Neel Dev Sen studies in grade 5 at an International school in Zurich. He talks of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals that the UN wants to achieve by 2030. Some of these goals are about protecting the environment and reducing global warming which is affecting weather patterns.

Global warming means it will get hotter, there will be more sea water and there will be floods in different parts of the world. Some of the SDGs set by the United Nations are about money and education and some are about inequalities. Some people in the world have no access to schools and that creates poverty. This is because education is what you need when you go to work later in your life. Inequality between genders, race, economy and religions are unacceptable because everyone has the right to do anything they want. This is what the basics of the goals are.

Some of these goals have to be taken on by governments, some can be achieved through community effort. We children can also help achieve some of these goals.

Here is a more detailed description of the goals.

Illustration of Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 1: No Poverty : Some people in the world only earn USD 1.25 a day (= CHF 1.24). People should have enough money to afford 3 meals a day and clothes. This also affects their health as they cannot afford doctors because of their poverty. We can help by donating for charity, eg. clothes. This is better than throwing away good clothes because someone in the world will need it.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger: Food is something we need on a daily basis. We need it for energy and for a healthy life. We have enough food to feed everyone in the world. It’s just that we can ́t deliver the food, or it is wasted. In fact, ⅓ of the food we eat is wasted. We should remember not to waste food so that eventually everyone in the world can eat.

Goal 3: Good health and well being is all about making sure that everyone has access to good health care such as hospitals and doctors. Some kids die at the age of 5. Hospital should be cheap for poor people to get health and vaccines.

Goal 4: Quality education: Many children don’t want to study in school but some in the world really badly want education so that they can learn and escape poverty. In some places there are no schools or they can’t go to school as they are poor.

Goal 5: Gender Equality: Girls often don’t get equal opportunities as boys, but they should get those opportunities. They should have equal rights as boys.

Goal 6: Clean Water: Many people in the world are worried that the next sip of water will make them sick because it is extremely dirty. This goal focuses on getting clean water to people.

Goal 7: Clean Energy: Clean energy is all about using solar energy and wind energy so that you can stop using fossil fuels which pollute water and air.

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth: This goal puts the focus on less unemployment and more money for people so all have a good quality of life.

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: This goal is about making industry sustainable and eco-friendly. To do this, we need to build infrastructure that will create minimum pollution and we also need to innovate in how we can make the world a better place.

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities: Race and gender inequalities are two of the very important areas of work for this goal.

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities: Building more houses for people to live in and have services such as water drainage and toilets. The areas should be environmentally friendly so people have a healthy life.

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and reproduction: Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.

Goal 13: Climate Action: Climate action is all about global warming and single use plastic lying in the oceans. We can stop this by using other long lasting materials and by stopping the use of fossil fuels.

Goal 14: Life Below water: Save marine life below water such as coral and fish.

Goal 15: Life On land: Save trees and animals that are nearly becoming extinct.

Goal 16: Peace and justice: Stop all the wars and make everything peaceful.

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals: making all the goals famous so that at least 50% of the world population knows about the SDG goals.

What can we children do to achieve some of these goals?

We can focus on REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE in our everyday life and get our parents to do it too! Here are some examples:

We can reduce the use of single use plastic, which will eventually end up in the ocean. It is better to use other longer lasting materials like glass and textile.

We can reuse glass jars when they are empty. We can use them as decorations and as pencil holders.

Recycle items we don’t need at recycling center. The people there know the best way to recycle so that it doesn’t pollute the earth.

We can also spread the message of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by talking about it with our parents, teachers and friends. The more people are aware, the more impact it will have in the long run.

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