As of next week (25th September) it will be one year since 193 world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN General Assembly. Following which these Global Goals reached almost half of the world’s population, around 3 billion people.
This year in order to keep up momentum and ensure all 17 Goals are achieved, the UN and partners from around the world are launching #GlobalGoals Week – an annual week of action, awareness and accountability for Sustainable Development. At the centre of this week will be ‘SDG Year 1’, a special session at the UNGA Opening which will call on all world leaders to implement the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and mark progress in 2016. It will include films, produced by writer, film-maker and SDG Advocate Richard Curtis, and feature SDG Advocates Forest Whitaker, Andrea Bocelli, Dr. Alaa Murabit, the President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Throughout the week, UNDP, UN Foundation, SDG Action Campaign and Project Everyone, the founding partners of #GlobalGoals Week, will work with events and organisations such as the Social Good Summit, Global Citizen Festival, the office of the Special Adviser for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the World’s Largest Lesson and UNICEF, Leave No-One Behind partnership, Global Compact, Every Women Every Child, GSMA, the UN Department of Public Information and many more to promote action, accountability and awareness of the Goals. So this September starts the countdown for the next 14 years to ensure no one is left behind.
As part of #GlobalGoals Week and in the year Girl Power went Global, the messages from people around the world inspired by the film #WhatIReallyReallyWant, will be brought to NYC as world leaders gather. Issues like quality education, an end to violence, an end to child marriage and equal pay for equal work need to be top of every governments’ agenda in order to give the Goals the best possible start. With 110 million views, 40 million impressions on Twitter and global media coverage, produced by MJ Delaney and supported by original Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham and Mel C, the film inspired an overwhelming response on social media with people from all over the world sharing images of what they really want for girls and women. These messages will be brought to New York on a Global Girls bus with performers from the video and influential women at key events and moments throughout the week.
#GlobalGoals Week: 18th – 24th of September 2016
10 #GLOBALGOALS WEEK EVENTS IN NEW YORK
1. SDG Year 1 at the UNGA Opening Session – A unique SDG accountability moment including films, produced by writer, film-maker and SDG Advocate Richard Curtis, and featuring SDG Advocates Forest Whitaker, Andrea Bocelli and Dr. Alaa Murabit, the President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. This moment will call on all world leaders at the UN General Assembly to implement the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and mark progress in 2016.
2. The Young Leaders Initiative – launched by the Office of the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, is announcing 17 Young Leaders (19–30) and champions for the SDGs recognized for their leadership and contribution to a more sustainable world, and representing every region in the world.
3. The Social Good Summit – will launch Global Goals Week with UNDP’s Helen Clark, the UN Foundation’s Kathy Calvin, Mashable’s Pete Cashmore, the 92nd Street Y’s Henry Timms and Yusra & Sarah Mardini from Syria. UNDP will spread the word of the Goals to over 80 countries including Yemen, Iran, N. Korea and Iraq.
4. UN Global Compact Private Sector Forum – 350 CEOs, government leaders, UN agencies and civil society will come come together to focus on the role of business in advancing sustainable development to prevent global instability.
5. Global Goals Awards Dinner – in partnership with the SDG Advocates, Unilever and UNICEF focusing on Global Girls and giving awards to those who have helped make progress towards Girl Goals. This will be the first annual dinner to mark accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals, and will call on all sectors – from the public, to civil society, government, media and business – to do more, and work together to achieve their implementation over the next 14 years.
6. Solutions Summit – a summit highlighting projects and creative solutions advancing the achievements of the Global Goals
7. Global Citizen Festival – The fifth Global Citizen Festival will focus on the achievement of the SDGs, bringing together musicians including Rihanna, Coldplay and Ellie Goulding, celebrities and world leaders in an effort to enact major policy commitments toward the issues of girls’ and women’s equality, education, health, water and sanitation, environment, finance and innovation, and food and hunger.
8. The World’s Largest Lesson – in partnership with UNICEF has reached 160 countries since launch, and in 2016 is launching in India with Bollywood Actress Sonam Kapoor and youth organisations in 120 countries sending volunteers to teach lessons to younger children.
9. The Global Goals Mobile Campaign 2016 – includes an official SDG Action app produced by the GSMA, Project Everyone and DPI, participation of 17 mobile operator groups with 2 billion customers being asked to support the campaign, and 900 million people receiving a Global Goals text message. A live Mobile Show featuring the best of Global Goals week and in partnership with Global Citizen, will be made free to view on mobile, and a fun interactive feature will enable millions to text Mr. Bean and world leaders about what they love most in their world.
10. The Global Girls Bus – As leaders attend a Special Session inside the UN Chamber on the SDGs, a Global Girls bus will begin a loud tour of New York, ensuring the messages received from women and girls around the world this year from the #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign are heard loud and clear. The bus will bring together performers from the #WhatIReallyReallyWant video with leading women’s rights activists and public figures to shout about the progress that still needs to be made for women and girls.
The UN has an ambitious agenda to end poverty, fix climate change, and address inequalities over 15 years.
Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said:
“The UN has an ambitious agenda to end poverty, fix climate change, and address inequalities over 15 years. Now we need everyone to help make this a reality. Everyone needs to know about the Goals, and every September when world leaders gather for the opening of the UN General Assembly, we must emphasize the importance of delivery on the promises of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Forest Whitaker, Actor, Director, Producer and SDG Advocate said:
“Our collective commitment to the 17 Global Goals is our most important defense in ensuring that the benefits of our modernizing world are shared among all nations and people and not just by the privileged few. These goals are intended to serve the interest of every woman, man, and child on our planet. And that means that achieving these goals is up to all of us. This has to be an international movement—a coming together of people and a rallying around a common cause on a scale. I believe we have the tools and the passion to make the Global Goals a reality.”
