Workshop: Sustainable Development Goals – What should Protected Areas do?”

Summary and presentations

This workshop presented the conclusions of the Erasmus+ project “SDGimp – Decision support system for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Protected Areas”. The project looked closely at how Protected Areas can implement and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the project is coming to a close, this workshop allowed participants to discover the outputs and see how their Protected Area can help make these goals a reality.

SDGimp has created a quality learning system and decision support materials for Protected Area administrations, regional stakeholders and entrepreneurs that will support decision making capacities and help promote the implementation of SDGs.

The workshop took us on a short 90 minute journey as we explored the learning material and considered together how Protected Areas can be drivers of SDG implementation for a better and more sustainable future

You can find the presentations below:

Esther Bossink, EUROPARC’s Communication Officer opened the session by setting the scene for the day and explaining the flow of the workshop. After the introduction, Esther explained what “Sustainable Development” means and how it applies to Protected Areas.

Welcome / What is Sustainable Development?

Christoph Mathias, researcher at the Institute for Rural Development Research then took us through the outputs of the SDGimp Project. He explained that the idea behind the project, was to develop a learning platform and decision support materials for Protected Areas administrations in Europe, as well as business and civil society organisations within Protected Areas. Additionally, Christoph then provided a run-through of the project website and all it has to offer.

Supporting the Implementation of SDGs in Protected Areas

After the presentations, it was time for participants to get to work. In breakout rooms, small groups hat to work on answering three questions on selected Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Why are these SDGs relevant for you Protected Area/Area of work?
  • What are you doing to achieve them?
  • What do you need to achieve them?

The information was collected on Jamboards, which you can find there. This exercise challenged participants to think beyond the “classic” nature conservation SDGs like “Life on Land” or “Climate Action”, and see how every SDG has an element relevant to the work of Protected Areas. This was ultimately also the goal of the different modules created on each of the SDGs on the SDGimp website.

Where do we go from here?

The Feedback collected in the Jamboards showed some common themes that need to be addressed if we want Protected Areas to become model regions of Sustainable Development. This includes:

  • An increase in resources to actively work on the SDGs.
  • Permanent and capable staff to guide these processes.
  • Political and societal support.

The workshop ended with a reference to the “Good Life Goals“. As we learned in the workshop the SDGs can only work if all aspects of society put in the work needed. That is why, before participants left the workshop, we asked them to reflect on what they would do in their personal life to help support the Sustainable Development Goals. The answers varied from “start running again” to support Good Life Goal 3: Stay Well, to “Plan for solar panels for our house” to support Good Life Goal 7: Use Clean Energy. One thing is clear, we all have a role to play in making the goals a reality.

Audience input

During the event we also ran two Mentimeters to get to know the participants and their relation with the SDGs a bit better, you can find the results here:

The SDGimp project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the view only of the author and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.