The global celebration of the 5th year of the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals has come and gone. A number of activities were done to mark the day across the world. Perhaps, because of the impact of Coronavirus, the virtual space seemed to have dominated in terms of efforts to highlight the change the world needs as it faces a decade to bring about global development that leaves no one behind. With the theme Factivism, which translates to activism based on truthful information, different organisations put in creative efforts to ensure the significance of the day and the theme was not lost on the people. The theme was drawn from the experience of the world in the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic which not only hit the world with a deadly and contagious virus but also came with an attack on truth and truthful information. Thus, as the world battled the virus, it also combated the infodemic that accompanied it.
In highlighting the theme of Factivism, an organisation has highlighted ten critical areas which global leaders and SDGs advocates all over the world must pay attention to if the battle to put the globe on sustainable development footing is to be achieved. Premised on the fact that making a change in the world requires accurate and up-to-date information, these 10 facts are germane in the next decade of action.
Fact 1 : The Planet is getting hotter
This a climate action fact. According to research. 615 million across the world suffer from water stress while 22 million people were displaced across the globe by extreme weather. The world needs to reduce its heavy use of water and reduce carbon footprint to address this problem plaguing the world.
Fact 2: Women are still underrepresented in governments globally
These facts speak to Goal 5. Facts have shown that men still constitute 75% of the members of the parliament globally. This statistics has shown that the world is still leaving women behind in political decision making around the world. The citizens of the world needs to show more sensitivity to women by voting gender equality champions, advocate equal pay, call out gender discrimination and demand for increased gender representation.
Fact 3: An insignificant number of the world holds the largest of the global wealth
This is a Goal 1 focus. It identifies rising inequality as nearly half of the world’s wealth is in the hands of 1% of its population. Chances of people to advance in life are continuously being determined by who they are or where they live. The world needs to support more vulnerable people in all ramifications.
Fact 4: 1 Million important plants and animal species are being lost in seconds
Available statistics show that the world loses one football pitch of tropical primary rainforest while one million plant and animal species remain at risk of extinction. This is a threat to life on land, the goal 15. Global citizens have to eat more sustainably, plant a tree and reduce intake of meat and use of paper.
Fact 5: The population of homeless and displaced people population is rising
The aim of Goal 16 which focuses on peace, justice and strong institutions is threatened as thousands of people flee their homes on a daily basis with impact on the education of children and livelihoods of families. Statistics indicate that 80 million people were forcibly displaced in 2019 by war, conflict, persecution and violence.
Fact 6: COVID 19 has exacerbated existing global learning crisis
No one who witnessed the Coronavirus pandemic could deny the devastating effect of the health crisis. Put that in number, statistics has stated that not less than 1 billion of the world’s students have had their education disrupted across the world magnifying the existing inequalities and worsening the earth’s learning crisis. This affects Goal 4 of quality and affordable education.
Fact 7: Almost two third of the world’s population is breathing polluted air
The Goal 11 of sustainable cities and communities is threatened as almost 2/3 of the world’s population breathes polluted air. The world needs to go more green and reduce carbon footprints to ensure the air it breathes is safe
Fact 8: 84 Million people in Sub-Saharan Africa cannot access essential healthcare
Healthcare access is another victim of the pandemic. It has disrupted health services. As at now, 84 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa cannot access essential healthcare. This has put lives at risk. The world needs to demand more medical care, vaccinations and individuals must keep themselves safe.
Fact 9: Close to 1 billion people do not have enough to eat
Close to a triple of the population of the United States does not have enough to eat across the globe. Almost 1 billion of the world’s population is starving! Individuals must support the World Food Programme and help fight hunger. To attain the Goal 2 of the SDGs, efforts must be coordinated to fight hunger.
Fact 10: Almost half of the world’s population has no access to the internet
Fewer than 1 in 5 people in the least developed countries are connected to the internet. This greatly impacts on the Goal 9 of industry, innovation and infrastructure. Individual citizens must be an advocate of technology for all.