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All posts tagged UN Sustainability Goals

Credit: United Nations

You’ve heard the letters S, D, and G being used a lot lately, but what do they mean? In this week’s PATA Sustain’s green tips, we are passing along our top tips that can help you do your part to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

   1. Knowledge is power

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. The United Nations have set a supremely ambitious and transformational vision to realize the human rights of all and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. Therefore, the first step for us to be involved is to read and understand as much we as can. We understand that most people do not have the patience to read reports that are over 40 pages long. So here is an article by The Guardian on Sustainable development goals: all you need to know. If that is still too much for you, watch a short clip about the SDGs here.

Don’t stop there though, follow the UN Sustainable Development Goals platform on Facebook here. PATA also has a free publication available for download: The Olive Tree, which explores how the SDGs and travel and tourism are interlinked. Educate yourself on the problems that happen all over the world and learn from the best practices!

   2. Support your government and companies in your country

The UN provides substantive support and capacity building for the SDGs and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanization, transport, science and technology, and many more. It won’t take you long to realise that these issues may already be impacting your neighborhood. In order to make the 2030 agenda a reality, we need the commitment from all stakeholders, especially the ones that are closest to us.

This brings us back to tip #1: Knowledge. Start by finding out if your government has integrated the SDGs into the country development plan. See this full list of countries that are involved in the UN’s Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). TheVNRs aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences between nations, including success, challenges and lessons learned. If your country is listed, chances are your government or local organisations already have events planned in efforts to support the SDGs. For example, Green Fins Thailand, an initiative by United Nations and Reef-World Foundation, contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 14 (Life Below Water) and 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) by carrying out regular beach and coastal clean-ups. This is also a great opportunity for local communities to be involved.


3. The time is now

If you don’t already work for an organisation that fully supports the SDGs, you can still do your part by volunteering! Join the Scholars of Sustenance Foundation team to go on food runs to contribute to Goal 2 (Zero Hunger). If you simply cannot find the time to do, you may be surprised at just how easy it is for you to make a change. Contribute to Goal 13 (Climate Action) by reducing food waste to landfill.

If gender equality is of big importance to you, contribute to Goal 2 (Gender Equality) by supporting the rights of domestic workers in your home and community. Did you know that tens and millions of women and girls are employed in a private household? Despite their important roles, they are among the most exploited and abused workers in the world. Visit “My Fair Home” to take a pledge!

Did you know?

Every year, the UN SDG Action Award recognises individuals, civil society organizations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, private sector leaders who are advancing the global movement for the Sustainable Development Goals in the most transformative, impactful and innovative way. The winners will be announced at a special SDG Action Awards ceremony, at the Global Festival of Action on 2 May.

Keep a look out for award nominees by following their facebook page.

In a nutshell, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. We must continue to address the global challenges that the world is currently facing. We need to wake up and realise that human behaviour is the main reason for our increasingly volatile planet. Together, we can make a change.

Read more of #PATASustain green tips here.


Some businesses may feel threatened by the sharing (collaborative) economy but it is time for our society to change its view on the importance of owning ‘things’.

The UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG12) focuses on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. With this in mind, we need to consider sharing a little more and owning a little less to help us achieve this goal.

According to the UN, the world population is projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100. When I think of these numbers, I worry about the increasing amount of jobs, food, water and energy needed, as well as the increasing amount of waste that will be created. I worry about the increased number of people moving from farmlands to cities and the pressure that it will create on transport, city infrastructure and living quarters.

I was raised in a society that prides itself on owning things. Having a house in the city, a house in the countryside, a car or two, music and movies were not only norms – they were expectations. The more you owned, the higher your perceived status. Although it may still be like this in many places around the world, I am happy to see the younger generation behaving differently and taking advantage of newly available sharing services.

It took several generations to realise that owning a second house that you use only 10-20 percent of the time, or a vehicle that you only drive occasionally, makes little sense financially. Think of all the ‘things’ that may now be shared. Your house, car, boat, bicycle and sports equipment such as surfboard and skis that you seldom use.

Perhaps you have already disposed of your DVDs, books and CDs. After all, it’s so easy to watch movies on Netflix, read books on a Kindle, and listen to your favourite music on Spotify.

Think of all the ‘things’ you currently own that could be shared. For example, you can now provide access to your idling computer power (CPU) for scientific research ( The designer evening dress you paid thousands for and will only wear once may be shared with others ( Art management isn’t about subscribing to online collections, but rather having art collections that can be shared among members. Instead of investing in an expensive art collection you can now subscribe to one (

We can all start to significantly reduce what we own while retaining access to more than we ever had before. It’s a phenomenon that will spread to almost every item with varying speeds. It may take one or two generations for our society to change its view towards the ownership of ‘things’ but I believe strongly that, in order to sustain a population of 11.2 billion people, we must reduce our footprint on the planet.

Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej showed remarkable vision when he introduced the ‘sufficiency economy’ philosophy to the country. This is a philosophy that many developed nations should learn from and implement if they wish to secure a sustainable future.

It’s never too late for spring cleaning and for you to donate what you may no longer use to others who may still find those items useful.

Till next time,
Mario Hardy
Chief Executive Officer
Pacific Asia Travel Association

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