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Healthy Air, Healthy Planet

We couldn’t agree more that the theme of this year’s International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on 7th September should be themed Healthy Air, Healthy Planet. The day draws our focus to two of the main issues around air quality – particulate pollution and climate impact. Air pollution is one of the greatest threats to species in general and to humanity specifically. Billions of years of life are lost and billions more in healthspan due to the adverse impacts of dirty air. And the climate change impacts are even more widespread and impact even in places with good air quality. Clean air is integral to achieving the 2030 Agenda as it is part and parcel of achieving targets in SDGs 3, 5, 11, 13 and 15. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Day of Charity on 5th September

The International Day of Charity was adopted by the UN in 2012. It recognises that charitable work and activity has value in its own right, bringing people together in communities of support, but also has a valuable role to play in the 1st SDG - No poverty. As the 2030 Agenda strives towards eradicating all poverty within its framework of the 5 Ps - people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership - we can see how charity can have an important place in the world and this day helps to consolidate something humans have recognised for thousands of years and also to help mobilise people who can get distracted in their busy lives. 5th Sept was adopted in recognition of Mother Teresa who dies this day in 1997 after a life dedicated to helping others. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The latest HLPF took place in July 2021. The dominant issue this year is of course the covid pandemic and for the HLPF the key questions arising over the pandemic’s impact on the 2030 Agenda. There are many elements to the forum and many areas for study but this is en excellent article taking a specific look at the HLPF outcomes from a feminist perspective. It is very thought-provoking and has many good points which ultimately highlight the really difficult barriers to implementing SDGs 5 & 10 as a primary focus and then all the other SDGs due to their intersectionality with gender equality (or lack of it). . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Geo-engineering for the climate crisis

If we are to slow human driven global heating, or even reverse it, the top level solution is clear. We have to stop our interference in the carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the two most important GHGs. Carbon dioxide due to its prevalence, methane due to its impact (holding 22 times more energy than CO2). The only feasible approach to such an enormous, global problem must be multi-faceted. The SDGs are deliberately cross-sectorial so that as many policies as possible can have a positive climate impact alongside their primary focus. We need to change individual behaviour especially relating to consumption and waste, and we need to have systemic change driven by government regulation and corporate decisions to act in a broader interest. Another element will be our technical expertise and ability to contribute to removing carbon from the atmosphere and getting it back into storage using new technologies. these may be broadly referred to as geo-engineering and can . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Calls growing for SDG education

A UK teacher has made an impassioned plea for sustainability to be brought more firmly into the curriculum at all levels. Writing in The Guardian, Meryl Batchelder calls for sustainability education in general and the climate crisis in particular to be taught much more comprehensively and within the standard curriculum in the UK from primary school up. We wholeheartedly agree and hope UK and other international curriculums do the same. It is after all target 4.7 in the 4th SDG – Quality Education.   . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Youth reaction to IPCC Jason Qiu

SDG action is incredibly important, the wide range of issues that they cover are becoming increasingly more prominent in the world. The youth of today are the next cohort of individuals to combat these issues. Collectively, these open-minded individuals are able to cultivate brilliant innovative ideas that could drastically change the world. Youth action is not only important but empowering. Seeing other youth initiatives being implemented all around the world creates a sense of urgency and nudges other youth to engage in sustainable development, creating an environment in which the youth are more equipped to tackle these issues when they grow older. Furthermore, being able to display these youth initiatives on a global platform to a wide range of global leaders and stakeholders shows that we are capable of making a difference and highlights that we deserve a say for the future of this planet. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

“This International Day is intended to inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples. In accordance with the goals of the intercultural project "The Slave Route", it should offer an opportunity for collective consideration of the historic causes, the methods and the consequences of this tragedy, and for an analysis of the interactions to which it has given rise between Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.” The lessons of the past and the eradication of all modern slavery is integral to SDGs 10 & 16. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

World Humanitarian Day

Yesterday was World Humanitarian Day. 2021 saw the focus placed on the most vulnerable people who will suffer most from the fallout created by the climate crisis. Using the hashtag #TheHumanRace, the UN recognizes that those in poverty and/or threatened by the immediate reality of their location (think wild fires or Pacific Island atolls) need our help right now. With COP26 in just 10 weeks’ time, the plight of the most vulnerable needs to be front and centre of the consideration and agreed actions that the conference needs to deliver. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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