Sweden And WWF Celebrate Global Goals To Make The World A Better Place

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa and the Embassy of Sweden, Pretoria, teamed up recently to encourage future leaders, influencers and diplomatic corps to participate in a seven-day sustainable living challenge and to showcase meaningful contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs).

Sweden is historically committed to international collaboration and global issues and is dedicated to doing what it can to make the world more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. The vision of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa is to inspire people to live in harmony with nature for the wellbeing of all.

This is why an exciting and pertinent partnership between the Embassy of Sweden, Pretoria, and WWF South Africa was celebrated at an event that showcased contributions to the inspiring and critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Sweden and the 2030 Agenda event, on 5 December 2018, was hosted by the Embassy of Sweden in partnership with WWF South Africa and supported by the Swedish Institute. Its theme was “Live, Move, Eat Sustainably”.

The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs for short, are ambitious in name, as well as scope. The 17 Goals are a call to action for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

The 2030 Agenda was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, and outlines a collective journey for all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership to stimulate action for humanity and the planet.

The 17 SDGs are inextricably integrated, recognising that ending poverty and strengthening human rights must go hand-in-hand with strategies to reduce inequality, improve health and education, and boost economic growth. In parallel, the world needs to cooperatively tackle climate change and protect natural resources, thus securing the livelihoods, wellbeing and the survival of people and our planet.

Live: The Embassy of Sweden, WWF South Africa and the Swedish Institute challenged future leaders, partners and influencers to live sustainably and smartly, encouraging awareness about lifestyle choices and their effect on the environment. Committed members of the public and some from the diplomatic corps chose from a smorgasbord of hands-on and practical changes they would commit to in their daily lives for seven days, showing how individuals can make small changes in their own lives that contribute to the global SDGs.

Move: How we move has a large impact on climate change and our natural environment. Eco-mobility explores more sustainable means to travel, reducing carbon emissions, through options such as car-pooling and sharing rides, taking public transport, or using pedal- or foot-power. Based on the good example set by Sweden in this field, WWF South Africa shared the results of South African research.

Eat: How we eat has a large impact on land use, carbon emissions, water and pollution. The WWF Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (WWF SASSI) provides a quick reference guide to help guide diners, restaurants and retailers make sustainable seafood choices through a traffic light system: green (best choice), orange (think twice) and red (don’t buy). WWF SASSI chefs demonstrated their culinary skills, both entertaining and nourishing the guests, while providing guidance on what local and exported seafood we should choose. Ingredients used by the chefs were kindly donated by Woolworths South Africa.

(And drink): WWF South Africa’s Conservation Champions are a group of wine farms that promote sustainable farming practices, decreasing their environmental footprint and protecting the land. Guests sampled wines from four of the Conservation Champions that export to Sweden – Vondeling, Graham Beck, Koelfontein and Backsberg – and learnt more about their stories and their commitment to sustainable production

Business: The private sector can and must also contribute to the SDGs. Scania, a Swedish business, and WWF’s global Science-Based Targets programme showed how companies are boosting their competitive advantage while transitioning to a low-carbon economy and contributing towards the SDGs.

Shela Patrickson, Public Sector Partnerships Coordinator with WWF-SA, said: “At the end of the day, we all share a planet, and both Sweden and South Africa have committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The only way that we will realise these goals is through partnerships, which is why WWF values this collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden. ”

Swedish Ambassador Cecilia Julin commented: “To obtain the global goals we need the cooperation of everyone – government, the business sector and civil society. We all individually have a responsibility to do our part. The embassy is very happy to have shared this event with WWF and to brainstorm and inspire.”

For more information visit: http://www.wwf.org.za/

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