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A Free Webinar Promoted by the Space Agency Tracks Land Degradation and Urban Development

Photo: NASA

What if we could see from space the damages our human race has done to Earth? The dream to be an astronaut that many of us who have grown during the space race have had might be impossible, but the one to have a privileged view of our changing planet is not. Committed to raising awareness of the SDGs 11 and 15 and bridging the gap between science and society, NASA Earth Observations organizes a webinar that helps to track land degradation and urban development to meet SDG targets.

Both SDGs 11 and 15 relate to sustainable urbanization and land use and cover change. SDG 11 aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” SDG 15 aims to “combat desertification, drought, and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world.” To assess progress towards these goals, participants in the webinar learn to produce maps and figures to support monitoring and reporting on land degradation and urbanization.

Horyou Blog interviewed Brock Blevins, the training coordinator for the NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET).

Brock Blevins

When and why did you decide to launch the training program?

NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET) was established in 2008 within NASA’s Applied Sciences Program (ASP) to help bridge the gap between NASA earth science and decision-makers through targeted training activities. It is also a component of the capacity-building program within ASP. ARSET’s main goal is to provide online and in-person training on NASA data access and its application to air quality, disasters, health, land, water, and wildfire management. In 2017, the program added training on monitoring requirements for the United Nations sustainable development goals. In 2018, the program provided 17 trainings for 6362 participants representing 141 countries, 2570 organizations, and 52 US states/territories.

What is your target public?

This training will be appropriate for local, regional, state, federal, and international organizations interested in generating data used for SDG reporting with satellite imagery.

What are the expected results of the training in terms of awareness?

This training, developed in partnership with Conservation International, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and UN Habitat is designed to increase awareness within the global community of the open, spatial data resources and tools available to help reach the SDG Goals of Agenda 2030. In particular, we wish to make policy and decision makers familiar with SDG Indicators 15.3.1 and 11.3.1, understand the basics on how to compute indicators of SDG 15.3.1 such as: productivity, land cover, and soil carbon in support of country reporting needs and to understand how to use the Trends Earth Urban Mapper web interface.

ARSET’s trainings bridge the gap between NASA and decision-makers

Is it a paid course? If yes, how much does it cost?

No cost. As all NASA data is open and free, so are ARSET trainings

Course Dates: Tuesdays, July 9, 16, and 23, 2019.

Times:

10:00-11:30 EDT (UTC-4) English

or

18:00-19:30 EDT (UTC-4) Spanish

Registration Information: https://go.nasa.gov/2VEXipf

 

It’s not just about cryptocurrencies and tokens: It’s about Blockchain causing a social revolution

We’re in 2019 and if you’ve still not heard of Blockchain I would assume you’ve been out of this planet for a while. The disruptive, innovative technology that is essentially known for revolutionizing the financial world through cryptocurrencies has been a hot topic since 2017 when Bitcoin value reached a peak and all investors wanted to set foot in this promising market.

Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, presents HoryouToken

Since then, a lot has happened: While pioneer cryptocurrency Bitcoin was jumping up and down, new cryptocurrencies were created whose outlook and fate look promising though not totally clear, let alone assured, subjects as they are to the vagaries of the volatility of speculative markets. It is in that context albeit with the aim of staying above the turmoil, that HoryouToken was launched last December to support and promote social and economic inclusion, as well as propose a fresh approach to the cryptocurrency industry which posits that Blockchain can and should come with a Purpose. Thanks to a traceable and intelligent philanthropic feature called Proof of Impact that enables each Blockchain transaction to support social good causes, it allocates resources to social entrepreneurship projects, non-profits and social good doers, and members of the social network for social good, Horyou.com.

The United Nation Sustainable Development Goals

The idea behind the creation of HoryouToken is that Blockchain can advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, via social impact and economic redistribution. More specifically, it can impact SDG1 (No Poverty), SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities).


Yet, there are many other uses for Blockchain that are not solely connected to cryptocurrencies. Social entrepreneurs may find a world of possibilities within the technology, ranging from supply chain solutions, to management of unnecessary waste and pollution (SDG12), strengthening democracy, reinforcing government institutions and fostering transparency (SDG16).

 

Contracts, data sharing and copyright issues would be safer and broker-free, which would reduce costs and increase access to services. E-government is a fine example. Having long invested in technology and adopted Blockchain since 2012, Estonia is now considered as one of the most unbureaucratic, smart states in the world. It is attracting new tech businesses and investors, developing workforce and turning into a more sustainable community (SDG11).

Healthcare has also made interesting use of Blockchain, with digital records starting to be adopted all over the world and hospitals, cities and countries using them as a safe if smart way to handle health data.

