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On the 16th of November 2018 "Scouts for SDGs" was launched at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York – “an unprecedented mobilisation of our Movement that will see 50 million Scouts make the world’s largest coordinated youth contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030”.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?Edit

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The objective was to produce a set of universal goals that meet the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world.

One of the main outcomes from this conference was an international agreement to negotiate a new set of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide the path of sustainable development in the world after 2015. Building on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs were established following the largest multiple stakeholder consultation process of its kind.

It was determined that these goals should be “action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities”. They should be “focused on priority areas for the achievement of sustainable development”. They should also reflect “the moral principles that no-one and no country should be left behind, and that everyone and every country should be regarded as having a common responsibility for playing their part in delivering the global vision”.

On the 25th of September 2015, during the UN General Assembly in New York, an unprecedented 193 countries adopted the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals with 169 specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. In the words of the United Nations Development Program, the goals are designed “to end poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, improve access to health and education, and build strong institutions and partnerships, and more”.

All of the goals have been conceived as applying ambitions and challenges to all countries. All of the goals and targets contain important messages and challenges for developed and developing countries alike. However, for the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like us.

The 17 Sustainable Development GoalsEdit

E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-01.png End poverty in all its forms everywhere. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-07.png Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-13.png Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-02.png End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-08.png Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-14.png Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-03.png Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-09.png Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-15.png Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-04.png Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-10.png Reduce inequality within and among countries. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-16.png Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-05.png Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-11.png Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-17.png Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for sustainable development.
E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-06.png Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-12.png Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

How can we help?Edit

In order to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, we all have a role to play.

This is where Scouting comes in.

“Since its beginnings, Scouting has been enabling young people from every corner of the globe to create positive change in their communities, acting on challenges and needs at all levels of society. It uses an action-orientated, self-educational approach to contribute to the empowerment and holistic development of young people as autonomous individuals and active global citizens.”

The challengeEdit

SCOUTS South Africa is introducing an “SDG Champion badge” for Scouts, Rovers and Adults, which can be achieved over two or more years. The Cubs will be challenged annually through their Cub National Challenges.

In 2019, we will focus on the first four SDGs – no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; and quality education. In subsequent years we will focus on other SDGs, but you will still be able to tackle any of the challenges of the first four.

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