Why Access to Nature is a Social Justice Issue

Why Access to Nature is a Social Justice Issue

Emma Marsh the Director of RSPB England wrote this fantastic article about access to nature.



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We Have A Dream – PRE-ORDER

We Have A Dream – PRE-ORDER

I am really proud to announce that my first book, published by Magic Cat, comes out on 5th August 2021.

We Have a Dream: Meet 30 Young Indigenous People and People of Colour Protecting the Planet (Hardback)  

by Dr Mya-Rose Craig

Illustrated by Sabrena Khadij

Signed edition £11.25 (RRP £12.99) if pre-ordered by 31st July 2021 (FREE p&p).

Or choose an edition with a personal message



Indigenous people and people of colour are disproportionately affected by climate change, yet often are not heard in global conversations.

As a British-Bangladeshi environmentalist and race activist, I was interested to hear and amplify the voices of young environmentalists of colour from around the world who are usually ignored. I spent months researching and locating 30 young environmentalists who were working on different types of projects, all over the world. I spoke to these incredible young people, many of who had been campaigning since they were 8 or 9 years old, about what they think are the issues and what needs to be done to make a change.

From wildlife conservation to clean water, air pollution to plastic waste, climate justice to climate strikes, the time has come to listen to a generation of young people of colour demanding urgent change for the world they will inherit.

Environmental and diversity campaigner Mya-Rose Craig aka Birdgirl speaks to 30 Black, Indigenous and People of Colour campaigners from around the world, including; Autumn Peltier, Vanessa Nakate and Lesein Mutunkei. These communities are disproportionately affected by climate change, yet often aren’t heard in global conversations. From wildlife conservation to clean water, from air pollution to plastic waste, from climate justice to climate strikes, the time has come to listen to a generation of young people demanding urgent change for the world they will inherit.


‘Extraordinary voices from around the globe’
– Steve Backshall

‘A moving and thought-provoking collection of stories’
– Liz Bonnin

‘If there was ever a book for now, this is it’
– Gillian Burke

‘Inspiring messages which are beautifully combined’
– Mike Dilger

‘Filled with power and hope’
– Dara McAnulty

‘A vivid and magical showcase’
– Stephen Moss

‘Inspiring, enlightening and powerful’
– Chris Packham



Publisher: Magic Cat Publishing

Publication Date: 05/08/2021

Pages: 64 pages

Dimensions: 230 x 180 mm

Category: Social issues: environment & green issues (Child..

ISBN: 9781913520205

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About Mya-Rose Craig

About Mya-Rose Craig

Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Young British Bangladeshi Dr Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl from the Chew Valley near Bristol is a prominent birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, race activist, writer, speaker and broadcaster, writing the Birdgirl Blog since January 2014 when she was 11 years old, which is extremely popular with both adults and children and now has over 4 million views.

She has travelled all her life, visiting all seven continents when she was 13 years old, giving her a global perspective on conservation and the needs of indigenous peoples. She writes posts about birding, nature, stopping climate breakdown, conservation and stopping species loss, other environmental issues, and racism from around the world.

Expertise in birds and nature
She has been birding all her life with her parents and sister as well as birding abroad. She is passionate about birds, obtained her BTO Bird ringing licence at the youngest possible age of 16, takes part in the BTO Nest Record Scheme and became the youngest person to see half the worlds’ birds when she was 17 in Brazil in August 2019.

Climate Activist
Mya-Rose has been highlighting the urgent need to tackle climate change since she was 8 years old, raising the issue with pupils, teachers in school and local people. She continued with her campaigning from January 2014, blogging about climate change and quickly building a huge following and reaching 1 million views. In 2015, she was recognised for her climate campaigning work by being made a Bristol 2015 European Green Capital Ambassador along with Miranda Krestovnikoff, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Kevin McCloud and Simon King and spoke at the Bristol Climate Change Rally Nov 2015in front of 3,000 people. She continued writing, speaking and campaigning about the need for governments and big businesses to take urgent action to stop a climate catastrophe, particularly within the context of Bangladesh being at the top of the list of countries that will be most affected, the need for Global Climate Justice and a fair transition. In 2019, she camped and protested at Extinction Rebellion uprisings in London and Bristol, appeared in the video that launched the successful Stop Bristol Airport Expansion Campaign, set up XR Chew Valley, is a Bristol Youth Strike organiser, speaking three times at the Bristol Youth Strikes in March, May and July 2019 and sits on the Bristol Mayor’s One City Environmental Sustainability Board. In February 2020, she shared a stage with Greta Thunberg in Bristol, speaking in front of a crowd of 40,000 youth strikers. Mya-Rose also campaigns and gives talks arguing for global climate justice and a fair and just transition.