So, what does the future hold for Blockchain technology? Experts point to a clear social impact, with improved security, as well as compliance and traceability of goods and people. This would translate into healthier food through Blockchain in the supply chain and transportation, fair wages and the end of forced labor through smart contracts. And, of course, more functionalities for social-oriented cryptocurrencies and tokens to promote a fairer and more inclusive world. All reasons why for us HoryouToken, which by nature is the embodiment of Blockchain and cryptocurrency for social good, is a subject of pride.

HoryouToken is listed at at LAToken and CoinTiger.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are much more than a vision for the years to come. They’re part of a concerted strategy to improve our society and to build a better future.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals

I’m sure you’ve heard of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If not, let me introduce you to one of the boldest set of objectives that are meant to be applied worldwide. The SDGs are a collection of 17 targets set by the United Nations in 2017. They are meant to guarantee equality, economic and social development, peace and wealth for all by 2030, and ensure that no one is left behind.

One of the most important aspects of the SDGs is, however, their complementarity. This implies that, without Gender Equality (Goal 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8) cannot be reached. Or, for instance, without Quality Education (Goal 4), Good Health and Well-Being (Goal 3) and Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6), it would be hard to envisage Reducing Inequalities (Goal 10). In short, there is no such thing as a goal more important than another, and no ranking that places most urgent and less critical ones. SDGs are like our world – interconnected and complex.

It also means that the SDGs are an intricate part of our daily lives. It might not be obvious to you, but the ordinary choices that you make can help to strengthen the SDGs and make our world a better place. Here are a few ideas about how you could introduce some of the SDGs into your routine:

– If you care about ending poverty and hunger, try to engage with bank foods or make donations to charity institutions. It’s important to avoid wasting food, as it’s one of the causes of hunger worldwide. And, when choosing your supermarket or a grocery store, make sure they have a good waste management.

– It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man. Sexism is everywhere. Try to raise the subject with your friends and family and support the gender equality cause. The results will be beneficial to all.

– If you know of a brand using slave or irregular labor, don’t buy it. Tell your friends about it. The same applies to companies that pollute, engage in corruption and don’t provide decent conditions to their workers.

– How big is your carbon footprint? If we aim to have clean water, protect animal life and avoid climate change, we should opt for cleaner, more sustainable means of transportation, energy sources and habits. There’s a range of products and services available that are environmentally friendly and affordable.

A critical challenge, however, remains that of bringing up the topic at home, or the office, or again school and, why not, pubs and parks? You don’t need to mention the SDG acronym, but you could start asking people about their habits, and share your good ideas? The clock is ticking, we have little time left to change things… But one thing’s for sure: You can help build the kind of future you want!

The Asian city was recently named top country for meeting UN health goals and has already achieved 4 of the 17 sustainable development goals. Here’s the story.

Singapore has already achieved 4 of the 17 sustainable development goals

The year is 2015. A coalition of countries, Singapore included, have adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals and two years later 43 of them presented Voluntary National Reviews in which they committed to specific goals. Despite the regional and national commitments, many countries are still far from reaching the voluntary goals they set for 2030 but some are taking a straightforward path. Singapore is one of them.

According to the SDG Index and Dashboard Report, Singapore has already reached four out of the 17 SDGs (1, 7, 8 and 9), the highest number in all South and East Asia. The city-state is also closer than any other country to meeting health-related targets, according to a global health review published by The Lancet Medical Journal last September. Singapore is now placed at the 61st position out of 167 countries in the SDG Index.

Its Achilles’ heel is the import of emissions, including nitrogen and carbon dioxide, which is common in small countries due to their need to import and trade goods. In order to improve this scenario, Singapore should whether diversify its economy or set trade policies so the imported goods would be more sustainable.

As for the other SDGs, Singapore is clearly investing in reducing gender inequalities, promoting education and strengthening institutions. The literacy rate has now reached 99,9% and the rate of female labor participation in the workforce is over 76%. The quality of institutions and the safety of the population is one of the highest in the world.

The evolution is ongoing. The city is making an effort to host more events related to the SDGs, such as the Unleash Innovation Lab, next May, and the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, SIGEF 2018, Horyou’s main SDGs event, next September. In addition to bringing diversity and innovation, the events help the city to become known as an SDG-friendly place and a hub for ideas and actions to attain the goals.

From a small violation to a big war, all citizens are affected by law and justice – or the lack of them. Living in peace is a human right, and our society needs to make it a reality for all.

