Sustainable Development Goals

UNESCO Creative Cities and the Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE)in Dunedin: In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that included 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals signal the aim of creating a better world by 2030, by ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice and tackling the world-wide emergency that is climate change. UNESCO Creative Cities contribute to and support the SDGs through their programmes and events with a focus on:

Education – Offering help, experience, guidance and technical support within the Sustainable Development Goal Agenda.
Natural Sciences – Recognition that the contribution of Science, Technology and Innovation plays an important role in sustainable development.|
Social and Human Sciences – Advocacy for acceptable universal values and principles, such as global solidarity, inclusion, anti-discrimination, gender equality and accountability.
Culture – Recognising indigenous cultures and all cultural diversity is at the heart of social development policy making.
Communication and Information – Promotion of free speech and support for greater accessibility and information sharing with the desired outcome being to create and support sustainable communities.
Sustainable Development Goals for Ocean – Promoting a universal mandate and global convening power for ocean science and health.

In January 2020, Otago Polytechnic became a United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) for Sustainability – becoming one of 167 RCEs globally that promote education for sustainable development. The Polytechnic spearheaded the charge after embedding the concept of sustainable practice through its curriculum and campus development over the past decade.

Supporting Otago Polytechnic in their bid was the Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council, Kāi Tahu, University of Otago, and many businesses and groups throughout the Otago region.

RCE-Otago will advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in the region by focusing on the following themes:

  • Building sustainability and social enterprise into the curriculum
  • Water quality, use, efficiency and availability
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Low carbon lifestyles contributing to sustainable cities and towns
  • Partnerships and collaboration.

Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature is proud that its kaupapa embraces the SDGs.

Cities of Literature highlight Sustainable Development Goals

E SDG Poster 2019 without UN emblem WEB
Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature took part in an exciting new project, initiated by Iowa City, that drew attention to the 17 UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals.

These objectives form a program of sustainable, universal and ambitious development, a program of the people, by the people and for the people, conceived with the active participation of UNESCO. The book campaign encouraged participating cities to post book suggestions written locally and relevant to the SDG of the day. The campaign was timed to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference that took place in Madrid from 2- 13 December. A key objective of the conference was to ratify implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.












Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature - Author Postcards


Author Postcards3


United Nations World Oceans Day on 8 June 2021, celebrated at Parliament in Wellington, was the official Aotearoa launch of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It is not surprising that many of our Author Postcards feature the ocean and the significance of our coastal environment for wellbeing and mindfulness, and as an ever-present source of inspiration for our wonderful local writers.


Recently, after a call was sent out through the local branch of the NZ Society of Authors, Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature was proud to produce a series of seven Author Postcards, to be offered at various literary events, venues and cafes around Ōtepoti. This will be an ongoing project and we are looking forward to receiving excerpts from more Ōtepoti writers in the future so we can grow the series.



CoL Poster

Each year in the run-up to Christmas Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature participates in a 17-day international campaign celebrating some extraordinary recent titles that illuminate the Sustainable Development Goals. Our shiny new poster captures the campaign and is proudly displayed in the City of Literature space, Ground Floor, City Library where it is already generating keen interest – so much so that we plan to produce a new poster each year! 






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