Conservation work
As well as educating people about the benefits of nature Mya-Rose has also campaigned to protect species from extinction and fight against environmental damage since she was 8 years old, then in January 2014 starting to blog about conservation issues such as palm oil, GMO, pesticides and other issues, for instance, campaigning for the immediate clean up of a devastating oil spill in the Unesco World Heritage site, the Sundarbans mangroves in Bangladesh, writing in the American Birding Association Blog and raising $35,000 for the cleanup in 3 days. She has travelled all her life, visiting all seven continents when she was 13 years old, giving her a global perspective on conservation and the needs of indigenous peoples.

In 2014 Mya-Rose was listed with singer-songwriter George Ezra and Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams as one of Bristol’s most influential young people. She was nominated in the Birdwatch Magazine Birder’s Choice Awards 2015 in the Blogger of the Year category and she was the runner up after Mark Avery and was nominated in the Bristol Young Heroes Awards 2016. In 2017 she won the Royal Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award, she was the Minister of Diversity in Nature and Conservation in Chris Packham’s A Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife. In 2019, she was listed in Bristol Powerlist 2018, The Guardian’s 10 everyday heroes fighting to save the planet, was nominated in the Birdwatch Magazine Birder’s Choice Awards 2019. Conservation Hero of the Year with Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot. Coming joint second after Greta Thunberg was included in the Bristol Powerlist 2020, a list of the City’s 50 most powerful and influential people and The Guardian’s Top 15 World’s Biodiversity Activists.

Honorary Doctorate
In February 2020 Mya-Rose became the youngest person to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science D.Sc. h.c from Bristol University, one of the top universities in the UK and is receiving it for her five years of campaigning for diversity in the environmental sector. The sixth-former, yet to finish her A-Levels, is being recognised for her activism and the much-needed pioneering change through Black2Nature including nature camps and her Race Equality in Nature Conferences.

Connecting with children
Mya-Rose has huge experience engaging children and teenagers of all ages, ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds with nature and environmental issues, having engaged approximately 50,000 so far. As President of her organisation Black2Nature she has led the fight for equal access to the natural environment for Visible Minority Ethnic people, organising nine nature camps, Camp Avalon, for VME children and teenagers and two high profile conferences, Race Equality in Nature and is organising more for 2020. She also wrote to five of the biggest NGO’s in 2015, after her first camp, asking them what steps they were taking to make their organisations ethnically diverse and has continued putting pressure on nature, conservation, environmental, environmental education and wildlife film-making sectors to change. In 2020, she has two teenage camps being arranged in conjunction with the RSPB and hopes that these will expand over the next 3 years.

Race Activist
Her first conference was in 2016, which aimed to increase the ethnic diversity in nature by looking at the barriers to Visual Minority Ethnic (VME) people going out into nature, what can be done to overcome these barriers and how we can create VME role models. Speakers included Bill Oddie, Kerry McCarthy MP, Stephen Moss and Dr Richard Benwell. She also organised a second conference, Race Equality in Nature: The Next Generation 13-30 in October 2019 with Speakers Chris Packham, Bristol Deputy Mayor, Councillor Asher Craig, Green Party Councillor Cleo Lake, RSPB CEO Beccy Speight and Survival International CEO Stephen Corry.
She has also set up Black2Nature in 2016 with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of VME people and is President. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change.

Articles, interviews, and books
She has written articles for and appeared in many newspapers including BBC News OnlineThe TimesThe GuardianThe Sunday ObserverThe Sunday TelegraphThe IndependentDaily MailThe MetroNew StatesmanBig IssueNew Internationalist, Resurgence & Ecologist MagazineFriends of the Earth Magazine and Triodos Bank Magazine. She has been published in The Willowherb ReviewNew Networks for Nature, Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and Red Sixty Seven. She is writing a children’s book and an autobiography about growing up with a passion for birds and her journey to seeing half the world’s birds.

