Municipalities in the Netherlands join forces for SDG action
On 1st June 2023, representatives of municipalities from all over the Netherlands gathered for the Global Goals Meet-up 2023, the annual networking event of SDG municipalities. This year’s host was the municipality of Aalten in cooperation with Schaersvoorde College. Local students took the opportunity to discuss their dreams and concerns about the future with policymakers.
Every year, Global Goals municipalities in the Netherland meet to discuss local SDG implementation. This year’s central theme was: ‘a look into the future’. How do we ensure a sustainable, inclusive and liveable society for the future generation? What choices can municipalities make today to get there? These questions were the focus throughout the event.
Students give their take on the future
Six students from the municipality of Aalten attended the Meet-up to talk about their view of the future. They are concerned about climate change, education and preserving the unique character of their ‘Achterhoek’ region. According to them, the Achterhoek can set a good example for the rest of the Netherlands. The young people like the green surroundings, the small communities and the feeling of togetherness. It is in the DNA of the Achterhoek to look after one another, greet each other on the street and work together on a lively and friendly community.
Global Goals in practice
The SDGs can be a guide for municipalities who want to act on the mentioned issues. For instance, through regional SDG cooperation, monitoring with SDG indicators and sustainable procurement. During the event several thematic sub-session took place to discuss these issues and explore new ways to incorporate the SDGs.
In the Netherlands there are 123 municipalities who have committed themselves to the SDGs. Together with the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) they work together in a decentral network aimed at exchanging best practices, developing tools and advocating for the SDGs on higher levels of government.
Hengelo is the ‘Most Inspiring Global Goals Municipality 2023’!
Every years a municipality is awarded with the title ‘Most Inspiring Global Goals Municipality’. Sandra Pellegrom, national SDG coordinator and also member of the jury for the election, announced that Hengelo deserves the title this year. They have revitalized the inner city by developing the project based on the principles of the SDGs, resulting in a green, inclusive, attractive and climate-adaptive living environment. According to the jury, they have proven that small-scale SDG based projects can make an important change for the local community.