Sustainable Development Goals 2019-05-07T14:32:32+00:00

The UN Sustainable Development Goals and CERES

CERES has always been a pioneer in environmental, social, economic, cultural and spiritual change. As such, we have focused for many years on most of the core issues of what are now enshrined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs were adopted by world leaders at the 2015 United Nations summit, as a universal driving force towards building an inclusive and resilient future for all people and while protecting the planet. They are achievable objectives that call for global action in the three fundamental elements of sustainable development – economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection – and recognize that the vision for a sustainable and prosperous future is unattainable if any goals remain unfulfilled, in any part of the world.

CERES continues to be a leading innovator, demonstrator and educator in these fields, and this experience and activity maps directly on to the SDGs. This is important to recognize, as it makes it clear that the CERES philosophy, focus and action, is not only in line with Australia’s international commitments for a sustainable and resilient future, but also the wider international community as a whole.

Our activities relate centrally to thirteen of the seventeen SDGs – in education, gender, water and sanitation, energy, enterprise, innovation, equality, sustainable communities, consumption and production, climate action, life in water and on land and partnerships, and more broadly to the other four larger issues of poverty, hunger, health, peace and justice.

SDG1 - No poverty

“End poverty in all its forms everywhere”

Park infrastructure supports and provides resources for 17 local social enterprises including a Grocery, Nursery and Café to enhance social and economic well-being and growth.

Provides education on urban farming and permaculture through on-site gardens to promote food security and affordability.

Engages with partner organizations in developing countries such as India, Timor Leste, and Samoa through CERES Global, to help build and learn more effective strategies in poverty reduction.

SDG6 - clean water

“Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”

Provides examples of household sustainable water use technologies in the urban environment through the EcoHouse, which boasts water-efficient appliances, grey water harvest, and reuse water wise gardens.

Educates on green water use technologies and the social and ecological implications of such strategies through CERES Education programs and the Sustainability Hub, to strengthen community participation in sustainable management.

Implements on-site water management strategies that monitor, recycle and reuse stormwater, in order to reduce dependence on mains water.

SDG11 - sustainable cities

“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

Provides 4.5 hectares of rehabilitated green space and social facilities in urban Melbourne with universal community access for use and well being.

A pioneer and leading example in reducing the per capita environmental impact of cities, increasing resource efficiency and urban resilience through installation of green technologies and incorporation of inclusive community engagement techniques through CERES Education programs.

Supports sustainable housing and other resource and socioeconomic capacity building programs in less developed countries such as India through CERES Global.

SDG16 - peace

“Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”

Facilitates environmental education to help all citizens participate and make more informed decisions on sustainable development and management through the Sustainability Hub and CERES Education programs.

Partners with organizations in developing countries through CERES Global programs that seek to enhance social equity and justice, particularly in India.

Protects fundamental freedoms and provides socioeconomic opportunities for marginalized parties through various social enterprises, particularly Tamil Feasts which assists asylum seekers.

SDG2 - zero hunger

“End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”

Supplies sustainable and accessible organic groceries to local communities through the delivery enterprise Fair Food and an on-site Grocery.

Provides education and resources on urban farming and permaculture through on-site gardens (Joe’s Market Garden, Honey Lane Market Garden, Nursery) to promote food security and affordability.

Organizes participatory and cross-cultural skill-sharing programs through CERES Global to bolster knowledge on sustainable agriculture and nutrition, particularly in India, Samoa, Timor Leste and Arnhem Land.

SDG7 - clean energy

“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”

Demonstrates and educates, through the zero-emissions, all electric powered EcoHouse, a number of innovative green technology strategies including geothermal heat-pumping/cooling, that can be incorporated into the everyday household.

Illustrates with on-site installations the power and diversity of renewable and affordable energy sources such as solar, wind and biogas that reduce fossil fuel dependence.

Hosts free solar charging stations for electric vehicles, to help support community conversion to sustainable forms of transport.

“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”

Supports social enterprises such as the Organic Grocery, Fair Food and Fair Wood, that deliver local and sustainable products to the community in a waste-minimizing process.

Provides inclusive workshops and programs on sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature to the community through CERES Education, reaching 450,000 people per year .

Provides a community drop off point for recyclable or reusable products such as batteries, phones, and printer cartridges in the Visitor Centre and bike parts in the Bike Shed, to promote more sustainable consumption habits .

Partners with organizations dedicated to integrating sustainable consumption and production of resources in developing countries such as India, Timor-Leste, Samoa and Indonesia through CERES Global.

Developed an ongoing Environmental Management Plan aimed to strategically reduce on-site carbon emissions, mains water consumption and waste to promote sustainable resource use in the urban environment.

SDG17 - partnerships

“Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”

Is built on the philosophy of environmental education, with a heavy focus on meaningful and inclusive knowledge sharing, both locally and in developing countries, as demonstrated by the online platform Sustainability Hub, CERES Education and CERES Global programs.

Encourages partnerships between public, public-private and civil society sectors, as exemplified in the development of the EcoHouse, participation in the Victorian Government ResourceSmart Schools initiative, collaboration with universities such as the Smart Urban Forests project, and facilitation of 17 social enterprises.

Engages stakeholders and community members in the transparent planning of CERES goals and activities, such as the Environmental Management Plan.

SDG3 - good health

“Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”

Provides 4.5 hectares of green space and social facilities in urban Melbourne for community use and well-being.

Hosts workshops on food, farming, gardening and nutrition through CERES Education to promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for all.

