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On World Environment Day, Caribbean librarians and archivists stand up to beat air pollution and champion for SDGs

Kay Ann Miller presents on the 2030 SDGs, the role of special libraries
Kay Ann Miller presents on the 2030 SDGs, the role of special libraries photo credits: UNIC Port of Spain/ L Edwards-Alleyne

Aruba, 5 June 2019. The annual meeting of library and archive professionals from around the Caribbean Area known as ACURIL was hosted this year in the Dutch speaking state of Aruba. The theme for this year focused on the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG's 4 - quality education, 

SDG5 - gender equality and SDG10 - reduced inequalities were the main focus from the seventeen strategic goals that have 2030 as its target date. Acuril programme of activities included papers presented by library professionals and others, exhibits and displays. One of the main messages coming out was the role and functions of libraries and their staff in helping Member States to acheive the sustainable development goals. Libraries and information hubs are central to the dissemination of all forms of information. The have the potential to become multipliers and reposits of data, reports and other forms of information that can be useful to everyone whose lives are affected by the Sustainable Development Goals.

IMG 20190605 WA0002United Nations Depository Libraries are also key sources for finding not just SDG information but much more information about the work of United Nations and its entities of programmes and agencies. They hold limited collections of official UN documents, reports and are working to help researchers connect digitally with UN sources of data and full text. UNIC works with these libraries on different initiatives including promoting international observances and hosting joint exhibits on thematic issues.

On World Environment Day, participants of the event were encouraged by the UNIC to join with UN in supporting the initiative to bead air pollution; the theme for this years observance. Air pollution is a growing concern especially in highly industrialised countries like China and India. They are not the only ones that struggle with the issue though; even in Caribbean countries air pollution is a growing concern as countries like Trinidad and Tobago are faced with the challenge of dealing with hundreds of thousands of vehicles all running off fossil fuels and that have high levels of carbon emissions.Other sources of air pollution in the region include smoke and dust. This year come Caribbean states had to issue warnings for people to protect themselves fro high Sahara dust and smoke levels.

photo: participants at ACURIL, support Beat Air Pollution theme for World Environment Day 2019


Conference exhibitors used the ACURIL forum to launch new digital research tools. Academic publisher Emerald Publishing provided UNIC with insight to it new open access online platform that features research content align with the SDGs.

Acuril continues until 6 June the next SDG goals that will be focused on are Responsible Consumption (11), Climate Action (12) Peace Justice and Strong Institutions (13) and Partnerships (16).


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