By Jacob Sule, #TeachSDGs Ambassador
This summary captures a one day programme, interactive dialogue at the workshop on Educating and Activating Children for SDGs in Nigeria which took place on the 8th of November, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The event brought together some government chief officers from the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the SDGs, delegates from the Federal Ministry of Education, Universal Basic Education Commission, National Union of Teachers, National Teachers Institute, Civil societies and Non- profit organizations, Youths and Educators from various states in Nigeria.
The workshop began with opening remarks by World Largest Lesson Director, Alison Bellwood alongside Stephanie Mason, Global partnership manager, the representative of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the SDGs in Nigeria, and continued with brief remarks from the Federal Ministry of Education, British Council representative, UNICEF, non-profits organizations, and youth leaders. It concluded with a set of presentations from other international agencies working on the SDGs in Nigeria.
Session 1: Welcome and Opening Statements
Opening the workshop, World Largest Lesson’ Director Alison Bellwood highlighted the need to develop and engage children in Nigeria to develop innovative learning tools and inspire citizens to take action around the Global Goals. Also, a focus was presented to propose and discuss a collaborative effort to deliver a week of SDG learning across Nigeria in 2019 during which all children in upper primary and lower secondary school take part in SDGs learning activities.
Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the SDGs represented by Dr. Bala Yunusa made his presentation on the progress, efforts on data harmonization, and national collaboration with all stakeholders working around the Global Goals in order to create citizen engagement in the implementation of the SDGs Targets. The office has produced the SDGs in major Nigerian Languages which ready for launch. Several educational materials and activities have also been created around the goals and made available for taking action.
Representative from the Federal Ministry of Education underscored the growing needs and engagement of teachers in ensuring that they are well exposed to the SDGs Goals and are working around the goals with designed curriculum.
Session 2: Interactive Sessions
Delegates identified barriers to success and generated solutions to the 2019 SDG Week learning in Nigeria, amongst the delegates who made presentations during the session was Sule Jacob, TeachSDGs Ambassador in Nigeria. He highlighted several barriers such as lack of political will by government, difference in states educational policies, insecurity challenges, corruption, and poor funding. He however pitched some solutions which included proper sensitization and awareness about the Global Goals through the use of mass media and social media, steering committee to include private actors, civil societies and government officials to create synergy, adequate incentives for volunteers, favourable government policies and stability of government due to the forthcoming general election in February 2019.
Proposed dates were identified for the launch of the SDG week in Nigeria; tentatively October 2019 was unanimously agreed because school activities are less demanding and students will not be preparing for any sort of examination within this time.
Session 3: Plan for Leadership and Co-ordination
There were robust discussions and dialogue between the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the SDGs and Federal Ministry of Education with respect to leadership and co-ordination of the SDG week in 2019. Various organizations made fantastic submissions as to the need to having a clear cut leadership void of politicking so as to achieve the desired results.
Session 4: Closing Remarks
Stephanie Mason, Global Partnership Manager, World Largest Lesson conveyed her gratitude to all participants. She extended her thanks to the Government of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Education, and stakeholders for their efforts in promoting the SDG; she expressed her satisfaction with the various youth advocacies and congratulated participants on the extensive networking that had taken place which she hoped would continue going forward.
This summary was presented by TeachSDGs Ambassador in Nigeria - Sule Jacob.
By Tobias Simonsen
In Denmark, less than 20% of the Danes are aware that the Sustainable Development Goals exist, although Denmark is ranked as second-best country to implement the SDGs according to the “SDG Index and Dashboards report 2018."
Danish companies have started to recognize the benefits they can achieve by working with the SDGs in ways such as branding their products through SDGs, executing assessment of the company with SDGs as framework, and using the SDGs as tool to enhance well-being and good working environment among the employees.
Danish politicians and educational institutions are also doing great work in creating the best possible frames for more people learning about the SDGs through policies and formal learning. The Danish civil society are also taking great responsibility in mobilizing citizens through awareness campaigns and Global Goals activity materials.
But, what about the huge part of the population who are not organized in civil society organizations, who are too old to have the privilege of being taught about the SDGs in school, or who are not working in the departments where the companies are using the Global Goals in the strategic decisions?
Well, as it is now, the starting point is building awareness about the SDGs.
So, what can be done to reach a wider part of the population? Social Entrepreneurship is a method, which engages and mobilizes communities. Most people can spot an issue in their local communities, but fewer people have the skills and resources to transform issues into actions.
In Tunisia, Amine has mobilized his local community to act against climate issues and for good working environments in the local school – through the method leading by example. Amine and his scout group managed to not only fulfill an extraordinary cleaning and renewing project, but they succeeded at the same time making it a common cause for the community.
Social Entrepreneurship requires, that the people with knowledge and skills, are leading the way for the rest of the local societies – and this is why the Global Goals is such an extraordinary tool for sustainable development.
The SDGs create a common language, which help us understand each other – whether it is policies, company’s business plans, or missions of civil society organizations - the common language allows us to mobilize and engage people who are not necessarily in touch with organizations or other institutions who are dealing with the SDGs – and are at the same time helping organizations to establish valuable partnerships for the goals.
We can build the world we want to be part of – and, as you and I have the privilege of knowing the SDGs, we have a huge responsibility of reaching more people by informing and acting.
The big question is now, how will you build the world you want to be a part of?