David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the Secretary General for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change said:
“In this first year anniversary – “SDG Year 1” – more than 50 governments, and also numerous businesses, scientists and civil society organizations have stepped up their efforts to make the SDGs a central framework for their policies and actions, and have increased their focus and investment on data collection and analysis to guide decisions and leave no on behind. The first anniversary of the adoption of the SDGs is an opportunity to celebrate all achievements made, to do more to make SDGs a reality and most importantly to thank the governements, businesses, civil society groups and young people around the world for all their efforts.”
Sir Ken Robinson, author, speaker and international advisor on education, said:
“The Global Goals are an enormous opportunity for positive and creative change. We have to continue to raise everyone’s awareness of them and especially excite the curiosity of children and young people. Of course we need the support of world leaders but global change also has to come from the ground up. The World’s Largest Lesson and The Global Goals campaign are taking a creative approach to inspiring this kind of action and I’m proud and excited to continue my work with them this year.”
Richard Curtis, Writer, Director, & SDG Advocate, said:
“Every year counts in trying to achieve the high ambitions of the new Goals. I am encouraged that a series of traditions is starting – Awards for people working for the Goals, the World’s Largest Lesson, the Social Good Summit, the Global Citizen Festival and mobile show, focusing on the Goals and most important, a special session at the UN itself – all of which which adds to the pressure on all of us to work towards fulfilling the SDGs.”
Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation, said:
“This week is not just about the numbers. It’s about what the numbers can do when they come together around real solutions for real people. What kicks off with the Global Goals week announcement at the Social Good Summit will include important moments where the UN and partners are coming together around tangible, scalable solutions for progress. The Solutions Summit on September 21st is a good example of how much energy and creativity is coming around these goals. It’s a smart approach that puts numbers to work and helps turn words into action.”
How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life
Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense. But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?
For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out. A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession. This bigger issue was that of climate change. And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.
Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more. He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland. There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.
The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done. With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet. The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind. As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness. The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small. The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty. As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.
We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help. And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet. Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change. You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed. But so is he. Every change starts with one.
5 Things You Can Do Yourself to Improve the Value of Your House
Whether you want to own it or list it, every once in a while, a house needs a facelift. This will not only improve quality of your life but will capitalize your home’s value significantly, too.
The best way to improve home value by yourself is to upgrade only what is necessary and nothing more. For instance, why would you buy a new bathroom door when a little retouch and a coat of fresh paint will suffice? By taking this approach, you are allowing yourself to make several small improvements instead of venturing just one or bigger ones. Select projects thoughtfully and know when you should stop.
Pitch in for the kitchen
If you really want a return on investment one day, start in the kitchen. By many, the kitchen still represents the heart and the soul of the house, the central hub of a property and it will all on its own add colossal value to your home. Moreover, the kitchen can be a breaking point in selling the house, so you should not hold on to your wallet in this area.
There are many little things you can do to spruce up the overall image of your kitchen. You may paint the kitchen cabinets, replace old door handles, add additional storage space with a sliding wall or a kitchen island if there is enough room for it. In addition, you may open the living space up by taking a kitchen wall down. Possibilities for do-it-yourself are many.
Add an attic or a basement bedroom
Properties are usually valued by two things: land size and the number of bedrooms. The price range between a three to four-bedroom home is two to four hundred thousand. Since you can’t change the size of your land, you can at least increase the number of bedrooms.
If you are prepared to go full-scale, converting the attic or the basement into the bedroom is another especially favored project that will by far boost up your home’s value once you decide to put it on the market. Until you decide to list it you will enjoy in your own extra space for entertainment, living, sleeping, playing, exercising, or whatever you fancy.
Transformation with paint
If your walls have scrapes and stained paint, a vintage color or shabby wallpaper, several cans of paint can make a striking distinction. In order to increase the value of your home, it is recommended to go with neutral colors that will unify the whole house and make the space visually bigger.
Bottom line, nothing can transform a home like a cast of fresh new paint. It is the number one way to beef up a property value of any budget. Additionally, painting the house is still one of the easiest, fastest and highest value drivers.
Secure with style
All of your effort and money would be wasted if you can’t protect the investments you made. A good security door costs as little as a few hundred dollars but if it saves you just once from being robbed it instantly pays itself off. People avoid putting security screens on windows because they mostly do not look stylish enough, but there are other options, such as installing shutters. There are so many elegant and cool shutter options that we found at Independent Blinds & Awnings that it’s really hard not to find something for you.
Basic maintenance for a worry-free mind
A clean house is a healthier house for you and your family. By making a clean house your number one on the list for improving, you accomplish a couple of things at once.
First, you stay on track with maintenance issues and, consequently you are able to recognize future problems before they become costly ones. Secondly, you don’t allow dirt and garbage to pile up over time. Thirdly, smudged, dirty windows can have a bad impact on the overall perception of the house. Same as eyes are windows to the soul, windows are for the home. Therefore, you need to wash them properly.
Spice up the landscaping
Big backyard is an all Australian dream and still, it is more often than not the most ignored area of the house. However, landscaping is really important as it frames a property from every corner.
Simple, low budget cosmetic changes in the front yard including installing garden beds, adding plants, pebbles or mulch, and paving or painting the front walls will positively lift the curb appeal as well as the property value. As for the backyard, you may span a lawn to create more open space for you and your family to move freely, cut and reduce unruly trees and vegetation, and fix the fence if needed.
Adding value to your home through a cosmetic or structural renovation is an actual way to quickly enhance your money invested in a property. In the end, you need to make sure that if you will continue to live in the house and renovate, that your renovations will contribute to a good lifestyle and that it will give the impression of a “ready to move in” property once you decide to list it.
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