She has given over 50 talks including her first hour and a half entertaining look at growing up birding, Born to Bird, in 2014, speaking at Tedx in 2016, being on a Panel with George Monbiot & Caroline Lucas MP in 2017, appearing at the Hay Festival 2018 Main Stage, speaking to 500 pupils at Millfield School, speaking at Chris Packham’s 2018 Peoples Walk for Wildlife in front of 10,000 people in Hyde Park and at English Nature’s 2019 Staff Conference to 1,500 conservationists.

Television and Radio
She has appeared on TV and Radio including BBC SpringwatchBBC CountryfileBBC The One Show, Inside Out, BBC Radio Four Tweet of the DayITV West Film Feature plus a second and thirdBBC Radio Four Saturday Live as well News such as Channel Four News, ITV News, Channel 5 News, The Today Programme appearing in BBC Four Twitchers: A Very British Obsession> age 7 and featured in the 2017 BFI/BBC Four Silent Roars, presenting a German-French Arte/ARD documentary Missing – Where have all the birds gone? investigating the decline of grassland and farmland bird species, a 2020 short film by Josh Dury and short videos for EarthWatch Institute Wild Days Programme.

Mya-Rose also campaigns to stop biodiversity loss and species extinction and the rights of indigenous peoples. She is involved with Youth for our Planet UK, is a Voluntary Sector Leader Representative on Bristol City Council Strategic Boards, on the Catalyse Change Advisory Board and has attended many meetings at Downing Street and Parliament. She is a Patron for The Bristol Global Goals Centre, Global Ambassador for Burns Price FoundationEarthwatch EuropeSurvival InternationalWorld Shorebird Day and Leica Optics as well as being a Charter Champion for The Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

Mya-Rose above all has a passion and love for birds and wildlife driving her in everything. Her favourite birds are Harpy Eagle seen in Brazil and Southern Cassowary in Queensland, Australia. Other animal favourites are Orangutang in Borneo, Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Emperor Penguin in Antarctica and Komodo Dragon in Indonesia.

Social Media
Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page, follow her on Birdgirl TwitterBirdgirl Instagram and Birdgirl LinkedIn. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail admin@black2nature.org.

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Guest Blog by Clive Horlock – Educating Rain Child

Guest Blog by Clive Horlock – Educating Rain Child

Educating Rain-child

For Parents and Teachers concerned with the ‘Bigger Picture’

Rain-child belongs to a Bushmen clan in Botswana and was born during a Kalahari rainstorm, which is considered lucky, hence his name.

Many friends who have joined me in the Kalahari for a Bushmen cultural experience have remarked on the behaviour of Rain-child and the other children of the clan as they never seem to need disciplining and never appear to be unhappy. The children seem to take pride in helping the adults in their domestic duties and when not helping the adults they will happily amuse themselves with a dry Tsama melon, guinea fowl feather, or similar. It does not take long for visitors to become aware of this ‘unusual’ child behaviour prompting the question “how can these children always be so happy and content even though they have nothing?”

When the question is posed to Bushmen parents, they express surprise, replying “but why should they be unhappy, children only need to be given love and safety as they are already happy?”

Does this suggest that in our modern world we have in some way taught our children how to be unhappy? Have our children been taught that happiness can only happen in association with a destination, event or reward?

As a parent and ex-teacher I have always had an interest in child development and it is with special interest that I have tried to study the interaction between Bushmen adults and their children in order to try and establish an answer to this question. Making this study even more relevant are two other factors regarding the Bushmen: Firstly, that they are considered the most successful society in human history, and secondly, that their remark- able survival lasted for tens of thousands of years, until the arrival of modern man – so what are the secrets of their success?

Trying to understand their education methodology is therefore of ongoing interest to me and what has become clear is that child raising involves the entire community, and at a very young age inculcates the philosophies which shaped the Bushmen culture of survival.

Parents concentrate on providing love and making their children feel safe. This love is demonstrated through their caring, empathetic and compassionate relationship with others and through their respect for animals. The rest of the community helps with general education and survival skills with spiritual leaders contributing to the understanding of love by developing the understanding that all thoughts associated with love contribute to the most powerful energy in the universe, the life-force, which they call N/lom.

