Ongoing promotion of SDGs

Article, 22.12.2021

For several years now, our embassy has been involved in activities related to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Thanks to our efforts to improve our internal functioning, our headquarters officially labelled us as a “sustainable embassy” in 2020. Moreover, we have organised a series of events dedicated to the SDGs. In the past half year we focused on sustainable forestry, management of water resources and sustainable urban mobility. On all these topics we organized roundtable discussions in our “Carte blanche” series which aroused great interest among the Russian public.


Sustainable urban mobility

The transition to sustainable mobility is no longer an option, but a necessity, as about 25% of global CO2 emissions come from the transportation of people and goods. This is why in a series of discussions on climate change, we addressed urban mobility at a Carte blanche roundtable event on 15 December 2021. This insightful discussion started with a presentation by Professor Mikhail Blinkin of the Higher school of Economics on the myths and trends of future mobility and continued with an exchange between Moscow, Zurich and Lausanne with Evgenyia Semutnikova, Deputy Director of the Department of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Protection in Moscow, Anna Schindler, Director of Urban Development in Zurich and Anne Roches, Head of the Climate Unit in Lausanne, on the efforts made and the challenges to be faced in order to develop sustainable urban mobility.


Sustainable forestry 

One of the most discussed topics in Russia’s environmental politics 2021 was forestry management. Soon after the COP26 World Climate Summit in Glasgow, where biomass was also in the focus, the Embassy organized a panel discussion in mid-November dedicated to sustainable forestry. Leading experts, among them Jürgen Blaser, professor at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, Anna Romanovskaya, head of the Israeli Institute for Climate and Environment, and Evgeny Schwarz, director of the Russian Centre for Responsible Use of Nature, explained the function of forests in the global climate system, challenges regarding C02 reduction, and the potential of biomass in voluntary compensation projects. Company representatives shared their experiences with responsible forestry and difficulties faced by this industry. These included legislative gaps in land use and discrepancies between international certification standards and the national legislation. Representatives of technical authorities of both countries explained national priorities in setting a framework for efficient and innovative forestry and timber management. They welcomed the expanding international cooperation in the field.


Management of water resources and water diplomacy

With climate change, water scarcity is increasingly becoming a factor of instability in the world. On 23 November, Guy Bonvin, Swiss Special Envoy for Water in Central Asia, Alexander Timchenko, Director General of the International Association of Lake regions and Natasha Carmi from Geneva Water Hub exchanged views, experiences and perspectives on Water diplomacy and water challenges with a special focus on Central Asia.