Resilient societies thanks to development assistance

02.12.2016 – 5 December is International Volunteer Day. Volunteers are helping to realise the global Sustainable Development Goals – for example in biodiversity projects.

New and ongoing conflicts around the world, climate change, natural disasters or pandemics – global risks are making it more difficult to realise the Sustainable Development Goals adopted as part of the 2030 Agenda. Societies thus need to become more adaptable and resilient. And development workers are helping them do just that: embedded as volunteers within our partner organisations, they directly help boost their – and society’s – performance capacity and resilience.

This is also at the heart of the recently adopted 'Bonn Call to Action' which was compiled in October at a conference in Bonn co-hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) and the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum). This Call to Action spotlights the importance volunteering has for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2015, 730 development workers carried out activities for GIZ, one of the biggest HR deployment services worldwide, thus contributing to the success of various projects.

The Philippines, for example, are under major threat from the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and increasingly frequent super typhoons. Commissioned by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GIZ is working with local partners to assist the Philippine Government to improve the protection and management of 60 existing and 100 planned nature protection areas throughout the country. Funding for the project is from the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

A development worker deployed by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is also advising the provincial government of Mindoro Occidental on the development of training and service offers for spatial planning in cities and municipalities – plans that are to form the basis for new protected areas. Twelve new marine protected areas are scheduled for establishment shortly.