Details of their education processes are not necessary for the purposes of this article except for one practice ofspecial significance which incorporates most of the principles of the Bushmen culture.

This practice is called the “Healing Dance”, which was/is practiced at least once a week and/or when the need arises. I originally considered this ritual to be aimed at healing ill individuals until its real purpose was made clear to me.

The ritual can better be described as a preventative and holistic healing process aimed at maintaining physical, psychological and spiritual health, as well as to maintain community well-being, the health of their environment, and connection with the natural world.

This description provides some insight into Bushmen behaviour and practices which form the basis of their culture. The healing dance purpose basically encapsulates what could be considered the ‘mission statement’ for the education of Bushmen children.

From a very young age children soon learn about the benefits of egalitarianism, sharing, giving and serving community – in essence, how to be human.
• They learn to love the natural world, and as they explain, “you cannot harm what you love”.
• They learn to suppress ego in order to avoid the social and environmentally destructive effects associated with superiority, power and greed.
• They learn to connect with the energies of the universe and to benefit from universal intelligence.

Dare we compare the education of children today with that of Rain-child?

While today education focuses on what children can be in the future, how much focus is placed on ensuring that there will be a future? I share the story of Grace which illustrates the effectivity of our education system in terms of preparing children for the future.

Grace, not her real name, was 13 years old at the time and a pupil at a very prestigious UK School when a teacher asked the class to create picture boards of what they wanted their lives to look like in twenty years time. Grace’s board displayed the typical big house, cars and exotic holiday’s but one thing that caught the teacher’s eye were the words “no more climate change”. When the teacher explained that all her wants were not compatible with ‘no climate change’, she went silent, and asked “why, is there no way around it?”

‘Grace’ represents an average child who could be attending almost any School on the planet, so the question which needs to be asked of any person involved in education, from assistant teacher to senior education planner is “How is it possible that a child who has been in the conventional education system for approximately 8 years, does not understand that having a surplus of material possessions as well as ‘no climate change and environmental degradation’ is impossible?

How is it possible that Rain-child’s predecessors in 50 000BC understood this better than did Grace in 2019 AD? Is it because this truth would conflict with the modern global economic system dependent on growth and consumerism? Do children believe that it is possible for all 7 billion people on the planet to achieve what appears on their ‘picture board’? If not, who must be excluded and why?

One of the ‘costs’ of today’s consumer-driven society is the lack of quality time parents are able to enjoy with their children.

We are told that this is the price of progress – but progress towards what?

What is the ‘deemed goal’ towards which humanity is supposedly progressing? Without knowing this goal/s, how is it possible to say that progress is being made?

Parents, are you educating your children to achieve goals which celebrate humanity, the environment and the sustainability of both or do you consider this the duty of educational institutions?

Teachers, if you had to write your ‘mission statement” for humanity on your classroom wall, one which cuts across all curricula and addresses the sustainable well-being of all humankind, what would it say? How much of your mission statement would be addressed by your current subject curriculum?

As we are in an age of multiple crises, fake information and questionable leadership is it not time for each and every person to use their own logic, reasoning and freedom of choice to make the changes necessary to ensure sustainable well-being for all humankind and planet.

© Clive Horlock

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Leaders call on PM to create socially just and green recovery form Covid-19

Leaders call on PM to create socially just and green recovery form Covid-19

Leaders call on Prime Minister to create socially just and green recovery from Covid-19

● Richard Curtis CBE, Paul Polman, Michael Izza and leaders of more than 100 renowned companies, charities, universities, and trade associations call on the UK Government to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the heart of UK Covid-19 recovery plans

● The Sustainable Development Goals provide us with a blueprint to end poverty and inequality and put health, wellbeing and job creation at the heart of Covid-19 recovery plans in the UK

● The UK is performing well on 24% of the Sustainable Development Goal targets and could enhance this if they were used to frame the UK’s recovery from Covid-19

A letter sent to the Prime Minister on Tuesday 9th June calls on his government to use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to frame Covid-19 recovery plans.

The letter references a statement made by the Prime Minister at the Financing for Development event on 28 May where he called for “fairer, greener and more resilient global economy” after Covid-19. He said that we must ‘work together to get shared goals back on track including […] the Sustainable Development Goals’.

The letter supports this and states ‘we do not need to reinvent frameworks or agreements, we can instead use the global goals as the basis for a socially just and green recovery in the UK and abroad’.

