The UN SDG Festival for Action for Sustainable Development organised by the UN SDG Action focused on several themes over the 3 days; Mobilization, Storytelling, Campaigning, Visualization, Connections, and Inclusion. Peace Boat was honoured to host a session at the festival on May 3, which focused on the theme of Storytelling entitled “Climate Action and Life Below Water: Storytelling from the seas.” The session introduced several methods and examples of storytelling to personalise the SDGs and make them more relevant to people.
Peace Boat International Coordinator, Karen Hallows introduced personal testimony, citing examples from Peace Boat’s voyages including the Ocean and Climate Ambassador Youth Ambassador Programme which brings young people from small islands on the frontline of climate change to share the experiences of their communities, as well as Peace Boat’s Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) Project and the personal testimonies given as part of educational programmes onboard and in port. Adriana Valenzuela, Focal Point for Youth and Education at UN Climate Change who joined the last edition of the Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Programme as a guest educator introduced the video. She spoke about the efforts of the Secretariat of UN Climate Change to raise awareness about SDG 13 through the Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change and showed one of the two winning videos. She encouraged others to submit their entries for the next edition of the competition which was launched by UN Climate Change as part of its work on Action for Climate Empowerment, in partnership with tve (Television for the Environment).
Peace Boat International Coordinator, Louise Soerensen introduced the Humans of Peace Boat project of the recent 100th Global Voyage. This was inspired by SDG Action Campaign’s Humans of My World project which aims to personalise to the My World surveys carried out across the world. In the same way, the Humans of Peace Boat project shared a photo and caption about an SDG important to a particular participant and complemented the My World surveys conducted onboard. Julio Ceballos and Louise Henry of Los18.org introduced the concept of visual storytelling and theatre. The Spanish NGO who will be partnering with Peace Boat for activities in Motril during the next edition of the Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Programme will organize large visual representations of the SDGs in public places and will be travelling the world together with theatre group La Fura to promote sustainable development 500 years after the first global voyage from Spain.
The presentations were followed by group work having workshop participants discussing the benefits and challenges of the different methods of storytelling. With such diverse and experienced participants at the festival, the discussions were lively and informative.