Sustainable Development 2016: It’s Only the Beginning

2016 won’t be a year we will all forget easily, but whether you’re ending this year on a high or a low, there remains many ways we can contribute to building a more sustainable world for years to come. Here on this blog, the Sustainable Development Team have offered many ideas to how we as global citizens can make small changes which have a lasting impact.

We started the year by exploring what sustainable development really meant through the ‘Dig in’ teams activity. In local Junior Branches across the world CISVers were asked to think about the broad theme that is sustainable development and introduced to the UN Sustainable development goals. We were made to think beyond initial ideas of being eco-friendly to consider wider issues such as population growth and food security.

The campaign team’s next series of pieces moved on to look not only at how we can educate on sustainable development but how we train our educators on sustainable development. These blogs provide insight into how CISV’s ‘learning by doing’ approach can be applied in both activities and trainings. With helpful tips for providing the content, environment and facilitation needed for inspiring affective thought and action, locally and globally.

But ‘what can we as CISVer’s do?’, we heard you cry! Well, our pieces on environmental living and how to make CISV camps more sustainable provide just a starting point of the many ways we can make practical changes to our everyday lives which together can build a more hopeful future for our planet. From going vegetarian twice a week to taking the local transport (or even walking!), these two blogs provide just a snap shot into how not just CISV camps but out lifestyles can be more sustainable.

However, it is not just our practical habits which we need to reflect upon as our more in-depth exploration of the history and concept of sustainable development explains. We need to think critically to our approach to sustainability, the issues surrounding it and the institutions which impact them. Thus, though everyday actions can lead to great changes, we need to ensure that the right path is chosen to tackle the wider issues by the likes of governments, businesses and international organisations.

The last blog posts now calls for you to take action, for though our campaign year may nearly be up sustainable development waits for no-one! Both our ‘Keeping it up’ post and ‘The other possibilites’ remind us that there are many ways to be sustainable global citizens. The first post acknowledges that we all aren’t perfect and that we all have our ‘guilty pleasures’ (long showers anyone?!) but that we can all find ways to make our lifestyles more sustainable. The second posts calls us to action (!), through signposting and inspiring us to find organisations beyond CISV which work locally and globally on sustainable development issues.

What has been made clear throughout this campaign is that sustainable development does not just apply to our participation in CISV but that for real change we need to mobilise and reach wider. The Kompaz team have created some amazing work both on this blog and their own showing how many issues in sustainable development which impact upon the world as a whole are connected to the lifestyles in our immediate community.

So are you ready for ACTION? Because the world needs you and though 2017 will be CISV year for ‘Human Rights’, sustainable development will be more important than ever in the years to come. It’s time to get INFORMED, to THINK CRITICALLY and to take ACTION. Let’s be the change the world is waiting for!

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