Sustainable initiatives in Europe during the European Sustainable Development Week

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Anna Parisi (Xarxa de Voluntariat Ambiental de Catalunya)
  • ESDW 2016 logo
    ESDW 2016 logo.
  • ESDW in Finland: Kestävän kehityksen viikko
    ESDW in Finland: Kestävän kehityksen viikko .
  • Deutsche Aktionstage Nachhaltigkeit 2016 logo
    Deutsche Aktionstage Nachhaltigkeit 2016 logo.
  • The documentary "Disobedience" will be projected in the ESDW / Photograph: Capture of
    The documentary "Disobedience" will be projected in the ESDW / Photograph: Capture of .
  • Nature Week in Catalonia: Setmana de la Natura
    Nature Week in Catalonia: Setmana de la Natura.

From 30th May to 5th June 2016 Europeans can give visibility to the real activities, projects and events that are leading Europe towards sustainable development and are helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Every day there is a growing number of Europeans who actively engage in specific projects for sustainable development. From 30th May to 5th June 2016 the 2nd edition of the European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) will take place to showcase these actions of the European civil society and to encourage the creation of new ones. 

A transversal participation of society

The protagonists of this Week will be all those people, entities, public and private organisations presenting their initiatives for sustainability with a view of transforming their community. The ESDW provides a shared platform to encourage and bring together these efforts. Activities can be registered on the website of the ESDW.

17 Sustainable Development Goals

The ESDW aims to contribute to the ambitious and transforming 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in it, requiring urgent measures at all levels and with the involvement of all stakeholders.

For this reason, the activities proposed for the ESDW are all linked to one or several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ESDW is therefore a tool to raise awareness among citizens and to call for an active participation at the local level.

Different events for all ages

Within the framework of the ESDW a large number of different events have been organised. These are just a few of them:

  • Austria has programmed a large number of activities within the framework of the Actions for Sustainable Austria. For instance, they have organised walks to learn about edible plants and herbs, Café-Reparation workshops or seminars on sustainable fashion. Other activities include visits to buildings such as the Boutique Hotel Stadthalle, the first hotel in the city with a zero energy balance and the screening of the documentary Disobedience.
  • In France hundreds of proposals have been submitted within the framework of the Semaine Européenne du Developpement Durable including seminars on Biodiversity, climate and the festival We Love Green for the enthusiasts of music and nature, which has been conceived in an ecological way.
  • There are also hundreds of initiatives contained in the Deutsche Aktionstage Nachhaltigkeit: from reflexions on plastic floating in the seas, the creation of insect hotels, celebrating the Biosphere Week or the Experiment Days around innovative sustainable housing projects.
  • The Catalan initiatives are organised around the Week of Nature: with some 150 different ways of getting to know Nature and taking action to protect it. 

Other countries have also joined this initiative that was suggested by the Ministries of the Environment of Austria, France and Germany. For example, Italy will be organising artistic events on the issues of landscape and sustainability; the workers of Valeo in Ireland will discuss on food waste; and the empolyees of Microsoft in Finland will talk about sustainable mobility. Also, several countries will have a screening of the documentary Mapex Climate Action.

Concluding event to engage the younger generations in the 2030 Agenda

This year, the Concluding event will be part of the Green Week that will be hosted in Brussels. This event will seek to establish a dialogue with the young, to make them aware that they will be the ones living with the consequences of implementing the SDGs and to make them the true protagonists of the 2030 Agenda. Therefore, at this final day, representatives from European youth organisations are invited to participate in an active dialogue on the SDGs to find out what their expectations are and involve them in their implementation.

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