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TOP 10 Global Sustainability News | Oct 15 – 22, 2020

2020-10-23GoldenBeeGoldenBee0

No.10 Sustainable urban mobility helps steer cities’ green recovery 
 

 
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted urban mobility, and has raised fundamental questions about its future role at the heart of urban development. Making urban transport systems greener and more efficient can therefore unlock important benefits – for health, the climate and for cities’ prosperity – with the potential to drive a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

UNECE issued a new handbook to guide holistic policy approaches to mobility and spatial planning. The handbook calls for the use of “avoid”-“shift”-“improve” principles as the basis for integrating transport and urban planning, and implementing demand management:
 
•   Developing compact, dense and public transport-oriented urban areas, combined with promoting mixed land use, reduces the need to travel (“avoid”).
•   Developing public transport and active mobility-oriented urban areas supports the shift to cleaner and healthier transport modes for travel (“shift”).
•   Developing and adapting new technologies in urban areas supports the improvement of the urban transport system (“improve”). 
(UN News)
 
No.9 Chinese investors believe sustainable investment funds are attractive
 

48% of Chinese investors believe that sustainable investment funds are attractive because they can provide higher returns. The proportion is higher than the overall proportion of global investors (42%) and Asian investors (44%). 56% of Chinese investors prefer sustainable investment funds because of their broader environmental impact; 45% are based on their social principles.

Chinese investors believe that they can contribute to a more sustainable society through investment. Among them, more than two-thirds (66%) of investors prefer sustainable investment funds while comparing with funds without sustainability factors. The proportion is higher than that of global (47%), Asia (49%). (Financial Investment News)

 
No.8 Less than 50% women in labour market
 

Over the past two decades, women's living conditions have improved in many areas, such as education and early marriage, childbirth and maternal mortality, and gender discrimination against women are gradually decreasing. However, the lopsided distribution of unpaid domestic and care work prevents women from participating in the labour market. In 2020, only 47% of women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to 74% of men – a gender gap that has remained relatively constant. Moreover, women continue to be subjected to all forms of violence and harmful customs throughout the world. Progress towards equal power and equal rights for women remains elusive since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis is disrupting the efforts toward gender equality and threatens to reverse the limited gains of the past few decades. (UN News)
 
No.7 Guangzhou implements ISO standards of sustainability in small and medium-sized cities
 

On October 20, Guangzhou launched the pilot program of implementing international standards of sustainability in small and medium-sized cities in Huangpu District and Guangzhou development zone.

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center (HEMC) and Guangzhou Development Zone as the pilot spots will first implement the series of standards of ISO/TC 268. These two sites are included in the China-UK Prosperity Fund on small and medium-sized urban sustainable development project list, and become part of the first four pilot spots in China. The other two spots are Tianjin Eco-city and Qujiang District of Quzhou. (Guangzhou Daily)

 
No.6 10 African Heads of State urge world leaders to increase investment in IFAD
 

 
“We share IFAD’s vision of vibrant rural communities where people live free from poverty and hunger.” Ten African Heads of State have issued a strong call on October 19 to other world leaders to increase their funding to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) or risk jeopardizing Sustainable Development Goal targets for eradicating poverty and hunger, particularly in Africa.

Ten leaders from Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo wrote, “A successful replenishment has the potential to unlock billions of dollars in financing to transform rural economies and food systems around the world, as well as enable IFAD to double its impact by 2030 and contribute to ending poverty and hunger.” (UN News)

 
No.5 UNDP signs bio-diversity program with DR Plant
 

 
On October 15, the representative office of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in China signed the Memorandum of Biodiversity Conservation & Cooperation and Grants Agreement with DR Plant. Both sides will afterwards invite experts to write implementation standards to promote the mainstreaming and new approaches of biodiversity, meanwhile to standardize DR Plant’s conservation practices on biodiversity.

The main projects in this agreement include "Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation", "Preparing for the Xishuangbanna Eco-Culture Festival", "Demonstration for the acquisition and benefit sharing of biological genetic resources" and "Advocacy and capacity-building". (Huanqiu.com)

 
No.4 Hainan Airlines starts to implement plastic ban on Hainan outbound flights
 

Recently, HNA Group’s Hainan Airlines, together with Ecological Environment Department of Hainan launched the “flghts without plastics” campaign at the Haikou Meilan International Airport. At the launch, Hainan Airlines announced that from September 29, it had been starting to replace all products on the plastic ban list on Hainan outbound domestic flights. It expects to invest more than RMB four million and reduce around 156 tons of plastics every year. Acting 63 days earlier than the requirement of the plastic ban, Hainan Airlines becomes the first airline company to implement the ban.

According to the plastic ban list, from now on, items on Hainan Airlines’ Hainan outbound flights include garbage bags, handbags, paper cups and lunchboxes will all be produced with biodegradable materials. (ThePaper.cn)

 
No.3 Five Chinese ministries release the healthcare vocational training plan
 

 
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security together with four other ministries released the healthcare vocational training plan. From 2020 to 2022, it aims to cultivate and train all kinds of healthcare service personnel more than five million times and build more than 10 national healthcare professional training bases. (CCTV)
 
No.2 Global meat production giant will use blockchain to enhance the conservation of the Amazon
 

With the aim of increasingly sustainable production, JBS, a Brazilian global meat production giant, announced the Together For the Amazon program on October 20, a set of initiatives that seeks to enhance conservation and development of the Amazon Biome, engaging the industry and proposing actions that go beyond its value chain. The program encompasses climate change, which was allocated priority within the JBS global sustainability targets presented in 2019.

The first pillar of the program consists of the JBS Green Platform, a ground-breaking initiative that will cross-check information of the Company's direct suppliers with livestock transportation data from preceding links in the supply chain. By using blockchain technology, the company will guarantee the confidentiality and security of the personal, commercial and sanitary information of the producers, as well as transparency in the analyses of the suppliers.

The Company will also launch engagement campaigns so that, by the end of 2025, its suppliers' suppliers are also on the JBS Green Platform. In addition, JBS will provide legal, environmental and animal husbandry advisory to assist producers with improvements in stewardship and the environmental regularization of their properties, while also expanding its educational actions in sustainability to its supply chain. (PR Newswire)

 
No.1 South Africa releases SDG Investor Map 2020
 

 
The United Nations Development Programme in South Africa launched the South Africa SDG Investor Map 2020, listing 30 investment opportunities across four priority investment sectors of infrastructure, education, healthcare and agriculture for the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These opportunities are in line with the national development priorities as outlined in the National Development Plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The investment opportunities mainly include:


•   Infrastructure: water utilities and services, electric utilities and power generators, waste management, affordable housing, digital infrastructure, etc.
•   Education: distance learning, technical and vocation training, teacher training, etc.
•   Health Care: digital health care platform, health care professional training centers, etc.
•   Agriculture: water savings in agro processing, shared economy platform for small holder and emerging farmers
(Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of the South Africa)

This article is translated from China Sustainability Tribune.
 
 

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