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SDG 4 review: Slow progress and the importance of multilingual education

11 July 2019

The first day of presentations and discussions on 9 July at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development was very far from a discussion as panelists presented in the main forum, Review of SDG implementation and interrelations among goals: Discussion on SDG 4 – Quality education, and different governments and social representatives spoke on the topic. There was little time to include inputs and responses from non-government and faith-based organizations. While a substantial voice was lacking in the process, Ms Susan Hopgood, President of Education International, an international teacher organization, did get a clear message in. Ms Hopgood warned of the slow progress in this first major review of SDG4, Off Track: Educators Assess Progress Towards SDG4. She shared five basic points, giving voice to the reality that mostcould (quietly) acknowledge: Teaching widely remains an unattractive profession. Human rights continue to be violated across the world with a detrimental impact on teachers. Public education remains largly unfunded where most critically needed. Inequitable systems continue to exclude minorities and the vulnerable. Progress for SDGs is too slow and not catching up with what needs to be understood about climate change. One further point that was evident by its absence throughout the
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Ireland’s Climate Action Plan: Missed opportunity

30 June 2019

Kevin Hargaden On 17 June, the Irish government published its long-awaited cross-departmental plan to address climate change, Climate Action Plan, and launched it with great fanfare and with promises to transform Ireland from a laggard around climate change into a world leader. The plan details how Ireland intends to “reduce and manage climate change risks through a combination of mitigation and adaptation responses.” In other words: how do we stop climate breakdown and how do we deal with the consequences of what is already happening? It arrives off the back of a series of successful election results for environmentalist candidates which has come to be called Ireland’s green wave. The government declared, at least conceptually, a climate emergency in the weeks before the launch. Greta Thunberg’s school strike was enthusiastically taken up by Irish school children and the Extinction Rebellion movement is active on Dublin’s streets. There seems to be real and growing appetite for serious climate and ecosystem action. Sadly, this plan is not it. While initially warmly welcomed by environmental activists, upon further reflection, the plan has been judged a grave disappointment. Instead of going beyond the procedural approach of the Paris Agreement, it settles for the twofold
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Forests for peace and wellbeing, by Mr Kundan Chaudary from Nepal, Best Poster winner, APFW 2019: “In my art, I tried to portray a small part of a village surrounded by forests. In rural Nepal, people depend on forests to fulfill basic needs like rearing animals, firewood, and timber. Women carrying fodder for animals depicts one positive impact of forests on people’s livelihood through animal husbandry. Availability of gently flowing water in the river for animals to drink is a result of good forest management. Forests allow birds to peacefully enjoy the environment and the beauty of nature.”

Forests and communities for peace and wellbeing: The need to remain grounded

  Pedro Walpole SJ The theme of Forests for Peace and Wellbeing for the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week (APFW) 2019 in Incheon, Korea is a beautiful concept that we are challenged to live and make real. It comes from deep within the Korean culture and experience of today, and for this we are very grateful...


How can the Ignatian family collaborate towards a sustainable development for our common home?

In an effort to explore building a broader solidarity through the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a platform and international framework for collaborative action in the Ignatian family and beyond, a Jesuit delegation is taking part in the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) from 9 to 18 July in New...

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