Minister Ryan announces 20 New Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Champions for 2024-2025

  • From Sligo Rovers to Irish Girl Guides, the new SDG champions reflect a desire by Irish organisations – large and small – to live up to and promote the UN goals for a better world

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has appointed 20 new organisations from across Irish society to become Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Champions.

Organisations ranging from The Irish Girl Guides to Sligo Rovers and from ALDI to Mayo County Council are joining the movement to drive forward Ireland’s progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the 17 Goals which aim to deliver sustainable development for people and the planet.

This brings to 54 the number of SDG Champions in Ireland now. Already, 34 organisations and groups – large and small – have become SDG Champions across the 2019-2020 and 2023-2024 programmes, including for example Musgraves, the GAA, Macra na Feirme and Chambers Ireland, among others.

Announcing the appointments, Minister Ryan said:

“The world is currently off track to achieve the SDGs and accelerated action is needed. However, in this decade of action for the SDGs, Ireland is determined to play a leading role in delivering on the goals – locally, nationally and internationally.”

“Over 90 organisations applied to take part in the programme this year, demonstrating the growing commitment of Irish society to live up to and promote the goals which have at their heart equality, access to basic right like clean water, clean energy, food and shelter for all, and climate justice. It is great to see such a variety of commercial organisations, academic institutions, those working with young people, and environmental organisations joining the SDG collective this year. It’s like looking at a cross section of Irish society, all with a common aim to make our collective future better.”

“Sometimes, international goals can seem daunting or removed from our everyday experiences. However, international goals come down to improving people’s lives and outcomes locally. The SDG Champions through their work help show that the SDGs belong to everyone, in every community, in every country across the world and that everyone can play a role.”

Appointed as part of the 2024-2025 SDG Champions Programme, the chosen organisations will help raise awareness of the importance of the SDGs as a roadmap for a safer, fairer, more prosperous and sustainable future for all, that leaves no-one behind. The champions will show through their own actions that everyone in society can make a contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

The organisations appointed under this year’s programme have been selected from across the public, private, community, voluntary, youth and NGO sectors and are represented by larger, national organisations and smaller, community groups.

In addition, former SDG champions have chosen to take up the role of SDG Ambassadors, and are continuing to raise awareness and promote the SDGs. The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications will work with this year’s champions, and with SDG Ambassadors throughout the year to achieve the SDGs and the overall Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda in Ireland.

Find out more about the 2024-2025 SDG Champions Programme on the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications website.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In September 2015, all 193 United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (“Transforming our World”) . The 2030 agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. The focus of the 2030 agenda is the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (also known as the ‘Global Goals’) and their 169 targets.

The SDGs are universal and interconnected, covering the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth; social inclusion; and protection of the environment., addressing areas such as poverty, education, health, equality, clean energy, decent work, sustainable consumption among others.

For information on Ireland and the SDGs please see: .

For more information on the United Nations and the SDGs, please see the United Nations SDGs website. .

Selection process for the 2024-2025 SDG Champions Programme

The call for expressions of interest to take part in the 2024-2025 SDG Champions Programme opened on 19 February and closed on 8 April 2024. 94 applications were received from local and national organisations across the country. A final shortlist of 20 Champions was selected by a sub-group of the Sustainable Development Goals Interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG) for the 2024 iteration of the programme.

SDG Champions Programme

Established in 2019, the SDG Champions Programme was developed as an initiative to raise public awareness, showcase work being carried out by appointed organisations to progress the SDGs and illustrate practical ways in which organisations and individuals can contribute to achieving the SDGs and demonstrate that everyone in society can make a contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

SDG Ambassador role

This year former champion organisations will also have the opportunity to continue promoting and progressing the SDGs, as SDG Ambassadors. Developed as a complement to the SDG Champions Programme, this role will enable former champions to continue their valuable work, contributing to the promotion, awareness-raising, and implementation of the SDGs, on local, regional and national levels.

Departmental partner

Also this year, as part of a pilot project, the champions will be joined by a departmental partner. The Construction Procurement Policy Unit (CPPU) at the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) will work alongside the new champions, building partnerships and enhancing stakeholder engagement. This added partnership will help to achieve SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals, and in particular SDG 17.14 ‘Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development’ also a key Strategic Objective of the National Implementation Plan for the SDGs.

National Implementation Plan

The programme was established as part of the first National Implementation Plan for the Sustainable Development Goals, which set out the overarching national governance, coordination and monitoring framework for the SDGs. The relaunch was a commitment under the recently published Second National Implementation Plan , which sets out five strategic objectives and 51 actions, with 119 individual measures to increase Ireland’s ambition and strengthen implementation structures to achieve the SDGs.

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