World Environment Day – 5th June 2017

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The environment isn’t asking us to conserve her for her, but, for our future generations. Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.

“Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. This year’s theme invites us to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

The vision of the Paris Agreement on climate change is to curb global warming. This cannot be achieved by national governments alone, but requires a “climate action agenda”, bringing in local governments, NGOs, businesses and individuals.

Education is the most powerful tool we have for solving environmental problems. We must empower children with information, leadership skills and confidence and they will change the world. A little baby step from all of us can make a sea change in our environment.

Women and the Environment

Soroptimists can play an important role in creating a sense of solidarity towards those impacted by climate change, by identifying stories that help understand the role of climate change better. However, by raising awareness, we can ensure the ecosystem remains sustainable for future generations.

This brings us back, as do all our aims, to sustainable development and particularly the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We are committed to making sure that the understanding and implementation of the SDGs remain our focus. Already several clubs are working with environment issues and bringing the message to the younger generation through contact in schools, whether it’s about bees, sea creatures or depleting wild life. Through their projects, Soroptimists are drawing attention to pollution, afforestation and water renewable energy.

SIGBI’s Meru Women’s Garden Project supports some of the poorest women-led households in Kenya. It is entirely focused on providing opportunities to women and girls who may never otherwise be given the chance to earn an income and gives them status within their community. They educate women to increase their knowledge and skills so that they can use the most efficient, organic methods for food production to reduce extreme hunger by becoming self-sufficient with sustainable gardens at home.

The UN Women’s Flagship Programmes were launched with the SDGs as parameters. The 12 flagship programmes are using a humanrights- based approach focused on strengthening the voice of women and girls. They seek to remove structural barriers to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Each programme is guided by international human rights treaties and contributes to achieving UN Women’s Strategic Plan. Of the twelve programmes – three cover environment, and are designed to ensure the effective integration of gender. These programmes display a global concern to work towards transformative change.

Naina Shah – Soroptimist APD Environmental Sustainability