The third High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) starts today, 9 July 2018 at the United Nations in New York. This is a forum that reviews progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments and enhances the integration of sustainable development. This year’s theme for HLPF is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.
Hundreds of ecovillage communities located in more than 110 countries around the world are taking ambitious steps to achieve the very goals that the United Nations is focusing on achieving through this year’s HLPF.
Based on its expertise in building sustainable and resilient communities through ecovillage development, GEN believes that ecovillages and community-led action are a great means to achieve the SDGs. Community-led action and community empowerment are cross-cutting to all of the SDGs and are essential for integrating not only the four dimensions of sustainability but also each of the individual Goals.
We have seen it in practice.
Tamera Ecovillage in Portugal has brought a dry inhospitable region back to life using water retention landscaping, keyline contouring and water retention ponds. This in a drylands region where the streams would go dry within weeks after it rains, resulting now in a re-greening of the countryside and a return of biodiversity. Now the streams run year round in this verdant ecotopia, with fruit orchards, a vineyard, and an abundance of plants and animal life.
Meanwhile O.U.R. Ecovillage in Canada has built and uses composting toilets, grey water systems, and a biological waste treatment system, both to limit their use of freshwater resources and to reduce and reclaim the loss of valuable nutrients.
The Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Tennessee uses these same types of biological waste systems, demonstrating how a community can dramatically reduce costs while also enabling one to live in a more ecologically friendly manner.
GEN sees ecovillage development as a key instrument for transforming societies towards the path of resilience and sustainability, our delegation to the HLPF will use the space provided at HLPF to:
- call for strengthening the role of local communities in existing approaches to development, including through creating a concrete mechanism for such engagement and providing sustainable and allocated funding for such activities
- illustrate how ecovillage development contributes to building sustainable and resilient communities through restoring ecosystems and providing access to renewable energy, water and sanitation, among other benefits
- repeat the call, issued during last year’s climate summit conference in Bonn by ECOLISE, encouraging the UN to establish an International Day to Celebrate Sustainable Communities
GEN’s involvement in HLPF 2018
Starting today, as part of GEN’s work to strengthen the voice of the communities within the UN framework:
- Through outreach at its interactive exhibit, GEN will focus on ecosystem restoration coupled with providing access to renewable energy, water and sanitation.
- On Wednesday 11 July Rob Wheeler, GEN’s Main UN Representative, will be speaking about how ecovillage communities naturally protect and restore natural and cultural heritage at the event ‘Heritage for Sustainability – Implementing SDG 11.4 through Local Voices and Global Agendas for Cultural & Natural Heritage’.
HOW YOU CAN BE PART OF THE HLPF
Please follow along via Twitter @GEN_Ecovillages using the hashtags #InnovativeSolutions, #CommunityLedAction and #GENandSDGs