The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – also known as the Global Goals for Sustainable Development – are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations. I herewith, share my concise thoughts on SDG 14: Life below water – To conserve and sustainably use the world’s oceans, seas and Marine Resources and SDG 15: Life on land – To sustainably manage Forests, combat desertification, halt and reserve land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
a) Illiteracy and poverty of locals living beside forests and on water bodies:
i) Indiscriminate deforestation, hunting and fishing activities.
ii) Harmful waste practices
b) Government inaction and lack of commitment
c) Ignorance of the existence of such communities
d) Industrial activities
a) Education and Empowerment of the locals
b) Improved and efficiently monitored government policies
c) Identification and raising awareness of endangered lands and waters
d) Implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
WHAT YOUNG PEOPLE CAN DO TO HELP:
a) RESIDENTIAL WASTE MANAGEMENT
i) Create a website or an application or install a phone number for the recording, locating and tracking of disadvantaged places
ii) Liasoning with their legislators and governments to offer free waste management schemes
iii) Organize volunteers from nearby urban and suburban areas to engage in cleanup days, sensitization and as environmental officers.
iv) Request nearby industries and factories to provide waste collection bins and vehicles for the locals; siting of local recycling companies; and engaging locals in such jobs.
v) Writing to universities to allow students in environmental courses to earn coursework credit for engaging in such areas.
b) INDUSTRIAL WASTE AND ACTIVITIES:
Creation of environmental impact organizations that will:
i) focus on extended producer responsibility
ii) request that Nigerian companies calculate and publish their carbon footprints
iii) work with global environmental certification organizations for eco-certification training and recommending the purchase of eco-friendly products
iv) liaison with the federal and state ministries of the environment
Sonia Ugwunna writes from Lagos, Nigeria