HLPF 2018 – “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”
More than a thousand governments, businesses and civil society leaders will gather at the High-Level Political Forum on 9 to 18 July 2018 at UN Headquarters in New York to take stock of progress on the SDGs and discuss challenges and successes. On 16-17 July, the Department of Public Information will host live-streamed interviews and panel discussions in the SDG Media Zone.
Below you will find stories on innovative solutions that help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as opinion pieces from SDG experts – all looking ahead on how to achieve our common goals by 2030.
Other ways to engage with us during HLPF:
- Check out the SDG Media Zone with live stories of action, innovation and solutions featured at HLPF
- Read about the latest SDG data in the 2018 SDG Progress Report
- Learn about SDG success stories from the field by checking out the stories below
- Join our Be the Change initative, and check out what you can do in our Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World
- Follow SDG progress on our @GlobalGoalsUN accounts on Facebook and Twitter
By Forest Whitaker, Actor and SDG Advocate
Across the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda lies an ambition to create sustainable and resilient societies that is unprecedented in history. Young people should be fully recognized as doers, as partners in the creation of positive change, be it local, national, regional or global. The important point is that we need to provide young people with tools and opportunities so that they can – and they will – come up with their own solutions to address problems that arise in their environment. Read more.
By Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary for Sustainable Development, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
According to ESCAP’s recent Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report, the answer is yes for only one Goal, unlikely for many Goals, and probably not for a few Goals where the region is moving in the wrong direction – most notably on inequality. While there are major variations across the vast Asia Pacific region, between and within countries, the overall trajectories are clear and point to areas where urgent action is needed. Read more.
By Tere González García, UN Young Leader for the SDGs and Cofounder of Liter of Light Mexico.
Modern energy services are crucial to human well-being and to a country’s economic development, and yet 1.2 billion people around the world live without access to electricity. In some contexts this is due to the lack of infrastructure, whereas in others, the economic reality makes it impossible to afford. These conditions result in the use of dangerous alternatives such as candles or kerosene lamps to be able to properly see in the household space. Just picture for a moment conducting your daily tasks in complete darkness, even during the day. We wouldn’t even be able to communicate with each other through this blog post right now. Read more.
By Vincent Loka, UN Young Leader for the SDGs
Access to clean water in the village of Chhnok Tru, Cambodia, was of concern as open defecation is still in practice and no proper waste management established. The situation on the ground was exacerbated by the prolonged dry season in the region that degraded the river water quality. Most villagers used the water directly from the river for their water needs which ranged from washing and showering to drinking and cooking. Some were able to afford bottled water but the quality of water they received varies with season. Vincent and his team managed to provide an alternative source of drinking water for the villagers by providing the means to directly filter water from the river to produce clean and safe drinking water, thus relieving them of the reliance on polluted water or single-use packaged water. Read more.
By Samuel Malinga, UN Young Leader for the SDGs, and Founder of Sanitation Africa
Access to improved water and sanitation facilities does not, on its own, necessarily lead to improved health. There is clear evidence showing the importance of behaviour change. The key to increasing the practice of, for example, hand washing with soap and ending open defecation is to promote behavioral change through motivation, information, and education. Read more.
By Karan Jerath, UN Young Leader for the SDGs
At the age of 20, Karan Jerath has already invented a device that could prevent oil spills, become the youngest member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy list, and selected as a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals. Watch the video to see how Jerath’s patent pending oil spill device could change the world.
By Paul Polman,CEO of Unilever, vice-chair of the UN Global Compact
In 2015, 6.6 billion people (over 90 per cent of the world’s population) used improved drinking water sources and 4.9 billion people used improved sanitation facilities.Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), ‘clean water and sanitation’ for all is being made. However, this progress means little to the 3 in 10 people who still lack individual access to safe, readily available water in their homes or the millions of people who do not wash their hands with soap despite its proven health impact. Read more.
In Brazil, 8 billion liters of water are consumed every day via flushing toilets. Piipee is a product designed to reduce up to 80% of water consumption in the toilet bowl – releasing a biodegradable solution that removes the smell of urine and changes its color. No need to flush every time anymore!
10 million Ugandan, or 1/3 of the population lack access to clean water sources. Kathy Ku created Purifaaya, a clay water filter that is both affordable and effective to provide a clean water source. It costs $20 and lasts two years, made locally with local material, it’s sustainable and provides 35 jobs.
Rainergy creates sustainable energy out of pouring rain. The device consists of four main parts: a rain collector, water tank, electricity generator and battery. The energy is then stored in the battery, helping relieve pressure on power grids, and allowing yet another option for access to power for underserved communities.
Chanouf Farm-Biofire is a farm that grows pears and olives in Tunisia. To diversify its sources of income, the company has created an agro-forestry waste recycling unit. By promoting biomass waste, it manufactures high performance, ecological, and cheap fuel briquettes and charcoal.
Langouët is a 100% ecological village in Brittany, France. For two decades, all the political decisions of the municipality aim to protect the environment. No use of phytosanitary products for the maintenance, canteen 100% organic for the local children, 100% autonomous energy thanks to a photovoltaic device and ecological constructions.
Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, more than a million and a half refugees have fled to Lebanon. Live Love Recycle employs refugee workers to collect the recyclables from homes, businesses and schools; these recyclables are then sent to factories in Lebanon where they got transformed into new products.
In five refugee camps in southwestern Algeria, the World Food Program (WFP) has developed a hydroponic barley program to feed livestock, using 90% less water than in traditional agriculture.
In order to favor access to sanitary women’s products in underprivileged communities of the world, Freedom Cups, a Singaporean organization, distributes reusable menstrual cups to women across the globe, using a “but-one, give-one” model (for each cup bought, they send another one to someone in need for free).
Adopt an Olive Tree is a Spanish organization that has created a sponsorship program to save the Spanish rural town of Oliete and its ancient olive trees, by allowing anyone to adopt one of the trees online, helping to create local employment while saving the 100,000 olive trees that have been abandoned in the village.
Dozens of young men and women in Thailand are turning away from cities, determined to make a self-sufficient life for themselves through agriculture. To help them, a network of experienced farmers has developed a community called Dare to Return, to provide the youngsters with assistance to set up their farms, while applying modern and sustainable methods.
While the FIFA World Cup is taking place in Russia this summer, a group of activists/social entrepreneurs is launching a Social Campaign Cup for the people, to connect the thousands of soccer fans coming from all over the world with the local communities and to promote responsible consumption and responsible, eco-friendly ethical tourism.