United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015 the United Nations Member States adopted 17 ambitious goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UN Sustainable Development Goals Framework set out a 15-year plan to achieve the goals, which are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.
Acadia Strategic Plan
In 2019 the new Acadia Strategic Plan, Acadia 2025: Transforming Lives for a Transforming World, signaled the University's intention to align our activities with the UN SDG goals. Specifically, the plan states that Acadia will:
Align with applicable UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) as guiding principles for Acadia’s development and adopt an appropriate Sustainability Performance Index.
Work is now underway to identify the UN SDG Goals that Acadia is best positioned to advance in partnership with the ASU, the Town of Wolfville and our other partners.
Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia University President and Vice-Chancellor, signed the SDG Accord on behalf of the institution on November 24th, 2021 at an event organized in partnership with students in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. In doing so, Acadia became the first university in Canada to sign the Accord. The commitment requires Acadia to align campus activities with the UNSDGs, collaborate with other signatories and report on progress.
Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) (SDSN) was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. It mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society. Acadia University is a member of the Network. Member contacts are Jodie Noiles, Acadia Sustainability Coordinator and Dr. Glyn Bissix from the Department of Community Development.
SDSN Youth Network
Acadia is also a member of SDSN Youth Global Network. The youth focused program educates young people about the Sustainable Development Goals and provides opportunities for them to pioneer innovative solutions to address the world's biggest challenges. Jayden Alp, 2nd year student in Community Development/Environmental and Sustainability Studies is the current youth representative for Acadia University.
Acadia SDG Student Club
SDG Club Dyke Spring Clean-up. Photo by Kaitlyn McLay.
Acadia students established an SDG club in 2019 dedicated to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. For more information about how to get involved contact the 2020/2021 SDG Club President Jayden Alp or visit the SDG HUB page on Facebook.
Applied SDG Learning
Several faculty led projects are also underway to support the UN SDGs. Many of these are service learning initiatives that create opportunities for Acadia students to meet learning outcomes in the classroom while at the same time contributing to meaningful change on campus and in the community. Some recent projects are highlighted below.
Dr. Glyn Bissix from the Department of Community Development is working with small communities across Kings County and Nova Scotia to nurture sustainable development goals at the community level. Some of this work has been integrated into several courses. For example, students in CODE 3013: Community Design, Wellness and Active Living are exploring wellness and active living in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the social determinants of health, and the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Students in ESST 4003: Sustainability Projects, taught by Dr. Alice Cohen from Environmental and Sustainability Studies, are working in partnership with the Acadia Sustainability Office to explore ways to integrate the SDGs in campus activities. Their work involves a review of current research, teaching and operational activities and recommendations for new initiatives that build on existing capacities as well as addressing gaps.