56 million people mobilized across the world for a just and green recovery

1. Leaving no one behind in the COVID-19 response

In addition to the pandemic claiming the lives of millions of people around the world, its repercussions have led to the growth of inequalities. In order to #RecoverBetter, we need to reduce such inequalities amongst marginalized and vulnerable populations. The slogan, “Leave No One Behind,” has thus become more relevant than ever.

350 Fiji volunteers harvest from their urban garden for their new community fridge / 350 Fiji

2. Empowerment through the Development of Digital Skills

As societies are increasingly dependent on online forms of interaction in these uncertain times, organizations have stepped up to empower individuals and communities to enhance their digital skills. The Namibia University of Science and Technology’s Media and Communication Society collaborated with the New York Film Academy to host virtual documentary-making workshops for students interested in mass media.

3. Cleanup Campaigns

This year’s Global Week to Act for SDGs witnessed cleanup actions taking place all around the world. The largest cleanup was organized by World Cleanup Day, which occurred on 19 September and mobilized more than 11 million individuals in 164 countries to tackle our planet’s mismanaged waste problem. To avoid mass gatherings, World Cleanup Day focused their mobilization on individual cleanups and digital cleanups, which are geared towards reducing the carbon footprint of the internet and our systems supporting it, which accounts for approximately 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions.

World Cleanup Day — Bhutan
JCI Syria participating in World Cleanup Day
Vamos a Hacerlo Perú participating in World Cleanup Day
The Hejaz Ploggers from Saudi Arabia participating in World Cleanup Day
World Cleanup Day Egypt

4. Protecting our Environment through Sustainable Interventions, Education and Activism

All sectors of society came together this year to highlight how they have been protecting our planet, while adapting their mobilization strategies in response to COVID-19. A popular action carried out this year by individuals was tree planting. The National Association for Sustainable Development of Pakistan has made significant contributions to achieving the SDGs by launching a tree planting drive across the cities of Islamabad, Mardan, and Rahimyar Khan. Over 500 trees were planted in areas affected by deforestation. In a similar action in San Lucas el Grande, Mexico, volunteers at Convenciones Puebla and FotoLife joined forces to plant 50 white cedar trees.

West Coast N.E.S.T.
Greener is Cleaner

5. Harnessing the Power of Creativity and Entrepreneurship

Through the lens of the SDGs, Impact Hub and Accelerate2030 drive entrepreneurial innovation in developing nations. Impact Hub and Accelerate2030 were an incredible supporter of this year’s Global Week to #Act4SDGs– they published a 2020 Global Impact Report and hosted a number of Global Goals Jams and knowledge mobilization events, on topics such as the power of social enterprises, smallholder farming, and the link between entrepreneurship and sustainable health innovation. Impact Hub also fostered a Global Impact Campaign entitled “The New Economy Starts Here,” to share the successes and challenges of meeting the SDGs, and support impact entrepreneurship.

Art called “Wrapped in Consequences”
Art called “The world is ending”
The Academy of Youth Diplomacy
The Academy of Youth Diplomacy

6. Spotlight on Gender

One of the largest mobilizing partners this year was MYWorld México, which mobilized over 10 million individuals across the country. Among their 664 actions, MYWorld México published an infographic on the intersectional effects of the pandemic on the LGBTIQ community. In another action initiated by this organization, Lucía Alvarez, director of Instituto Nogalense de las Mujeres, made a tour of the Benito Juárez neighborhood to educate women about their rights and the importance of #GenderEquality. MYWorld Mexico also encouraged governments to reimagine education and accelerate change in teaching and learning. The group urged leaders to suppress the transmission of the virus, carefully plan school reopenings, protect the financing of education, and build equitable education systems for both boys and girls.

Sayed Raza Hussain Zaidi
Sayed Raza Hussain Zaidi

7. Youth-led Initiatives

The World Organization of the Scout Movement created a youth-based National COVID-19 Response Taskforce. The scouts organized three blood donation drives, raised awareness about COVID-19 prevention, supplied tuition for children, donated food to vulnerable community members, and enforced stay at home orders. But that’s not all — the Scouts committed to 4 billion hours of youth-led community service for the SDGs by 2030.

World Organization of the Scout Movement in Ethiopia

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UN SDG Action Campaign

UN SDG Action Campaign

Official account of the UN SDG Action Campaign, aiming to mobilize, inspire & connect a movement to #TurnItAround for the #GlobalGoals