In September 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit took place at the UN Headquarters in New York where “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was introduced to over 150 member nations in attendance. A concrete action plan known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which identifies 17 goals and 169 targets, was introduced.
In the most recent report put forth by the UN from the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July of this year, delays in goals pertaining to climate change countermeasures and biodiversity were particularly noticeable. Changes in the environment can increase and intensify natural disasters, destroy ecosystems, increase food insecurity and undermine people’s safety and health. In many communities, it increases inequality and contributes to poverty and populations seeking refuge. For this reason, it is urgent that we take concrete measures regarding these issues of global concern.
Japan is a developed country that should be taking leadership in implementing the SDGs, however, awareness regarding these goals is still low within the country. In the fourth SDGs Awareness Survey conducted by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun in March 2019, people (approximately 3,000 Tokyo and Kanagawa residents aged 15 – 69 surveyed online) were asked “Have you ever heard the term ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’?”and only 19% responded “Yes.”
The Soka Gakkai Student Division resonates deeply with the SDGs fundamental principle “No one left behind,” which reflects the Buddhist philosophy and vow to respect the dignity of all life, and has striven to deepen its commitment to promoting and advancing the SDGs. In January of this year, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda submitted a peace proposal titled “Towards a New Era of Peace and Disarmament: A People-Centered Approach.” In the proposal he touches on the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) initiative which promotes global collaboration with the UN. He urges universities to demonstrate their strength for the sake of humanity and proposes building momentum toward making the world’s universities hubs for the realization of the SDGs. The Soka Gakkai Student Division created its own student survey regarding the SDGs in order to better understand the thoughts and concerns of students who are responsible for the future beyond 2030.
Sponsor: Soka Gakkai Student Division
Survey period: May 11 to June 6, 2019
Survey participants: Non-Soka Gakkai university students residing in the Tokyo metropolitan area
Survey methodology: In-person surveys, internet surveys (web responses)
Survey results: 3,560 responses
Gender: Male ・・・ ５８．３％ （２，０７７ people）
Female ・・・ ３９．５％ （１，４０６ people）
Other ・・・１．２％ （４４people）
Unspecified・・・ ０．９％ （３３ people）