Tobias Simonsen is Board Member for one of Denmark's biggest youth organizations - the scout organization KFUM-Spejderne i Danmark Tobias is holding a Master’s Degree in Organisation and Strategy from Aalborg University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Economics from the same university. Tobias has worked with sustainable development in the Trade Council at the Royal Danish Embassy in India, with business models for scout centres in Tunisia and assisted a PhD project about Danish and German minorities during his time at Hamburg University. You can connect with Tobias on Twitter at @SimonseTobias.
By Er. Anant Bhaskar Garg, Director,
HaritaDhara Research Development and Education Foundation, Dehradun, India
Water is ‘Elixir of Life’ for us and our mother Earth. Sustainable Development means development having sufficient natural resources for our future generations. Thus, United Nations (UN) with 193 Countries of the world launched 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These global goals form the Agenda 2030 in which Goal 6 is on Clean Water and Sanitation and other Goals 13, 14, and 15 are interlinked for water. As per report from World Resources Institute, there will be serious water scarcity problem in 2030.
Fifty four percent of the population is living in high and extremely high water stress in India. Therefore, we need methods, awareness about water conservation, judicious usage, quality, and harvesting. We are doing capacity building among school, college students, and community members through workshops, using games for learning and better understanding.
Water harvesting is the way to conserve water in the hilly areas. The information revealed that region has three areas as per water availability:
1. Areas having perennial water sources
2. Area having seasonal water sources
3. Rain-fed areas totally dependent on rains
Three case studies describing water conservation methods in different hilly regions of the India:
1. Bamboo drip irrigation in North-Eastern Himalaya One of the seven northeastern states Meghalaya in India use an ingenious system of tapping of stream and spring water by using bamboo pipes to irrigate plantations. It is so perfected that about 18-20 liters of water entering the bamboo pipe system per minute gets transported over several 100 meters and finally gets reduced to 20-80 drops per minute at the site of the plant. The tribal farmers of Khasi and Jaintia hills use the 200-year-old system. Bamboo pipes are used to divert perennial springs on the hilltops to the lower reaches by gravity. The channel sections made of bamboo divert and convey water to the plot site where it is distributed without leakage into branches. Water is dropped near the roots of the plant through manipulating the intake pipe positions to conserve water.
2. Spiti’s Kul irrigation - water from glacier to village of Trans Himalaya This area of Himachal Pradesh is a cold desert, but surprisingly agriculture is its mainstay. Villages in the Spiti subdivision are located between 3,000 m and 4,000 m, which mean they are snowbound six months a year. The crucial portion of a kul is its head at the glacier, which is to be tapped. The head must be kept free of debris, and so the kul is lined with stones to prevent clogging and seepage. In the village, the kul leads to a circular tank from which the flow of water can be regulated. Water from the kul is collected through the night and released into the exit channel in the morning. The kul system succeeds because Spiti residents mutually cooperate and share (for details please visit www.hrdef.org and see this video https://youtu.be/tL8J7ziefOo?t=95).
3. Uttarakhand’s Naulas, Guhls – water for domestic, irrigation in Central Himalaya This region is now facing problems in the storage of sufficient water, especially during summers, for drinking and irrigation purposes. Majority of the people are dependent on the local sources of water (dharas- springs). Therefore, revival of indigenous technology for rainwater harvesting, aquifer recharge, judicious use of water, and quality of water is needed in this region. Traditional methods such as naulas, guhls need to be rejuvenated for water conservation and solving scarcity problem of India.
Workshops and Games
HaritaDhara Research Development and Education Foundation (HRDEF) organized workshops on Water conservation, Rainwater Harvesting and Environment for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, 13, 14, 15 time-to-times. Students of GyanDhara Opportunities for All with Learning (GOAL) program learned about water conservation, rainwater harvesting through a detailed session by Dr. Manisha Agarwal.
They performed practical sessions on rainwater harvesting, understood water conversation methods, and importance of water. Students from GOAL program learned about SDGs, water management, and played the game “Water Roll” designed by Sustainability Centre, Arizona State University (ASU), USA.
GyanDhara students participated in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) –DHI Eco Challenge 2017 international online serious game competition on water resources management for the river basin and sustainable development. Students from 20 countries are participating and this game is helpful to learn about water management, conservation, its usages, and SDG Goal 6.
India has traditionally been a country of talabs, kuans, johads, baoris and dhara, many of which are on the brink of extinction. Reviving ancient Indian water management traditional knowledge in hilly region will be beneficial for local people and can reduce water scarcity. Taking recourse to traditional water harvesting systems with protection of contamination of natural water sources are measures for safe and sustainable water for future.
Er. Anant Bhaskar Garg, Director, HRDEF, Engineer, Educator, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) with 22 years of experience in various capacities in academia and industries based at Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Published two books, 48 papers in Intl. Journals, Seminars, 2 chapters in Springer’s book, Invited Speaker at 98th Indian Science Congress, presented at TECH 2017, UNESCO MGIEP, member of Professional Societies IEI, ACM, CSI, ISCA, IETE, ISTE. Senior Member award (2011) of Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), USA, and Honorary Coordinator (North India) of Indo- European Systems Usability Partnership (IESUP) 2003-04 to create awareness about HCI in India. Organized various seminars, faculty and student development programs and learned best practices on education, environment through visiting Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, USA. Involved in community services for computer, environment awareness, skills development and passionate about research, teaching and developing new ways of learning as having cognition and consciousness background. Connect with HRDEF on Twitter at @HRDEFIndia.