Wickaninnish Community School student Priya Petch, 5, won a Chocolate Tofino gift card for her drawing centered on clean water. (Submitted photo)

Wickaninnish Community School student Priya Petch, 5, won a Chocolate Tofino gift card for her drawing centered on clean water. (Submitted photo)

Drawing contest showcases United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

“The SDGs are an important priority to keep in mind. They are all interconnected.”

The West Coast N.E.S.T. (Nature. Education. Sustainability. Transformation.) hosted a unique drawing contest for local youth to portray ways they contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Launched as part of the 2020 Global Week to Act on SDGs, which ran from Sept. 18-26, N.E.S.T. communications assistant Rachael Wootton said they received 25 submissions from local youth.

“Community plays a really important part in achieving a lot of these SDGs and [the colouring contest] was an opportunity for them to celebrate their work and also the action that they are taking,” said Wootton, adding that they also received a few creative multi-media entries that incorporated recycling or beach treasures.

The SDGs are a road map for a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone, notes Wootton.

She said the kids were provided a link to a comic book that helps explains the goals.

United Nations describes the SDGs or Global Goals as “a series of ambitious objectives and targets to end extreme poverty and hunger, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change, by 2030.”

“It’s 17 goals that are really interconnected and something for world leaders and communities to really focus to achieve this vision of a sustainable and equitable future,” Wootton said.

West Coast N.E.S.T. and SDG education co-ordinator Nicole Gerbrandt re-iterates.

“The SDG drawing contest was part of a larger set of activities hosted this year by West Coast N.E.S.T. as a program of Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, to raise awareness about the SDGs, a global effort to build a better future for all people and the planet,” said Gerbrandt.

“Our SDG programs are recognizing how individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments in the region are already doing great work that aligns with the SDGS, as well as bringing people together to identify any gaps, build connections, and inspire local action for the SDGs,” she went on to say.

For the drawing contest, the N.E.S.T. prompted the kids with four of the 17 SDGs to get their creative juices flowing. They showcased Goal 6: Clean water and sanitization, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land.

“The SDGs are an important priority to keep in mind. They are all interconnected. You can’t just cherry pick one. They are all related to each other and if we want this better world by 2030, which is what the goals are intended to provide a road map to, then we have to start thinking about them all holistically,” she said.

To celebrate all of the drawings that were submitted, N.E.S.T. provided mini pumpkins and painting supplies to all participants. Ryan Rosene, Priya Petch, and Maya Grimshire also won a gift card to Chocolate Tofino for their submissions.

Mom Pan Petch said the resources and links provided for the activity clearly conveyed what the goals were.

“It opened up to discussion, and they took a spin at it,” she said. “We’re always really delighted when the community offers unique opportunities like this for the kids.”

Here daughter Priya, 5, a student at Wickaninnish Community School, submitted a drawing centered on clean water.

“She realizes that water is a really precious resource. It’s connected to all things,” said Petch.

Anyone interested in learning more about the SDGs and local sustainability efforts is encouraged to visit: www.westcoastnest.org.

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READ: Remote B.C. tourism lodge staffed for coastal clean up instead of wilderness tours

READ: Ucluelet’s food bank bursting with generosity as COVID-19 increases need

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