Early evidence from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission showed that if implemented the SDGs create at least US$12tn in business opportunities in just 60 market hotspots and estimates this could be 2-3 times bigger across the whole economy.

The letter has been coordinated by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) and the United Nations Global Compact Network UK (GCN UK).

Signatories include leaders of Leonard Cheshire, Natwest Group, Nestle UK & Ireland, Linklaters, Clifford Chance, The Body Shop, SSE, HSBC, Standard Life Aberdeen, Mott MacDonald and Unilever; filmmaker Richard Curtis; the Mayor of Bristol; Chairman of the Local Government Association and Dr Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl).

The letter states that the ‘SDGs provide an internationally agreed framework, which also works at national, regional and local level, alongside and reinforcing existing plans and commitments.’

It asks that the SDGs be used ‘used to consolidate and future-proof [recovery] plans’ and goes on to recommend that they are used to:

1. Prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities

2. Build coherent policies for a healthy planet and to aid the transition to net-zero

3. Unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy

The SDGs are part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and give a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”. There are 17 Goals at its centre, encompassing climate action, education and health.

Unfortunately, the UKSSD Measuring Up report found gaps in policy or inadequate performance for 57% of targets, and 15% where there is little to no policy in place to address it, or where performance is poor. It anticipates that this situation will be worsened by the societal and economic impacts of Covid-19.


Richard Curtis, UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, film writer, director and co-founder of Project Everyone

“The COVID crisis has shown more than ever that we must work together to secure a better future. The Global Goals are a powerful tool to help us do this; they provide a common vision and a practical blueprint for collaboration. The breadth of support for this letter demonstrates a commitment to working with the UK government to deliver healthy lives, healthy societies and a healthy planet for everyone. We can only build back better together and I hope that the Government will use the Goals to help them do this”

Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive

“The Sustainable Development Goals are an important framework to ensure governments and businesses are pursuing the long-term public interest, so we hope the Prime Minister will use them as a foundation for the UK’s post-COVID recovery plans.

“As chartered accountants, we think it’s vital businesses look beyond profit and have a wider social purpose, and we’re pleased to have so many organisations join our call to government to put these goals front and centre.”

Steve Kenzie, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network UK

“The SDGs define a universal framework for governments, businesses, and civil society to work together and create the future we want. We’re only 10 years away from the deadline to achieve the goals, and the Covid-19 crisis risks worsening inequalities and slowing down progress made. The SDG agenda must be used by the Government to ensure the UK recovers better, recovers stronger, and recovers together”.

Emily Auckland, Network Director, UKSSD

“Covid-19 has placed a spotlight on inequalities in our society. We have an opportunity to make sure our recovery from this crisis is fair and just so that people and places across the UK can prosper. This does not have to be in conflict with our net-zero carbon ambitions and the SDGs help us work together to create social and environmental outcomes, so all people have a happy life on a healthy planet”.

For media enquiries, please contact: below.

SDG opportunities

The Business and Sustainable Development Commission report ‘Better Business, Better World’ identified a US$12tn market opportunity in 60 market hotspots and the potential to create 980 million jobs. They estimate the opportunity would be 2-3 times bigger across the whole economy.

Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls:

McKinsey’s Power of Parity report showed that bridging the gender gap in the UK workforce could add billions of GDP and 840,000 female employees to the workforce in the.

About the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD)

Through collaboration and access to new insights, UKSSD brings organisations together to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UK. UKSSD was launched in April 2016 and has grown to more than 1,000 network members, representing most sectors and industries in the UK, from grass-roots community organisations to multinational business.

We work with our partners to use their cross-sector voice to influence government and organisations on their approach to the SDGs. With shared expertise and leadership, we support them to learn from each other, develop their activities and identify new opportunities for collaboration, such as our new Food Systems Programme which launched in January 2020.
About the UN Global Compact Network UK

Launched in 2000 as a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact provides a framework for developing more sustainable and responsible businesses. Today, the UN Global Compact is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 10,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 Local Networks. It is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. Its mission is to mobilise a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want.

The UN Global Compact Network UK delivers an extensive programme of activity to support UK-based UN Global Compact participating organisations. The Network promotes practical sustainability leadership, shares knowledge across sectors, and actively shapes the responsible business environment to create a world we want to live and do business in.
About the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, or “the Global Goals”) are an initiative of the United Nations.

