She described work by the Indigenous Council of Roraima to document the impacts of climate change and achieve food security. Wapichana also urged support for indigenous people’s political participation.
Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action, observed that governments are currently mobilizing trillions of dollars to support economic recovery and job creation, and called on youth to press governments to ensure they invest in the future. He said this includes clean energy, resilience, and inclusiveness, and excludes polluting industries that jeopardize achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The day also included two sessions on intergenerational dynamics, one with the SDG Advocates such as actor and producer Dia Mirza highlighting climate justice, human rights, and the role of technology. A session on intergenerational solutions considered how to achieve the 2050 vision of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), “living in harmony with nature.” Participants highlighted intergenerational equity, stakeholder participation, indigenous rights, local action, youth, and gender issues.
A session on ‘Protection for an Evolved Capitalism: How B Corps are leading the way’ showcased companies are integrating SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) into their operations. The exchange of views underlined the importance of scalability, use of sustainable materials, and recognizing the flaws in the current economic model.
Following a full day of discussions about how human activities intersect with our natural planet and impact and disrupt nature’s cycles, participants concluded that:
- all stakeholders need to transcend their differences in order to work together to protect the planet;
- different generations are required to develop solutions, but the youth are especially important since their future is hanging in the balance; and
- the role of cities and corporates in steering society’s behavior towards greener and more sustainable ways of living is critical.