23 March 2018 – For the second time, the city of Bonn welcomes the Global Festival of Action, serving as a testing ground for fresh ideas and daring ways to spread the message of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
While SDGs provide a blueprint for a better world, in the words of Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Amina Mohammad, they cannot be achieved by governments alone. SDG actors worldwide, including business, academia, indigenous groups, women and young people need to find new outlets for translating great ideas into global action.
Exploring extended reality as a way to engage people in the global sustainable movement, UNCCD's Global Mechanism presented the film about the Great Green Wall Initiative at the festival's Virtual Reality Zone. The movie, which puts the viewers in the middle of the desert experience, has premiered at the Paris Climate Change Conference and has been exhibited at events and public spaces around the world, generating funding and new partnerships.
To invite young festival goers to become a part of the sustainable development process, the dynamic Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM) team offered a quiz on the importance of achieving Land Degradation Neutrality for the realization of the SDGs. Visitors to the UNCCD festival booth explored learning, funding and career opportunities available through the capacity-building platform created for young people and by young people, and many expressed interest in establishing partnerships between the CBM and their own capacity-development initiatives.
The festival celebrated outstanding achievements in advancing SDGs throughout the world by giving the first United Nations SDG Action Awards in the categories of communicator, connector, includer, innovator, mobilizer, storyteller, and visualizer. The UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary Mr. Pradeep Monga presented the "Visualizer Award" for the most innovative or impactful use of citizen voices to communicate with governments and the public.