It has been ages since I have written anything on here, over a year actually. The past year I spent studying in Australia was one of personal growth brining me closer to my passions in life! For this reason, my blog has gone through some renovations. I have kept some of my old postings which I feel are still relevant to my way of being, but anything that no longer fits my values has been removed.
As some of you know I was granted the opportunity of attending a high level meeting at UN headquarters recently and as promised I am reporting back on the experience. If you have been following the UN plans, you would have heard of the Sustainable Development Goals which are taking over where the Millennium Development Goals left off. To give a brief overview of what they are in case you haven’t been following, here are the MDG’s:
and here are the SDG’s:
The bar has been set very high with these new goals and it’s questionable whether or not all of this is achievable in only 15 years time. I do like the idea of aiming high though because it’s not just about achieving the set goals, but making consistent measurable progress. With the SDG’s I have been happy to see that they are much more specified then the MDG’s and there is a much greater focus on protecting the environment simultaneously with growing the economy.
The meeting I attended was the EATx2015, EAT is a collaboration between multiple sectors with the goal of feeding the planet in an effective and sustainable way. http://www.eatforum.org/
Of everything that was discussed at the meeting, I was most enlightened by Peter Freedman of the Consumer Goods Forum who raised many points about private and public sector working together to build more sustainable practices and gave me some food for thought. I found this enlightening because for the most part I don’t purchase any groceries from the large consumer goods companies. I purchase my groceries from a small grocery store which sells local organic produce, farmers markets and a local butcher where the chickens are sourced from nearby farms. Over the past while I have been completely opposed to large food manufactures due to their use of unsustainable ingredients, and also due to the fact that I may have been sold chicken labelled organic and free range which may not have actually been.
My thoughts on what Mr. Freedman presented were: The large scale food industry isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and the average uninformed consumers who live in their bubbles aren’t going to suddenly start caring about global issues and heading to the farmers market at a rate high enough to make a large impact so improving upon the practices of the food industry makes complete sense! Some further thoughts on this are, hypothetically, if we did make that leap in a very short amount of time where we all shunned the large food industry and decided to opt for organically grown sustainably farmed groceries. It would be a disaster.Many hard working people would be out of jobs and there would be a massive food shortage. So the solution seems to be baby steps over time, people need to be given the time to be shown and adapt to new ways, there needs to be transition time from one level to the next. I won’t be doing my grocery shopping at the big box stores any time soon though 🙂
In addition to this, my overall thoughts on the message of the UN is that the MDG’s, the SDG’s etc. are; it’s great for people who are involved with international development and informed, but to the average person it could all be a little overwhelming and disengaging. To me this is a huge problem because the goals set out by the UN are not going to be achieved just by nations working together on large scale projects. It’s going to be achieved by individuals making better choices by taking morals and ethics into consideration rather than only considering “I want”.