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Victoria University Summit will build momentum on UN Sustainable Development Goals

Victoria University Summit will build momentum on UN Sustainable Development Goals
April 22, 2018

Leaders, influencers, scholars and creative thinkers are looking at how New Zealand can make progress in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a day-long summit being hosted this week by the Victoria University of Wellington.

The inaugural Sustainable Development Goals Summit held tomorrow (23rd April), aims to unite organisations from across all sectors to align their purposes and provide leadership on how the country can achieve the UN’s 17 global goals to ‘transform our world’ by ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030.

Summit Convenor Marjan van den Belt says it’s an exciting opportunity to hear voices from across business, government, civil society and the tertiary sector and develop actionable, investable ideas on how to progress the SDGs.

van den Belt advises "as a starting point, the Summit will enable people from all over the country, who would otherwise never meet, to build partnerships and work towards achieving the SDGs.

“We’ll get the chance to hear what work is already being done around these goals from each sector, and decide what’s important going forward. We’ll also work to develop a common language and agree to metrics to monitor progress-these will be key to creating partnerships to achieve common goals.”

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, an advocate of the SDGs, will open the Summit with a video message, followed by keynote speeches from Andrea Carmen of the International Indian Treaty Council; Hugo G. von Meijenfeldt, Dutch Coordinator; Implementation SDGs) and New Zealand Minister for Climate Change James Shaw.

Panel sessions will run throughout the day to explore topics such as what the government needs to do to act on SDGs and how leading New Zealand businesses are using the SDGs to help unlock value.

In addition, all attendees will have the opportunity to work on their favourite topic at ‘action-stations’ and vote on the best ideas via the Summit’s app.

The winning team will receive a prize of $2,000 and present the progress of their idea at next year’s Summit in Auckland.

Keynote speaker Lisa Martin, Sustainability General Manager at ustainable seafood business Sanford, will offer a business perspective.

She explains "Sanford sees sustainability as a core to our business strategy, being both essential to our survival now and in to the future, and as a solid foundation for our growth. We’re embracing the opportunity to contribute to the Summit. It’s a valuable forum allowing us to collaborate with others, exchange information, share ideas and explore opportunities that will assist New Zealand in its commitment to deliver on the SDGs."

Victoria University Provost Professor Wendy Larner says hosting the inaugural summit was a natural next step for the University after it signed up to the international initiative, University Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Larner adds "last year we committed to taking a lead in the tertiary space and taking action on the SDGs through our research and teaching on sustainable development challenges.

"This Summit takes our commitment a step further, bringing together experts across all sectors to start a conversation about how we as a country, can work towards achieving the SDGs."

The Sustainable Development Goals Summit is supported by the Sustainable Business Council, with sponsorship from Sanford, Vector, Air New Zealand, New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, the European Commission, thinkstep, Ekos and the United Nations Association of New Zealand. 

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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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