Together, the Global Goals set out an ambitious agenda for a better world by 2030 – fairer, safer, healthier, more prosperous and in better balance with nature. The goals have been described as “the closest thing the world has to a strategy”.

The Global Goals were born out of a vast consultation process and were ratified by 193 global leaders in September 2015. There are 17 goals, with 169 targets sitting underneath them, covering every facet of life on Earth – social, economic and environmental.

Unlike the Millennium Development Goals which preceded them, the SDGs are not primarily focused on developing countries; they are about sustainability everywhere.

The SDGs are a common blueprint for a sustainable future – as relevant to communities, households and individuals as they are to governments, businesses, and NGOs.



The Rt. Honourable Boris Johnson MP Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

SW1A 2AA 9 June 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

Building a better future through the COVID-19 recovery programmes

As the Government plans for the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the signatories of this letter write to ask that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are used to consolidate and future-proof these plans.

We recognise that we must work together to recover from the pandemic and build a better future where all people in the country have a good life on a healthy planet. The SDGs can help us to do this and there is already widespread support across UK society, including the business community, for the future the global goals define.

We welcome your recent statement that we need a ‘fairer, greener and more resilient’ global economy’ and to ‘build back better’ after the coronavirus crisis. We acknowledge the letters you have already received that ask for this. However, we also support the statement you made on the 28th May that ‘there is a need for us to work together to get our shared goals back on track including […] the Sustainable Development Goals’. As you said, we do not need to reinvent frameworks or agreements, we can instead use the global goals as the basis for a socially just and green recovery in the UK and abroad.

Together the 17 Goals provide us with an internationally agreed framework, which also works at national, regional and local levels, alongside and reinforcing existing plans and commitments. They enable the Government to work cross-departmentally and with stakeholders to create programmes and policies that are coherent with the needs of our economy, society and environment both domestically and internationally.

We, therefore, recommend that the Government:

Use the SDGs to unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy

It is clear that many aspects of our lives will never be the same again. Some industries may never recover from this crisis. We must use this challenging situation as an opportunity to work together with our global and national partners alike, to build a stronger and more resilient economy with the SDGs at its heart.

Use the SDGs to prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities.
COVID-19 has exposed the depth of inequalities and risks exposing more families to income deprivation and its consequences. We welcome the Government’s commitment to levelling up prosperity across the UK and urge a similar focus to overcome wider societal inequalities. The SDGs provide us with a framework which can help us prioritise health and wellbeing, alongside prosperity and GDP, as a measure of the nation’s success. We need to ensure that our recovery from the pandemic leaves no one behind and puts the health and wellbeing of current and future generations first.

Use the SDGs to build coherent policies for a healthy planet and to aid the transition to net-zero

COVID-19 has highlighted the risks our society faces because of biodiversity and habitat loss, and climate change. We must balance social and economic needs with the needs of our planet, protecting and managing nature and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. These goals do not have to be in conflict. The SDGs provide a way to create co-benefits through the Government’s commitment to net-zero by 2050 and coherent policy design.

We recognise that the scale of recovery will pose many challenges for the Government. But the COVID-19 crisis has shown that businesses, government, and civil society can and will work together to create lasting and positive change. We believe the SDGs should be used to establish the level of ambition for the UK’s pandemic-recovery and a future that ensures all people in our country live a good life, prospering on a healthy planet.

We want to build the future we want with the Government and are ready to support you in this endeavour.

Yours sincerely Individuals

Baroness Northover
Baroness Sheehan
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool Lord Harris of Haringey

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale, Co-chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development

Lord McNicol of West Kilbride
Lord Bird of Notting Hill
Lord Purvis of Tweed
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol – the first UK city to develop a Voluntary Local Review Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE, Bishop of Bedford

Sir Mark Moody-Stewart KCMG The Earl of Sandwich


Jonathan Pell, CEO, Adam Smith International Gary Waite, Portfolio Manager, Alpha: r2 Ltd Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water
Stuart McLachlan, CEO, Anthesis Group

Jane Fiona Cumming, Director and Co-founder, Article 13 Dervilla Mitchell, Chair, UKIMEA Region Board, ArupHarriet Lamb, CEO, Ashden
Ben Moore, Managing Director, Attollo Offshore

