By Future of Good.

Canadian organizations working towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are now collaborating under the banner of Alliance 2030, a national initiative formed to share and track efforts related to the goals.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, are “a call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” These 17 goals, which were adopted in 2016, build on the former Millennium Development Goals and include goals in new areas such as climate change, sustainable consumption, and economic inequality, which reflect a more holistic approach to combating poverty.

Two years ago, Community Foundations of Canada started thinking about how they could connect diverse actors who were otherwise working towards the same mission in silos.

CFC had just wrapped up an initiative with the Department of Canadian Heritage to fund and support projects that celebrated Canada’s 150th anniversary and participated in the Truth and Reconciliation process with Indigenous people. The initiative brought together 2,000 organizations from across the country to collaborate and share stories. The Community Fund for Canada’s 150 helped provide funding and grantees conveyed their work through the storytelling platform Alliance 150.

Organizations involved in the initiative were solving a range of issues from the social isolation of seniors to how newcomers could be integrated in communities and soon, they began collaborating. “We saw this great cross-pollination happening, and at Community Foundations of Canada, we were asking if there was a frame that could keep these organizations together to share and collaborate,” JP Bervoets, Vice President of Community Foundations of Canada says.

That frame became Alliance 2030 — a national network of organizations, institutions, and individuals who are committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030.

Community Foundations of Canada had laid the groundwork by connecting with government, academic, private sector, and community organizations, and now, “instead of building our own platforms, we work together,” Bervoets says. The Alliance recognizes that “the efforts to achieve the SDGs in Canada isn’t led by any one organization, and working in silos can lead to missed opportunities.”

After its launch in 2018, more than 1,500 members joined Alliance 2030’s growing database. This is helping Community Foundations of Canada track who is doing what when it comes to working towards the SDGs.

Over the next decade, Alliance 2030 will track Canada’s progress in relation to the SDGs and provide resources on how organizations can fill in the gaps.

In addition to tracking, storytelling is a major focus of the Alliance. “What does innovation connected with food security look like in the North now, or how is Canada progressing in moving the needle on gender equality? We’re eager to highlight stories of people who are working towards these goals,”  Bervoets says. Currently, Alliance 2030 shares stories of its members’ work through their blog and podcast, No Little Plans, about the state of SDGs in Canada.  

In this series, we highlight a few of the member organizations working towards goals related to human rights, economics, and health. The organizations below are doing a range of work towards achieving SDGs that relate to our health: Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and Goal 13 (Climate Action). Learn about these organizations by reading highlights of their work below, and following the links to learn more.

Arctic Children and Youth Foundation

This Canadian charity has a mission of helping Arctic children and youth obtain standards of living and services similar to the rest of Canada in terms of education, opportunities, health, and wellbeing. Indigenous children in the North continue to face health and social disparities including the highest rates of infant mortality in the country.

Based in Iqaluit and serving the territory of Nunavut, the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation runs mental health programs, first aid workshops, and connects children and youth to yoga and swimming lessons.

In Nunavut, child abuse rates are 10 times the national average. In response, the foundation is launching  the territory’s first child advocacy hub, the Umingmak Child and Youth Support Centre, set to open this year. It has been created to support child survivors of abuse and is in line with Nunavummiut culture.

Ecojustice Canada

Ecojustice Canada works to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment for all. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, the organization routinely goes to court to literally, “build the case for a better earth.”

Ecojustice’s team of lawyers represent community groups, nonprofits, and Indigenous communities and take on innovative legal cases across the country that tackle the root causes of environmental harm. “We strategically take on precedent-setting cases that have the potential to force policy shifts and strengthen Canada’s environmental laws,” the organization states.

Their current cases include challenging Ontario’s gutting of the cap-and-trade program and ensuring Volkswagen is held accountable for selling vehicles with emissions-cheating software in Canada.

Over the last 25 years, Ecojustice Canada has won more than 89 cases that protect wildlife and habitats, strengthen environmental policy, and keep polluters accountable to environmental regulations.