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What Is Your Role as a Citizen in Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development is a social process that integrates social, economic and environmental objectives to meet with the present needs of human beings without compromising the needs of future generations. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint designed to tackle global challenges and achieve a better future. Citizens are placed in the centre of the responsibility to achieve the SDGs. To illustrate, one survey looked into the extent of responsibility for the achievement of the SDGs for various stakeholders on a 7-point scale, with 1 represents the lowest importance and 7 refers to the highest importance (see the figure below). The findings illustrated that citizens or individuals have the highest responsibility to achieve the SDGs. Moreover, the participation of citizens in the Global Agenda facilitates their awareness and active engagement towards the achievement of the SDGs.

You, as a citizen, can act in all aspects of sustainable development. Here are some examples.

If you are talented and skilful …

You can offer assistance. If you possess relevant knowledge about species and biodiversity, you can help identify local species or trace the dynamics of the species population. Citizen science is a way of knowledge-sharing and data collection to contribute to sustainability. Birdwatchers and amateur naturalists may be more knowledgeable about local species than experts.

If you are good at finding out problems …

You can identify and report issues that occur in your life. Imagine that you are walking around in a riparian area but the river is polluted by the adjacent factories established recently, what would you do to promote sustainable development?

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If you are intelligent and creative …

You can provide ideas and solutions. The public is a think-tank that can offer useful solutions based on experience. For example, you may address a plan of implementing eco-tourism in a national park in your neighbouring communities, considering more about the local residents that the decision-makers may ignore. The plan with more realistic and responsible strategies is essential to maintain sustainability both economically and environmentally.

If you are active …

You are encouraged to participate in volunteer activities or participate directly in the project implementation. Joining a trash collecting volunteer event to spend one day cleaning up lakes, or attending a community garden project also supports sustainability in your local community.

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WeSolve is an online engagement platform that provides you a simple solution to participate in sustainable development. We use the power from the collective intelligence of citizens to identify problems, propose ideas, to vote for solutions.

 

Engage now and act for sustainability!

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About The Author

Yunyue Peng

Master student in Nature Management at the University of Copenhagen, focusing on public participation and citizen action in nature conservation and sustainable development.