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Seeing the Change for the SDGs in Aotearoa

The first online hui of the Aotearoa/NZ Sustainable Development Goals Summit Series was held last month, attracting virtual participants and a group of inspiring speakers, who sparked conversations and connections across Aotearoa.

Co-hosted by UC and Lincoln University, the 2020-2021 SDG Summit Series focuses on how Aotearoa can implement and take action on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The series is designed to take people on a journey; from an individual understanding of the Global Goals to how to take collective and urgent action to achieve them. This journey will take place through a series of online events and a final in-person Summit event to be held in September 2021.

Last month’s online hui was themed ‘See the Change’ and was designed to help participants gain a solid foundation and a better understanding of the SDGs. It was also an opportunity to hear from inspiring people in our communities, through lightning talks and a panel Q&A. The event was MC’d by Corban Te Aika, Kaiārahi, and the incredible speakers included;

  • 14-year-old climate activist and singer/songwriter Lucy Gray (coordinator of the Christchurch School Strike for Climate)
  • Ngāi Tahu student Tāmati Cunningham (Cashmere High School student leader and manawhenua representative for Environment Canterbury’s Youth Rōpu)
  • Raewyn Jones (WEL Energy Trust Chief Executive and Waikato Wellbeing Project Co-Chair)
  • Dr Pedram Pirnia (Special Advisor for Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations Association of New Zealand).

See Raewyn Jones speak to the collective impact happening within her community as part of her work as Co-Chair of the Waikato Wellbeing Project, below:

Following a beautiful musical performance by Lucy, the hui finished with participants breaking out into two practical and interactive workshop streams, one aimed at those new to the SDGs and one for those wishing to take them to the next level through creativity and visual story-telling.

See the entire first half of Hui#1: See the Change here:

Interested in being part of the journey with us?

The second online hui, ‘Be the Change’ is scheduled for 25 March 2021, and the third online hui, ‘Working Together for Change’ will be held on 24 June 2021.

The third and final summit will be a face-to-face event on 2-3 September 2021, with day one being held at UC. The theme of the third Summit will be ‘Collaboration for Systemic Change’ with day two featuring field trips to experience SDGs in action in and around Waitaha Canterbury.

More information on these events and how you can participate are coming soon.

What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The 17 SDGs are the world’s best plan for achieving a better future for all. In September 2015, the leaders of all 193 UN member states (including Aotearoa New Zealand) adopted Agenda 2030, a universal agenda that contains the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Over the next ten years, countries will mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring no one is left behind.

New Zealand’s eight universities have unanimously resolved to work together and with other sectors – specifically central and local government, civil society, the private sector and youth – to show leadership in the implementation of the SDGs at a national level.

This includes a commitment to hosting a series of national summits that aim to promote, build and accelerate multi-sector action to implement the SDGs in New Zealand.

The 2020-2021 SDG Summit Series is co-hosted by the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University. This event and the ones to follow are organised with Ngāi Tuahuririri and Ngāi Tahu, as well as Pasifika communities, and involved support from the Ara Institute of Technology and the Christchurch City Council. Supporting partners also included ChristchurchNZ, SEEDS Podcast, Tourism NZ and the New Zealand National Commission for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Stay connected with the Aotearoa SDG Summit Series via their website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and by signing up to the mailing list here.

Did you know UC is an edible campus?

Kia ora UC community, 

My name is Ash Anderson, and I am currently interning with Zin South at UC Sustainability over summer! Zin and I are interning through the UC Arts PACE program.

Zin and I by one of the many wonderful fig trees.

I thought I would share a little about myself. I am a second year student at UC studying a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Classics. I have always been interested in living a more sustainable life so being able to work with likeminded people has been an absolute treat so far!

The main project Zin and I are working on with the incredible team at UC Sustainability is updating the edible campus map! Wait, did you not know UC was an edible campus? Well, neither did I before being introduced to this project. Thanks to the Geospatial Research Institute and their wonderful intern Matthew Conley, we have been able to partner together to create a virtual story map of UC’s food forging locations! This means that everyone can help themselves to various fruits available on campus! Including peaches, berries, apricots, figs, feijoas and much more!

Pears growing on the tree near Cafe 1894
A fig growing on the tree by the Fine Arts building.

The UC Sustainability Office’s goal is to help create and change practices within the university and the wider community to be more sustainable and economical. Food forging is just one of the ways they embody this. Having access to fruit trees encompasses many of the UN’s  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we can’t wait to share more about this in our next blog post. 

Stay tuned on social media for updates around this project, including the launch date of the map!

Until next time,

Ash Anderson. 

This message was brought to you by Ash Anderson written on behalf of the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. For more information on sustainability at UC, see our website.