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How Taking Root advances the UN’s complex agenda for sustainable development through one coordinated approach

In September 2015, the United Nations announced its commitment to 17 Sustainable Development Goals as part of its ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Described by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a “to-do list for people and the planet”, the 17 goals mark an important departure from an earlier sustainable development strategy focused narrowly on reducing poverty and its immediate effects. At the heart of the 17 new goals is a critical recognition that the solutions to the world’s most pressing problems must address a cluster of deeply connected issues, including poverty, social inequalities and environmental degradation.

sustainable

This complex approach to sustainable development, which recognizes that the health of people and communities is intricately linked to health of the planet, is one that has been at the core of our activities at Taking Root since 2008. We have long understood that climate change is not only a technical problem measured by the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, but a lived experience where millions of smallholder farmers find it increasingly difficult to sustain themselves and their families using traditional farming practices. Since its inception, our social reforestation model in Nicaragua has demonstrated that it is possible for a single program to effectively address a thorny cluster of social, economic and environmental problems. By encouraging smallholder farmers to plant trees on underutilized portions of their land, and supplementing these efforts with programs to train sustainable forest management professionals, our efforts have simultaneously reduced levels of carbon CO2 in the atmosphere, promoted the social and economic well-being of individuals and families, and helped entire communities adapt to changing climate conditions.

SDG

5 recent program highlights demonstrate our head start on reaching the new goals set out by the United Nations. To date, Taking Root has:

#1 – Successfully implemented a community-economic development program that has increased the incomes of 296 families across 68 communities and reduced their vulnerability to climate-related extreme weather events

#2 – Educated 900 youth and adult community members in our capacity building and skill development workshops for sustainable forest management

#3 – Worked with farmers to reforest over 1,100 hectares of land – or 1,663,556 trees that will sequester 346,770 tonnes of CO2 from our atmosphere

#4 -Piloted new machinery to turn wood waste into green charcoal that will displace highly polluting and unhealthy traditional household cooking methods

#5 – Built effective partnerships for sustainable development by leveraging new information technologies to assist with forest management

Ultimately, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will encourage organizations like ours to connect with other values-based businesses and work together towards shared objectives. Our partnerships have been key to our success. We look forward to harnessing the momentum surrounding the new universal sustainable development agenda and will continue to look for opportunities to connect with new allies – and our existing network of dedicated partners – to increase our impact in 2016.

How Taking Root advances the UN’s complex agenda for sustainable development through one coordinated approach

In September 2015, the United Nations announced its commitment to 17 Sustainable Development Goals as part of its ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Described by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a “to-do list for people and the planet”, the 17 goals mark an important departure from an earlier sustainable development strategy focused narrowly on reducing poverty and its immediate effects. At the heart of the 17 new goals is a critical recognition that the solutions to the world’s most pressing problems must address a cluster of deeply connected issues, including poverty, social inequalities and environmental degradation.

sustainable

This complex approach to sustainable development, which recognizes that the health of people and communities is intricately linked to health of the planet, is one that has been at the core of our activities at Taking Root since 2008. We have long understood that climate change is not only a technical problem measured by the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, but a lived experience where millions of smallholder farmers find it increasingly difficult to sustain themselves and their families using traditional farming practices. Since its inception, our social reforestation model in Nicaragua has demonstrated that it is possible for a single program to effectively address a thorny cluster of social, economic and environmental problems. By encouraging smallholder farmers to plant trees on underutilized portions of their land, and supplementing these efforts with programs to train sustainable forest management professionals, our efforts have simultaneously reduced levels of carbon CO2 in the atmosphere, promoted the social and economic well-being of individuals and families, and helped entire communities adapt to changing climate conditions.

SDG

5 recent program highlights demonstrate our head start on reaching the new goals set out by the United Nations. To date, Taking Root has:

#1 – Successfully implemented a community-economic development program that has increased the incomes of 296 families across 68 communities and reduced their vulnerability to climate-related extreme weather events

#2 – Educated 900 youth and adult community members in our capacity building and skill development workshops for sustainable forest management

#3 – Worked with farmers to reforest over 1,100 hectares of land – or 1,663,556 trees that will sequester 346,770 tonnes of CO2 from our atmosphere

#4 -Piloted new machinery to turn wood waste into green charcoal that will displace highly polluting and unhealthy traditional household cooking methods

#5 – Built effective partnerships for sustainable development by leveraging new information technologies to assist with forest management

Ultimately, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will encourage organizations like ours to connect with other values-based businesses and work together towards shared objectives. Our partnerships have been key to our success. We look forward to harnessing the momentum surrounding the new universal sustainable development agenda and will continue to look for opportunities to connect with new allies – and our existing network of dedicated partners – to increase our impact in 2016.

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