A Sustainable Future? – March 2016

A Sustainable Future? A Serious Look at the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed by the United Nations in 2000 and were due to run for fifteen years. In many areas we have seen real progress in that time – there are less people living in extreme poverty and more have access to clean drinking water.

SDGs
The UN Sustainable Development Goals in a simplified table

For one goal, however, that most concerned with environment, things have got a lot worse. We have seen little progress on carbon emissions cuts and in stemming biodiversity loss. The worry is that if our global environment spins totally out of control then the real progress that has been made in alleviating poverty could go into reverse.

In September 2015 the United Nations agreed new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which focus more on environmental concerns – further details on these can be found via this link

‘A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE’

SustFut16-300x116For our conference on 5th March 2016 we partnered with ForMission college, A Rocha UK, and Micah Global and looked at where we stand now on environmental sustainability. We considered what is in the new SDGs and how they will help guide us towards a sustainable future over the next 15 years. Our keynote speakers looked at what the SDGs promise for biodiversity and what an appropriate Christian response should be. We also had a range of seminars covering topics including food, energy, fisheries and cities. The day ended with a Question and Answer Panel of the speakers and seminar leaders, this can be downloaded from here (mp3 file).

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Helen DennisChristian Aid’s Senior Adviser on Poverty and Inequality

Talk title: Unpacking the Sustainable Development Goals – historic agreement or paper-thin promises?

The talk (as mp3 file) and accompanying presentation slides (pdf) can be downloaded from here

Dr Simon Stuart – Chair of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Talk title: The Sustainable Development Goals – are they any good for biodiversity? 

The talk (as mp3 file) and accompanying presentation slides (pdf) can be downloaded from here

Sheryl Haw  – Director of the Micah Network

Talk title: A Missional Perspective of the Sustainable Development Goals

The talk (as mp3 file) and accompanying presentation slides (pdf) can be downloaded from here

Conference Panel
Conference Panel from left to right: Ash Barker, Helen Dennis, Ian Brooks, Sheryl, Haw, Simon Stuart, Andrew Francis, Robert Sluka and Margot Hodson (Chair)

SEMINAR LEADERS

Dr Robert Sluka – Lead Scientist, Marine and Coastal Conservation Programme, A Rocha International

Seminar title: The Ocean and Sustainable Development

The presentation slides are available as a pdf download – click here

Rev Dr Andrew Francis  – Retired URC minister

Seminar title: What in God’s Name are WE Eating?

The presentation slides are available as a pdf download – click here

Ian Brooks – Senior Lecturer in Sustainable IT, University of the West of England & Visiting Teaching Fellow, University of Bristol

Seminar title: Energy for All 

The presentation slides are available as a pdf download – click here

Dr Ash Barker – Senior Lecturer in Urban Mission, ForMission College

Seminar title: The Cities of Shalom: thriving neighbourhoods, sustainable futures

The presentation slides are available as a pdf download – click here

Sheryl Haw – Director of the Micah Network 

Seminar title: Sustainable Goals from a non-western perspecitve

Rev Dan Yarnell, who shared in leading the worship at the conference kindly wrote this reflection on the day.