SDG EVENTS IN ASSAM
11th May 2017, Guwahati: The Transformation and Development Department, CSDGs in collaboration with ONGC and UNDP held a one day conclave on ‘Synergising Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ The one-day conclave aimed to create linkages between current CSR activities and SDGs, and create a platform for engagement and partnerships to take forward SDG related activities in Assam. The Conclave was attended by Shri V. K. Pipersenia, Chief Secretary Government of Assam, as Chief Guest, along with delegates from UNDP China, Indonesia and India offices, along with other participants from NRL, TATA Group and other corporates, MSMEs and NGOs operating in the state.
24th April 2017, Guwahati: In order to finalise the departmental SPAPs, a departmental Conclave was held for Goal 3 and Goal 6. Goal 3; ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’, was organized by the Health and Family Welfare Department and the Goal 6; ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’, was organized by the Public Health Engineering Department, Govt. of Assam. This was held on the 24th of April at AASC, Khanapara. Participants included experts from the Government of India, from NGOs and International Organisations. Speaking at the event, Shri. V. K. Pipersenia, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Assam, spoke on devolving accountability and focus on ensuring proper utilization of resources in order to achieve the SDGs.
1st June 2017, Guwahati: In an effort to disseminate understanding and functioning of SDGs to the Districts, the Lower Assam Divisional (LAD) Commissioner in collaboration with the Kamrup Metro District, T &D Department and Centre for SDGs, AASC, organized a one day conclave on 1st June 2017, at AASC, Khanapara, Guwahati. This one day conclave focused on engaging district level officials in understanding what is happening at the Departmental level in terms of SDGs and how their work can be directly correlated to the SDGs. The Chief Secretary, Shri V. K. Pipersenia, while speaking at the inaugural session laid the framework by engaging district departmental Officials to the Goals and Targets which were relevant to their work. Shri. Ahmed Hussain, Divisional Commissioner, LAD, laid down the pioneering work being done in Assam for promoting the SDGs and how localization of these goals is a priority for the state. This conclave was the first one of a series of four, which will focus on engaging and taking SDGs to the lowest level of administration.
June 8th, Guwahati: Developing a strategy plan for achieving SDG Goals 1 &2 are crucial for the overall development of the state. Goal 1 emphasizes on reducing poverty and providing social protection measures to all and Goal 2 aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition and commits to universal access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food at all times of the year.
The Panchayat and Rural Development Department is the lead department for Goal 1 and Agriculture Department is for Goal 2. Both departments got together on 8th June 2017, to organize a conclave to discuss and finalise their strategy and action plans for both the goals. Along with these departments various supporting departments also participated in the discussions. The inputs from this conclave will assist in formulating the departmental and state action plan for Goal 1 & 2.
16 and 17 June, Guwahati: Quality Education (Goal 4) assists in addressing the major challenges in the education sector in the state. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, and to eliminate gender and wealth disparities with the aim of achieving universal access to a quality higher education. The Education Department has prepared a draft Strategy Paper & Action Plan (SPAP) with a vision to “All Children in School and Learning with Quality within and outside School”. In order to take forward the discussions on finalising the SPAPs the Education Department in collaboration with UNICEF and CSDGs and T&D Department.
The Conclave was designed to have detailed group discussions among participants who were divided into 5 groups for school education comprising of, free, equitable and quality education, pre-primary education, school environment and facilities, vocational and technical training, and ICT teaching and learning. The group on higher education focused on education as a lifelong process, ICT for change and financing higher education.
The Hon’ble Minister for Education, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, after listening to all the key discussion points of the group exercises stressed on the key ideal of no one should be left behind. He remarked on his recent visits to Habong and other parts of Hamren town in West Karbi Anglong, he saw how these areas are approximately 30 years behind in the developmental curve of mainland Assam. This shows the pathway as to where the journey to implement the SDGs should start from the most vulnerable and marginalized.
14th and 15th July, 2017: This conclave was designed to cover the Sustainable Development Goals on Sustainable Consumption And Production (Goal-12), Climate Action (Goal-13), Conservation Of Water Resources (Goal-14) and Life On Land (Goal-15) in Assam. The thematic discussions ranged from Achieving Carbon Neutrality in Assam & Climate Change Mitigation, Making Assam Pollution Free, Climate Change Adaption & Climate Resilient Communities, Water and River Conservation & Management, Land Management, Soil Conservation & Watershed Conservation & Development and Reduce, Reuse & Recycle – managing waste reduction in production & supply chain. The conclave had many external experts participating along with members from multiple departments from the Government. Addressing the conclave, the Advisor and Mentor to AASC Shri Anurag Goel asked departments to take the SPAPs a step further and ask fundamental questions like, ‘who, does what, where, when and how’, furthermore he added that it is important to seek innovation in the SPAPs, along with strategy for 2030 which should be in back-casted. The Advisor to CSDGs Dr Shiladitya Chatterjee also added that the, ‘departments should identify the owners of each target, the supporters of each of these should be mapped in a PPP model (People-Project-Partnerships)’.
9th August 2017: Currently more than half the world’s population lives in cities and by 2030, it is projected that 6 out of 10 people will be urban dwellers. Guwahati and the other towns in Assam are rapidly urbanizing with growing population and migration from within the state and other parts of the country. SDG Goal 11 focuses on access issues related to fast pace of urbanisation such as water supply, sewerage and sanitation, storm water drainage, urban transport, urban housing, street lighting, adequate public spaces, formulation and execution of master plans and enhancing capacities of Urban Local Bodies, solar energy installations, rainwater harvesting and other such practices. Speaking at the conclave the Chief Secretary Shri V. K. Pipersenia asked participating members, ‘what is a community? Community means common’. He stressed on how involvement of citizens is the key to planning better cities. He asked the participating departments to look at Municipal and other relevant Acts and revamp the parts which are not working. He also emphasised on promoting local self-governance, and stated that the ‘the best cities in the world are the best governed cities’. The thematic groups were divided into Urban Transport, Urban Housing, Urban Governance and Urban Environment. Based on the group discussions, recommendations were made on what steps need to be taken for creating sustainable urban spaces by 2030.