With the campaign’s uproar fading away like lowering the volume of a poorly tuned radio, I want to talk about something that seems to have been overshadowed during these crazy 3 months: the Agenda 2030. This is the umbrella offered by the UN to cover the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It’s the push for a better future for everyone; health and education, eradicating hunger and social injustices, and, of course, taking care of a healthy planet. Among these plans, there is also the reforestation of Sierra Bermeja, which was devastated by one of the most aggressive fires.
The United Nations started this project with the Green Helmets of Agenda 2030, first phase was in April, not good time for planting tree just before a boiling summer. Chances of success were low, barely 0.2%, but that’s where the strength of the project lies; in the follow-up. They also focus on a very specific area and specific species to protect the fragility of Sierra Bermeja, following the indications of the technicians. Some biologists warn that the task is very delicate. It is one of the few areas in Europe where there are Pinsapo trees, a species that dates back 65 million years. They want to plant and monitor up to 90,000 native trees for several years, involving 9,000 young people from all over Andalusia. Furthermore, it
The defenders of nature are the young people from all over Andalusia who graduate from the Green Helmets’ academy. There are two courses, depending on their age and their involvement in nature restoration techniques, biodiversity conservation, combating climate change. It also will support up to 10 projects proposed by the youngsters, along with schools and social organizations; projects like promoting planting trees, looking after nature-based solutions in Granada or helping to protect the seas.
The project is managed by International Training Centers for Authorities and Leaders (CIFAL) Malaga, an agency belonging to the UN, and fully funded by Amazon through its Climate Pledge initiative. There are only 30 CIFAL centres all around the globe, and one of them is in Malaga. These centers train political and social leaders in UN values. They help elevate the city to a high international level, not just as a tourist or business destination, but also in diplomatic and governance matters.
The agency’s president, Andrade, lists a series of projects in North Africa, South America, and even reaching Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. «United Nations has made the SDGs available to citizens and the world,» says Andrade. «It is to put on global glasses and understand that we’ll all be better off if others also do well,» which is the ultimate goal, he finishes.
10 projects with 10,000 euros euros
The project will fund 10 projects with 10,000 euros each. This shows the interest that international actors have in the province. However, The funding part of the project has raised some eyebrows. Álvaro Pérez, a coordinating member of Fridays for Future group, one of the most active environmentalist groups in the city has some points to raise. He says: «As interesting as the project might be, and it definitely encourages the youth in this context, we cannot support these kinds of companies. It try to improve their image in the public eye while still being major contributors to the issues we’re facing. The impact of business philosophies that don’t prioritize the local economy, «km 0″ principles, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions is detrimental.»
Along this, it must be cautious because tourism, a pillar of Malaga’s growth, can also be one of the most unsustainable activities. It is the city and the industry that must work to attract visitors interested in sustainable tourism, moving away from cheap party tourism. That’s why Andrade, who was also the city’s tourism councilor and knows the sector well, says that Malaga is seeking quality tourism – cultural, congress, or sports tourism. That’s a better type of tourism for the city and the planet. The local government has created a calculator for tourists to understand their impact, and CIFAL offers a guide for daily life, from how we move to what we eat and wear. Only by knowing our real footprint can we balance it and achieve those Sustainable Development Goals.
«The SDGs have been affected by the pandemic,» says Andrade, «and it doesn’t do any good to speak bad of the Agenda 2030, whether it’s a political party or an organization, because these are global goals, they are goals for everyone, and we are all heading towards a better future.» And hopefully, the new political landscape after election will not go against it.