The Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 15, 2015, has come just in time. With its emphasis on more innovation, community contributions, effective communication, quality production through self-directed (but coached) learning, we might be able to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that 195 nations, including the United States signed at the Paris Agreement just three days earlier on Dec. 12, 2015.
Before I get into the meat of the article, I want you to think about where you and your loved ones may be in 14 years. Children starting kindergarten now will be in college. How much will that cost? Kids in college could have children of their own. How will they support them? Will your daughters be treated the same as men by then? Can they live their dreams without being told what to do? Will there be enough resources? What happens if there aren’t? Will our social structure break down?
In 14 years, will there be glaciers left? Enough fresh water everywhere? Will we have accidentally wiped out all the bees that need to pollinate our plants in our attack on zika carrying mosquitoes? Will cancer be gone, and we have kupuna living till their hundreds? Where? Will we use money or trade for skills?
Luckily, people all over the world have been thinking about these questions, and 195 nations have decided that this is something that we may need to work on together for the survival of the whole planet. The United Nations sustainability website has already posted congratulations to President Obama and our country for the creating of the world’s largest marine sanctuary: Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Perhaps in the future we may need to research and breed fish from there after overfishing reduces the world’s fish supply.
I have compassion for the fisherman who have relied on fishing there. I also am aware that many people and some organizations are wanting to restore fish ponds on Kauai. It would be a brilliant step in sustainability, and I’m fairly certain that many in this county would step forward to insure a future protein source. Perhaps they would be interested in a new focus.
Virginia Beck said it today in her “Under the Rainbow” column, “Kauai does not belong to any one of us. Rather we belong to the aina…(we need to) preserve Kauai for all generations. If we begin to act this way, we will be like fish swimming with the current, rather than being divisive and destroying without repairing, or replanting, which is like swimming into the current of the world’s thinking. People want to know that Hawaii will last. I’ve heard comments from tourists not appreciating our use of the plastic plates, cups, utensils, etc. as they are served poolside. I know this will change as we develop the desire and products to do so.
Their use of the word sustainable encompasses more than just avoiding depletion of natural resources or taking care of the earth’s environment. Here are some that specifically relate to human health, dignity and equality. #1 Ending poverty. #3 Ensuring health and well-being. #5 Gender equality..#8 Economic growth through “decent” work. #11 International equality. #16 Peaceful inclusive societies. #17 Working together.
17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
Teachers, and scout masters: There are catchy posters available for reproducing with the simplified goals on them. I saw a website where the logo was made into T-shirts. Yes, the times they are a changing, and we can all get involved so that we have a say in what they will change into.
The International Day of Peace Celebration will be on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Lydgate Beach Park Main Pavilion from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The theme is Peace and Sustainability.
This is sanctioned by the United Nations, and all over the world people will be celebrating the same things. It’s a free and alcohol free event, open to all. Tons of fun, crafts, peace and sustainability information and grinds for all ages, with an open mike in the background, and six dove release at the very end. Stay tuned to this paper for more information!
Hale `Opio Kauai convened a support group of adults in our Kaua’i community to “step into the corner” for our teens, to answer questions and give support to youth and their families on a wide variety of issues. Please email your questions or concerns facing our youth and families today to Annaleah Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about Hale ‘Opio Kaua’i, please go to www.haleopio.org