Sustainability is key to achieving a good balance in the environmental, social, and economic aspects of development. During an interview launching the Malta Sustainability Forum 2021, President George Vella addressed a range of concerns focusing on sustainability – including the environment, climate change, resources, development, economic models as well as the role of women and young people – and mentioned the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a primary point of reference in this conversation.
A holistic education, he said, should be at the core of all efforts towards creating a sustainable present and should aim to actively engage all the main players in the conversation and make us all comprehend the implications and consequences of current actions. Education in this case does not only refer to traditional methods, but should also focus on good practices, legislation, and sanctions where and when needed.
Moving on to corporate responsibility, President Vella observed that industry today has understood that by becoming more sustainable, it guarantees a future for both itself and its products whilst actively securing a supply of resources in future scenarios.
He noted that youths are particularly active in promoting sustainability and that their views on the subject are highly relevant. It is important to provide platforms for them, so that they can be actively involved in the decision-making process. All members of society should contribute equally to the conversation about sustainability and put forward their views, knowledge, and experience.
The President remarked that although it is important to celebrate the achievements made, it is also fundamental to look at what still needs to be done at this stage.
Referring to the Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement, the President said that these outline important actions and appealed for individual and collective responsibility in ensuring that these are followed and implemented.
He said that this is a fundamental step towards ensuring that we reach the goals in terms of reducing pollution, level the impact of climate change, reduce waste, recycle more, consume responsibly and guarantee food sustainability.
The overarching theme for this year’s sustainability forum organised by APS is: ‘The Time is Now, Learn Engage Act’. It has the objective to highlight the need to accelerate and amplify our efforts to deliver against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The platform will bring together over 80 international and local speakers through twelve different modules targeting various groups, from the general public to the business community, also including the youth.