Classroom Video Project Explores the Sustainable Development Goals

Last month, leaders from all around the globe met at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) have a huge span in scope, with the overall goal of impacting the root causes of poverty.

How can you incorporate the new SDGs into your classroom? Population Education’s World of 7 Billion video contest is a great way for students to not only learn about key issues that are part of the SDGs, but allows them to analyze global situations and create potential solutions.

Topics for this year’s contest include:

DEFORESTATION and the SDGs: Between 2000 and 2010, it’s estimated that 13 million hectares of forests were lost each year, especially in tropical rainforests. Agriculture is one of the main drivers for deforestation, from slash and burn techniques to cattle ranching. Deforestation leads to an array of environmental consequences—erosion, habitat loss, decreased biodiversity, and a rise in carbon emissions. Creating a video on the population-deforestation link could lead students to explore the three SDGs below:
SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
SDG #12: Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG #13: Climate Action
SDG # 15: Life on Land

WATER SCARCITY and the SDGs: Clean freshwater is becoming an increasing scarce resource worldwide, and it is estimated that 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water. In addition, 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation. Our growing population combined with a decreasing source of clean freshwater is estimated to result in water shortages for 2/3 of the world’s population by 2050. Students can draw from recent experiences in their home countries as well as the stories and data in the following SDGs:
SDG #6: Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG #10: Reduced Inequalities

PUBLIC HEALTH and the SDGs: Public health issues cover a wide range of factors that impact the quality of an individual’s life—from access to healthcare to air quality to sanitation. In the past 20 years there has been an overall drop in child mortality, maternal death, and HIV infection rates, however there is still room for improvement. The SDGs below build upon the successes of the MDGs with the aim to fully eradicate a range of diseases as well as emerging health issues in all parts of the globe—especially the lowest income countries.
SDG #1: No Poverty
SDG #2: Zero Hunger
SDG #3: Good Health and Well-being
• SDG #6: Clean Water and Sanitation

For all three video contest topics, students can incorporate information from SDG #17: Partnerships for the Goals.

We look forward to seeing how your students incorporate the SDGs into their video submissions. For more information please visit the World of 7 Billion student video contest website or email