SDG stories provided by UN Environment
Actor: Grassroots sister team for water conservation in Anji
Related SDGs: SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 5 Gender Equality, SDG 14 Life Below the Water
Sisters’ solution to protect clean water
Anji, located in the north of Zhejiang Province, is known for its flourishing bamboo plantations. It is the birthplace of President Xi’s concept “Green is Gold”.
While China's efforts to promote ecological civilization have earned it global recognition, today in Anji, this is highlighted by women – a community-led “Sister Team for Water Conservation” has been motivating local women to participate in environmental protection, starting from cleaning up garbage along the river in front of their houses.
Every month, the sisters carry out river protection campaign in every village. They conduct regular patrols, fill in river log, and keep thorough documentation of management and protection. This grassroots solution also contributes to Zhejiang’s innovative practice “Integrated Solutions for Water” – comprehensive efforts for water pollution control including flood prevention, waterlog drainage, water supply and water saving, keeping balance of water demands from daily life of residents, agriculture and industry, and ecosystem.
The story of the sisters brings forth a picture of grassroots action being taken in Anji every day by individuals and communities to protect environment. Step by step, they are taking actions to make a difference in their neighborhood, to build beautiful family and beautiful village, making contribution to a Beautiful China.
SDG Story provided by UN Environment
Actor: China Environmental Protection Foundation
Related SDGs: SDG 9, SDG 12, SDG 17
Green Logistics Partnership Initiative
In 2015, China's parcel shipping sector used 7.5 billion plastic bags, 10 billion cardboard boxes and 17 billion meters of wrapping tape, according to Chinese Institute of Graphic Communication. Those materials often end up in landfills since the tape makes recycling much more cumbersome.
As the first charity foundation dedicated to promoting green logistics, in March 2017, Cainiao Green Alliance Foundation was jointly announced by China Environmental Protection Foundation (CEPF), Alibaba Foundation and Cainiao Network along with 6 leading logistics companies in China.
The foundation has committed $40 million into research toward sustainable packaging alternatives. As a key innovative solution, CEPF and Cainiao developed biodegradable plastic bags, glues and reusable paper boxes to replace original wrapping materials. As of today, over 30 million parcels has been distributed using green packaging.
One step further, the initiative pushed towards city level. In Oct 2017, green logistics city project was launched in Xiamen to develop green and smart logistics system. Earlier this year, Xiamen is identified as candidate pilot of “No Waste Cities” by Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
To complement this work, UN Environment and Cainiao are planning to establish a long-term partnership to promote green shift on logistics.
SDG Story provided by UN Environment
SDG 13, SDG 15
Desert Warriors – Saihanba Forest Community
The creation of the world's largest artificial forest from a barren tract of land provides inspiration for ecological progress
UN Environment’s Champions of the Earth award is the highest environmental honor the United Nations can bestow, and celebrates outstanding figures from the public sector, business and civil society who have had a transformative positive impact in the environment.
In 2017, as the demonstration of ecological environment development in China, Saihanba Afforestation Community was awarded Champion of the Earth for Inspiration and Action, in honor of its work transforming degraded land into a lush forested landscape.
Since 1960s, three generation of foresters from Saihanba have managed to increase the forest cover from 11.4 percent to 80 percent while the reclaimed landscape currently supplies 137 million cubic meters of clean water to Beijing. At the same time, the restored forest has stimulated growth of green sectors of the economy that generate an estimated 15.1 million U.S. dollars in 2016. Saihanba spirit was also promoted by Xi Jinping to advance ecological protection.
In accepting the award on behalf of the Saihanba community, Madame Chen Yanxian said: “For more than half a century, three generations followed just one mission in Saihanba, that is to plant trees with our hearts and souls, and turn the barren hills into green mountains. We feel very proud of ourselves for creating such a green miracle.”
UNEP: SDGs Stories for UN Day
Related SDGs: SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production
Young People to Make a Difference on Environment
Zhao Yixin, a high school student in Beijing, used to think environmental protection was not connected to his life, until one day he found the smog in Beijing blocked him from playing basketball.
"During such days we had to be trapped indoors. And I began to realize environment is part of us," Yixin said.
Yixin once hated the steel factories, which were ordered to close, were still working to generate more smog. But when his families drove through the poor counties of Hebei, he saw their damage to the environment was because it was the only way to make a living. He realized that the environment was often neglected when it comes to economic development, but the two were not necessarily contradictory.
By conducting research on how international investment affects corporate culture, he found some overseas projects would require the companies to adjust its management system to adapt to the local laws, including those involving environmental protection.
To dig deep on environment-related projects, Yixin attended 2017 UN China Youth Environment Forum jointly held by UN Environment, China Daily and the Center of Environmental Education and Communications of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, annual event aiming to integrate environmental education into Chinese youth quality development program.