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WEEK 19 - MR. PAUL POLMAN, SDG ADVOCATE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, UNILEVER

The beauty of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) is the interdependence and mutuality of the goals. Progress against one goal generates progress for all.

Nowhere are these linkages more evident than in SDG2 on Zero Hunger. Tackling SDG2 outcomes on food, nutrition and land-use will help deliver progress across all 17 goals - from improving health to addressing gender equality to climate change.

Take poverty alleviation: studies have shown that for every 10 per cent increase in farm yields, there was a 7 per cent reduction in poverty in Africa, and a reduction of over 5 per cent in Asia. Increased yields also enhances farmer livelihoods, reduces inequalities and boosts education levels.

And research has shown that these yield increases need not cost the earth. Incorporating sustainable agricultural practises such as water-use efficiency and soil management can improve yields while simultaneously conserving critical environmental services. A win-win for people and the planet.

The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the main United Nations body in charge of developing policy recommendations and guidance on a wide range of food security and nutrition issues. The Committee reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to FAO Conference.

The annual session of the CFS takes place every year in October and brings together over 1100 food security and nutrition experts. This year the CFS will be holding its 44th Annual Session from October 9 to 13 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. Due to its multi-stakeholder approach, the CFS is the only intergovernmental forum within the UN system, where the participation of private sector associations and civil society organizations is facilitated by their own autonomously established coordination mechanisms. 

Nikki Chaudhary has a dream – to reshape the Indian dairy industry resulting in improved livelihoods for the millions of small scale dairy farmers across the country.

To realise her dream Nikki has begun a breeding program to create a herd of dairy cows that are more resilient and adapted to India's hot and humid conditions. If successful the herd will produce large quantities of high fat milk throughout the year regardless of climate. This contrasts with the current situation where herds produce less milk during the summer and require additional, costly, care to survive the heat. Supported by the innovative GFAR/YPARD Young Agripreneurs Project (YAP) Nikki will be collecting valuable data, knowledge and experience over the next 18 – 24 months to share with small scale farmers, government agencies and not for profit organisations which, she hopes, will help influence policy and practice. Ultimately Nikki will begin selling the herd's progeny to local farmers which will help them to stablise and grow their annual incomes.

Week 15 - Forest Whitaker, Member of the SDG Advocacy Group, CEO-Founder of the Whitaker Peace & Development initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation

Knowledge and information have become transformative dimensions of our existence and are key drivers behind the implementation of all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From government to small villages, knowledge and information guides what people do and how they do it. The 2030 Agenda recognizes the need to develop knowledge societies where everyone has opportunities to learn and engage with others, which starkly highlights the need for access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This is my reading of SDG 9, which calls on states to “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.”

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