January 2018: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has highlighted actions being taken by countries to accelerate implementation of the SDGs. The multimedia review, titled, ‘State of Sustainable Development,’ features communities and countries that are working to achieve the SDGs, with case studies on increasing access to water in Nepal, promoting recycling and sustainable development in Peru, combatting drought in Somalia and facilitating access to electricity in Lebanon.
In Nepal, a UNDP climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiative brought water to the upper village of Gadhi, Nepal. The water restoration project has provided each household in the village with consistent access to clean, piped mountain water from a locally-managed water distribution system. This access to water has given women more free time, enabling them to play a more active role in village decision-making and start micro-enterprises, all of which have contributed to progress on gender equality. As one woman explained, having access to piped water “has saved me a great deal of time and effort, which I can now invest in other more productive activities like income generation and my child’s education.”
The case study from Peru showcases “opportunities for sustainable development in garbage.” The story describes how an association of six women and one man in Peru collect about 400 kilograms of waste every day from businesses and houses committed to recycling. For example, Gregoria knocks on doors of houses and businesses to collect recyclable material, uses the plastic bottles, cartons and papers to produce handicrafts and then sells them around the city. She credits an initiative by the Peruvian Environment Ministry, the municipal government, UNDP, the UN Environment Programme and UN Volunteers with giving her the opportunity to promote a recycling culture. Peru’s National Solid Waste Plan recognizes the work of recyclers like Gregoria, and aims to raise awareness among its citizens on opportunities for sustainable local development and green jobs.
In Somalia, 615,000 people are currently displaced by drought, and the country is one of four currently facing the threat of famine. Livestock herders, farmers and their families face rising costs of water, with an average family paying US$200-400 per month for water. To address these challenges and reduce the impacts of climate change-induced disasters, UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) built water harvesting structures that provide nomadic communities with easier access to water. In addition, communities have received training on integrative farming techniques, such as crop rotation and fodder production, and other support like solar lanterns. These initiatives aim to provide support that goes beyond short-term relief to enhance Somali communities’ resilience.
The interactive review features storyboards that tell individual stories, such as how Alissar can safely walk down the street in a rural area of Lebanon because of the installation of a set of solar-powered streetlights along the main road in her town, and the way the provision of a clean cookstove has helped a grandmother to keep her grandchildren warm, fed and healthy. Narrative on how UNDP is helping to provide these services accompany the storyboards and showcase UNDP’s actions towards the SDGs. [State of Sustainable Development]
References: International Institute for Sustainable Development. (2018). Retrieved from http://sdg.iisd.org/news/undp-showcases-state-of-sustainable-development-around-the-world/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2018-01-18%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE&utm_content=2018-01-18%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE+CID_f005912d15a188348e6667aa28821ed1&utm_source=cm&utm_term=UNDP%20Showcases%20State%20of%20Sustainable%20Development%20Around%20the%20World