Monday, 23 October 2017

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Sustainability Week in Belgium: We have no planet B!

Sustainable Development Week - Presentation by Nadine Gouzee at the Belgian Senate | ©Photo/UNRIC

05.05.17 – With digital and technological advancement, innovative solutions can be found to increase the quality of economic, social and environmental life on earth.

Belgium Sustainability Week” motivates the international community to take action in seeking these solutions. This week-long event delivers new strategies for a green and social economy while generating conscious consumerism amongst corporate leaders and young people.

On the penultimate day of the Week, former Head of the Task Force Sustainable Development of the Federal Planning Bureau, Nadine Gouzée and Deputy-Director of UNRIC, Caroline Petit gave a speech at the Belgian Senate. 

Ms. Gouzée emphasized that for sustainable development, a paradigm shift is needed from hierarchical and top-down silo thinking to system thinking. “Mainstream silo thinking makes you unable to promote synergies. System thinking, which is the opposite of silo thinking, is where crosscutting activities allow to share and integrate ideas and actions towards common goals. It is not the social first, not the environment first, not the economy first. These three pillars are considered as interdependent and interactive”.

Sustainable Development Week - Presentation by Caroline Petit, UNRIC Deputy Director, at the Belgian Senate | ©Photo/UNRIC

Ms. Petit emphasized the importance of system thinking by highlighting SDG 17, which aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development. All stakeholders should work in partnership to implement the Goals, since “working together, all together, all the time, will be essential in the days, weeks, months and years to come.”

According to Ms. Petit, civil society and the private sector played a significant role in the creation of the SDG’s, and can play an equally important role in their achievement. “Women and men from the private sector are often closest to local communities and consumers, able to develop innovative and creative solutions that are picked up by the rest of society”. She referred for instance to Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, a company that develops advanced systems to clear the world’s oceans from plastic, and Agnes B., fashion designer and main supporter of Tara Expeditions, which studies the impact of climate change and the ecological crisis facing the world’s oceans.

Raising awareness is essential for successful implementation of the SDG’s, especially amongst young people. “It is one of the key objectives of UNRIC’s public information outreach on sustainable development to ensure young people are aware of Agenda 2030 and have the opportunity to help shape implementation of the Goals. There is no time to lose. We have no planet B”, according to Ms. Petit.

You want to know more about the 2030 Agenda and the SDG’s? Click here!

 

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