Last year we shared some early information about the SDG Challenge – our new annual initiative to build awareness and encourage action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are now seeking supporters to join our team developing the concept, and project patrols to trial the SDG Challenge.
Learning from experiences in tackling the Millennium Development Goals (from 2000 to 2015), countries, organisations and leaders from around the world worked together the develop the Sustainable Development Goals – focusing on key areas that we need to address to deliver a more sustainable world by 2030. As Scouts we are committed to tacking action on the SDGs as part of the #Scouts4SDGs movement – both through our program and embedded in our other practices (like through our Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan).
The SDGs give us key focus areas that we can explore and address to improve environmental, social and economic sustainability for people around the world. While the Earth Tribe provides a fantastic program for youth interested in certain environmental components of the SDGs, the SDG Challenge is designed to work across all 17 SDGs, with members forming Project Patrols of youth and/or adult members who work together to:
In Project Patrols, members will explore the 17 SDGs and the difference they can make, then design an initiative to take action on at least one SDG for Joey Scouts and Cub Scouts, or at least two SDGs for Scouts and older members. Members will be encouraged to complete a Challenge every year, with Joey Scouts & Cub Scouts putting in at least 10 hours of effort while older members put in over 20 hours.
While you can complete the Challenge as part of the Achievement Pathways (e.g. as a Special Interest Area), it is not a requirement to complete your Peak Award. Following the Plan > Do > Review > approach, members will then reflect on their initiative and share their efforts through their community and social media to build further awareness for action on the SDGs. We encourage patrols to share their project on sdgs.scout.org so their efforts contribute to Scouting’s worldwide action on the SDGs.
In order to learn the baseline knowledge about sustainability and the SDGs across Scouts Australia, we surveyed 223 members in late 2020. It was great to get responses from all Branches. it was fantastic that 30% of respondents were current youth members. While we knew respondents would be more likely to already have some sustainability awareness, 97% reported some knowledge of sustainability and 74% were aware of the SDGs. The results provide great insights as to what matters most to our members, areas in which they are already taking action, and where we could provide more support for members for the SDG Challenge. We look forward to sharing some of the survey analysis soon.
We are seeking groups wanting to test the SDG Challenge concept and share their feedback, as well as a few people with the skills and interests to join our planning and delivery team.