SDG 15: Life on land
Working with UNICEF as a UN volunteer over the past year, my assignment included building awareness among staff on climate change, its impact and how we can mitigate its effects. I also advocate for sustainable practices in the way people consume energy and resources and manage waste both at work and in their personal lives. These efforts are in line with one of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 13: to improve education, awareness-raising, human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
Air pollutants (caused by two coal-fired power plants, the high intensity of road transport, and household burning of wood and coal), along with poor waste management, abuse of the natural resources and widespread use of fertile land for construction, are seriously threatening the health of Kosovars - children and elderly in particular.
“Healthier Kosovo”, a joint project of UNDP, UNV and WHO, supported by the government of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, responds to this serious, yet often neglected problem.
The implementation of Agenda 2030 in Latin America and the Caribbean requires an intercultural approach that favors integration and inclusion, especially relevant for the establishment of joint work and dialogue with communities identified values and traditions of the vast and varied range of indigenous peoples that inhabit the region
UNV and the crocodile skin industry? This surely was different from what most UNV assignments revolved around. Jerome Montague’s description of assignment reads as follows:
To fully understand what this assignment is about, one must look at the bigger picture. Papua New Guinea achieved independence from Australia in 1975 and was needed to establish its own economy.
Almost three decades of civil war in Angola have decimated its wildlife, during a time where the country had other priorities and the maintenance of protected areas and conservation of biodiversity were neglected. Now the country has the challenge to recover its biodiversity and rehabilitate its protected areas.
UN Volunteers assigned to UN entities such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), play important roles, advocating for improvements in environmental management and engaging communities to protect the ecosystem.
In 2017, 266 UN Volunteers in West and Central Africa, or 17 per cent of all volunteers deployed in the region, served in assignments linked to environmental issues.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country that is among the richest in biological diversity in Europe, prides itself in being home to dozens of endemic species of flora and fauna. However, due to socio-economic pressures and a low level of public awareness, this richness of life if often not recognized nor protected properly.
Biological diversity, meaning the variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms, is under threat: according to estimates of the World Wildlife Fund, we are losing at least 10,000 species every year – and 99 percent of them are at risk from human activities. In 2016, we reached a record of global tree cover loss with 29.7 million hectares vanishing signifying a 51 percent increase from 2015.