Photo: UNDP

It doesn’t matter if it is domestic violence or international conflict. We’ve all been directly or indirectly impacted by the lack of peace and justice in the world. When we see a war refugee begging for money in a big city, when a friend is victim of a robbery in the street or when we buy clothes made by slave-labor, we feel both affected and responsible.

Reaching the SDG 16 is one of the most complex challenges of our times, as everywhere it depends on strong institutions, economic development and social justice. According to the UNDP, despite the fact that crimes like homicides and human trafficking have declined in the recent years, violent conflicts have nevertheless increased. Violence against children still persists, as many suffer from psychological aggression and physical punishment on a regular basis in 76 countries. Corruption and bribes are challenges, especially in developing countries.

Change must come from a concerted multi-stakeholders strategy that requires action and commitment from governments, non-profit organization and institutions, as well as civil society. On the Horyou platform, many organizations are engaged in actions for social justice and fairness in their communities. NGOs like Association Amis pour la Justice, based in Cameroon, work for educating and raising awareness of their rights and duties in their communities. A new organization on our platform, AMIS is very active and committed to ‘translating’ human rights to people who struggle to access and understand their own value as citizens. Another organization is Society for Academic Development, a Serbian group of young people who aim to develop education and volunteerism, as well as helping refugees and other vulnerable groups.

Horyou has constantly supported and fostered the importance of peace and justice in the events that it organizes, especially SIGEF, whereby panelists and organizations have the opportunity to showcase projects and strategies to promote this SDG.

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that supports peace and social justice in your region or anywhere in the world. You can also show your support by participating in #HoryouLightChallenge! Be the change, be Horyou!

The Light Challenge

 

Support the SDGs!
Take the #HoryouLightChallenge

This world is the one thing we all have in common! By working together, we can achieve great good things for the future of humanity. Change for social good, however, is an everyday endeavor and it starts with you and us to inspire others around us.

To put this idea into practice, Horyou has decided to set up the #HoryouLightChallenge for all changemakers, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals!

As a proponent of the SDGs, our Horyou community believes in the power of positivity and is constantly spreading positive actions and ideas worldwide; and by ensuring international cooperation and inclu- sion, it directly promotes SDG#17.

Be a part of this global partnership and take our #HoryouLightChallenge. All you have to do is choose one SDG, support it with a positive action (see examples below), and share it on Horyou.

Together, we can show the world that every expression of positivity, no matter how big or small, has a great positive impact. Each one of us, in our own way, can be a light within our own community and be- yond. Share your light with the ones around you and the SDGs will be met.

To take the challenge and have a chance to win an all inclusive trip to Singapore and participate in SIGEF18 (or one of our many other prizes*), we invite you to use your creativity and share your social good actions with Horyou.

#HoryouLightChallenge Instructions

  • Create an account on www.horyou.com
  • Create your Horyou Light Challenge post (photo, video or text) on the platform with the one SDG that you have selected among the 17 SDG examples. You can also create your own positive challenge and post it!
  • Share your Horyou post via Twitter, Facebook or any other Social Media with the #HoryouLightChallenge hashtag, along with the hashtag of the SDG that you have supported (ex: #SDG7)
  • Invite your friends to light (watch how lights work here) your post on Horyou
  • Try to get the largest number of lights and win a trip to SIGEF18 Singapore!

17 SDGs challenge examples

Make a contribution to a charity of your choice or directly to a person in need
Prepare your favorite dish for someone who can’t afford to have it
Share a healthy food recipe
Educate / share your educational sources on a topic you’re passionate about
Share an inspiring speech from someone defending gender equality
Share the ways in which you can reduce water waste in your community
Tell us about your favorite source of renewable energy and how it supports sustainable development
Share with us how your job or dream job contributes to sustainable economic growth
Tell us which innovative idea you would invest in
Tell us about the most inspiring action you’ve done to help others
Use your bike or public transport to go to work
Share tips on package free/ second hand/ fair trade and ethic shopping
Sort out your waste for recycling
Pick up the trash on your favorite beach/ lake/ river
Plant a tree
Tell us about your favorite figure promoting peace and justice and post one of his/her inspiring quotes
Share your challenge on the Horyou platform and light your favorite posts

Are you up to the challenge? Go ahead, pick your SDG, engage your friends and be a special guest on the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum in Singapore.

Take the challenge!
Be the change, be Horyou

*Prizes

All Inclusive (flight + hotel) 3 days Trip to Singapore and a free ticket to participate in the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF 2018) + T-shirt and Bag
A free ticket to participate in the SIGEF 2018 +100 Spotlights + Ambassador opportunity + T-shirt and Bag
…30 Horyou Bags and T-shirts for the 30 remaining most lighted posts
The challenge will be running until June 18th 2018

 

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