Mike Hanson, Director of Sustainability, BaxterStorey

Colin MacIsaac, CEO, FH Bertling International GmbH

Sue Riddlestone OBE, Chief Executive and Co-founder, Bioregional

Dr Mya-Rose Craig, President and Patron, Black2Nature and the Global Goals Centre

Stephanie Draper, CEO, Bond

Will Travers OBE, Executive President, Born Free Foundation

Peter Mather, Group Regional President, Europe, and Head of Country, UK, BP plc

Lizzi Testani, Chief Operating Officer, Bristol Green Capital Partnership

Richard Griffiths, Chief Executive, British Poultry Council

Helen Ashworth, National President, Business and Professional Women UK

Yusuke Mizoguchi, Senior Managing Director, Canon UK & Ireland

Professor Tim Jackson, Director, Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, University of Surrey

Lexie Jones, CEO, Change Agents UK
Terry Fuller, Chief Executive, CIWEM
Matthew Layton, Global Managing Partner, Clifford Chance

Jeroen Ouwehand, Global Senior Partner, Clifford Chance
Leendert Den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager Great Britain, Coca-Cola

European Partners
Federico Tonetti, Group Safety & Sustainability Director, Compass Group
Mark Roberts, CEO, Conscious Creatives
Caroline Norbury, Chief Executive, Creative Industries Federation and Creative England Albert Maasland, CEO, Crown Agents Bank
Simon Wyatt, Partner, Cundall
Dan Mobley, Corporate Relations Director, Diageo
Kamran Mallick, CEO, Disability Rights UK
Liam Cowell, UK Managing Partner, DLA Piper UK
Sir Nigel Knowles, Group CEO, DWF
Emmanuelle Spriet, CEO, E-Voyages Ltd
Steven Andrews, CEO, Earthwatch Europe
Iain Patton, CEO, EAUC – The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education
Mathios Rigas, CEO, Energean Oil & Gas
Dr Stephen Martin, Chair, English Learning for Sustainability Alliance
Anya Ledwith, Founder, Eshcon Ltd
Sarah Hunter, CSR Director, Euromonitor
Jeremy Rees, CEO, ExCeL London
Steve Varley, EY UK Chairman and EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability (elect), EY
Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of EOS, Federated Hermes
Chris Mahady, Managing Director, Findel Education Ltd
Daniel Crossley, Executive Director, Food Ethics Council
Sue Pritchard, Chief Executive, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission
Deb Leary OBE, D.Univ, FRSA, CCMI, CEO, Forensic Pathways
Amanda Powell-Smith, CEO, Forster Communications
Professor Graham Smith, Chair, Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development Edward Braham, Senior Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Rosie Teasdale, Executive Director, FSC® UK
Solitaire Townsend, Co-founder, Futerra
Jo Hand, Co-founder, Giki

Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University

Juliet Davenport OBE, CEO and Founder, Good Energy

Sarah Mitchell, Director, Heart of the City

Alison Brown, Executive Partner, West, Herbert Smith Freehills

Steve Nunn, CEO EMEA, HH Global

Noel Quinn, Chief Executive, HSBC Group

Trewin Restorick, CEO & Founder, Hubbub

Ray Sweeney, CEO, Ikkaido

Paul Polman, Co-founder & Chair, IMAGINE

Stephen Mann, Chief Executive, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

Michael Izza, CEO, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Anita Longley, Chair, Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Peter Taylor, Director of Research, Institute of Development Studies

Adam Donnan, Chief Executive Officer, Institution of Environmental Sciences

Keith Barr, CEO, InterContinental Hotels Group

Saker Nusseibeh CBE, CEO, International at Federated Hermes

Jess McQuail, Director, Just Fair

Barry Fisher, Chief Executive, Keep Scotland Beautiful

Matthew Sparkes, Co-chair, Legal Sustainability Alliance

Caroline May, Co-chair, Legal Sustainability Alliance

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Estelle Levin-Nally, Founder & CEO, Levin Sources

Charlie Jacobs, Senior Partner and Chairman, Linklaters

David Connor, Founder, Liverpool 2030hub

Alastair Marsh, CEO, Lloyd’s Register

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman, Local Government Association