Engages with local and overseas groups through CERES Global in a range of participatory activities aimed to enhance personal, social and economic development and security, and boost overall health and well-being, especially in Indonesia, India, Timor Leste, and Samoa.

SDG8 - decent work

“Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”

Park facilities support and provide resources for 17 social enterprises including the Grocery, Nursery and Café, all being exemplars of decent work.

Works with partner organizations through CERES Global to promote sustainable and inclusive economic development in developing areas such as India, Samoa and Timor-Leste.

Is itself a social enterprise dedicated to education on environmental strategies and a sustainable lifestyle.

SDG13 - climate action

“Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact”

Aims to reduce on-site carbon emissions by 40% by 2020 from the measured baseline period of 2014-2016 according to CERES Environmental Management Plan (2017-20).

Raises awareness on the effects of climate change and provides a variety of skill-learning programs through CERES Education and CERES Global that promotes sustainable lifestyles and development to reduce carbon footprint, improve resilience and adaptation capacities.

Is an innovator and exemplar for efficient green technologies and design in the urban environment, with renewable solar, wind and biogas energy sources on-site and a zero emissions, all electric EcoHouse .

Sets an example for the rehabilitation of an urban or contaminated area into green spaces that host plants for carbon sequestering and boost biodiversity, increasing resilience to climate change effects.

Find out how other Australian organizations are doing their part to meet the SDGs here.

“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all”

Park facilities all aim to engage with the community and share knowledge, as education is the heart of CERES philosophy, attracting an estimated 450,000 visits per annum.

Runs environmental education incursions and excursions to and from primary, secondary and tertiary level schools to help develop skills and knowledge necessary for a sustainable future, reaching over 200,000 across Melbourne

Provides an accessible online platform – the CERES Sustainability Hub – for sharing educational resources on protecting the environment and sustainable development.

Hosts a diverse range of sustainable lifestyle skill-learning and sharing programs for all ages and cultural backgrounds, through CERES Education and CERES Global.

Received the 2017 Premiers Sustainability Award.

Received the 2018 inaugural Environment Education Victoria’s Environmental & Sustainability Educator of the Year award.

SDG9 - Industry

“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”

Fosters innovation in sustainable environmental strategies through an emphasis of education and research in all park facilities.

Is a leading developer, demonstrator and educator of resilient and inclusive infrastructure and industry, through on-site green technology and sustainable housing examples such as the EcoHouse, support of 17 social enterprises, and CERES Global programs.

SDG14 - Life below water

“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development”

Works with marine protection organizations in Indonesia through CERES Global to combat marine pollution due to excess waste, particularly plastics.

Educates citizens on the importance of good waste management policies and provides opportunities for sustainable resource use to prevent further marine contamination through CERES Education, CERES Global and park facilities such as waste recycling and reuse drop off points.

Aims to reduce on-site landfill waste by 30% from the baseline period of (2014-2016) by 2020, implement a sustainable purchasing policy, and audit single use plastics sitewide according to the CERES Environmental Management Plan (2017-20).

SDG5 - Gender Equality

“Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”

Promotes participation and equal opportunities in employment, membership, stakeholders and leadership, as exemplified by the CERES board.

Partners with various groups through CERES Global to advocate and participate in women’s empowerment and development, particularly in India, Timor-Leste and India.

SDG10 - reduced inequality

“Reduce inequality within and among countries”

Strives to empower disadvantaged parties such as the Indigenous, asylum seekers, immigrants, the disabled, and women by providing fair opportunities in employment, in social enterprises like Tamil Feasts.

Offers participatory programs through CERES Education and CERES Global to exchange skills and promote greater understanding between diverse people groups, reducing discriminatory or ignorant misconceptions and practices, for example, the Day Service Program for Young Adults with a Disability.

Hosts inclusive, diverse and multi-cultural events such as the annual Harvest festival to strengthen community relations and improve minority or disadvantaged representation and acceptance.

SDG15 - Life on land

“Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.”

Is a leading example for land degradation reversal, as the park is a rehabilitated urban and contaminated area that now helps restore lost biodiversity and provides a wildlife corridor along Merri Creek.

Educates and provides opportunities for sustainable terrestrial resource use including permaculture and urban farming, through various on-site farm facilities, social enterprises such as Organic Grocery and Nursery, and the CERES Education and CERES Global programs .

Provides a community drop off point for recyclable or reusable products such as batteries, phones, and printer cartridges in the Visitor Centre and bike parts in the Bike Shed to reduce landfill waste.

Park facilities are developed, reviewed and updated in accordance with the CERES Environmental Management Plan to decrease on-site fossil fuel dependence, carbon emissions, waste, and reliance on mains water, all of which have a significant impacts on terrestrial systems.

Latest News 17/04/19

The UN SDG expert group has recently reported that most UN Sustainable Development Goals are “going into reverse“, especially SDG13 on climate change.

SDG13 is the most important of the SDGs, in that without climate change mitigation and adaptation, none of the other SDGs will be reached. SDG10 on inequalities and SDG12 on production and consumption are also critical, and both are also going backwards. Promoting SDGs 13, 10 and 12 are key CERES priorities for 2019.

The Australian Government has signed up to the SDGs and is therefore obliged to implement them. However we are performing worse than most other advanced countries in achieving them, and Australia is the worst-performing country in the world on climate action.

How can I personally contribute to achieving these goals?

Australians can help by pressuring the government to honour their commitment to the SDGs. VOTE CLIMATE in the coming election!

The Global Compact Network Australia has released a statement calling on the Australian Government to develop a national SDG implementation plan, as well as undertake four other key actions. Read their statement here.