Sir Richard Leese CBE, Chair of the Local Government Association’s City Regions Board,

Local Government Association

John Pearce, CEO, Made in Britain

Didier Boudy, CEO, Mademoiselle Desserts

Tony Burdon, CEO, Make My Money Matter

Chris Harrop OBE, Group Sustainability Director, Marshalls plc

James Libson, Managing Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mike Haigh, Executive Chair, Mott MacDonald

Pat Black, Chair, National Alliance of Women’s Organisations

Alison Rose, Chief Executive, NatWest Group

Sarah Welsh, CEO of Retail, N Brown Group

Christopher R. Jackson, President & CEO, NEC Europe Ltd.

Steve Butterworth, CEO, Neighbourly

Stefano Agostini, Chief Executive Officer, Nestle UK & Ireland

Bernadette Sexton, Chief Executive Officer, Oxford Policy Management

Panos Kakoullis, CEO-Elect, PA Consulting

Dan Jarman, Executive Director, Pact Global (UK) CIO

Charlotte Österman, Partner & Director of Sustainable Development, Pax Tecum Global Consultancy

John Fallon, CEO, Pearson

Jack M Broadley MA, Founder and Business Owner, Pelorus Consulting

Richard Foley, Senior Partner, Pinsent Masons

Richard Curtis CBE, SDG Advocate, screenwriter, producer, director and Co-Founder,

Project Everyone

Dr Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility and Chair, RELX and UN Global Compact Network UK

Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director, Responsible

Jewellery Council Catarina Tully, Managing Director,

School of International Futures (SOIF) Peter Harrison, Group Chief Executive, Schroders plc

Keith Anderson, CEO, Scottish Power

Brian Bickell, CEO, Shaftesbury plc

Sinead Lynch, Country Chair UK, Shell UK

Jeff Twentyman, Head of Sustainability, Slaughter and May

Lucy Findlay MBE, Managing Director, Social Enterprise Mark

Ben Carpenter, Chief Executive, Social Value UK

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive, SSE plc

Sara Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Keith Skeoch, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Life Aberdeen

John Scanlon, CEO, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK
Nichola Hughes, Director, Sustainable NI

David Kassler, Global CEO, Tag Worldwide Group Ltd

Nick Hampton, Chief Executive Officer, Tate & Lyle PLC

Alex Cresswell, Chief Executive and Chairman, Thales UK

Christopher Davis, International Director of Sustainability, The Body Shop

Andrew Harding, Chief Executive – Management Accounting,

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust

Olivia Sibony, COO, The Hot Breakfast

Dr Darren Moorcroft, CEO, The Woodland Trust

Bevis Watts, CEO, Triodos Bank UK

Peter Anderson, Managing Partner, Troup Bywaters + Anders

Luke Wilde, Managing Partner, Founder, twenty fifty Limited

Victoria Page, Co-chair, UKSSD

Dominic White, Co-founder, UKSSD

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever

Dr Alec Wersun, Chair, United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education UK & Ireland Regional Chapter

Professor Joy Carter CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester

Carole Parkes, Professor of Responsible Management and Leadership, University of Winchester

Angie Pankhania, Acting Executive Director, United Nations Association – UK Claire Barnett, Executive Director, UN Women UK

Kate Cawley, Founder, Veris Strategies

Matthew Moshiri, CEO, Verisk Maplecroft

Rebecca Hall, Managing Consultant Human Rights and CSR Lead, Verisk Maplecroft

Dr Robin Prince, Managing Director, Water Resources East (WRE) Ltd

Mark Read, CEO, WPP

David Symons, UK Director of Sustainability, WSP

Manjula Lee, Founder/CEO, World Wide Generation

Andrew Terry, Director of Conservation & Policy,

ZSL – Zoological Society London

This letter has been coordinated by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development and the UN Global Compact Network UK

UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development

Through collaboration and access to new insights, UKSSD brings organisations together to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals in the UK. UKSSD was launched in April 2016 and has grown to more than 1,000 network members, representing most sectors and industries in the UK, from grass-roots community organisations to multinational business.

UN Global Compact Network UK

We are a member-based organisation and official Local Network, representing UK organisations that are Participants and Signatories of the UN Global Compact. Through an extensive programme of activity, the UK Network supports its members to implement the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles, which cover human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

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