“Global Vision, Local Action”

“Global Vision, Local Action”

Best Practices of Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals – Conference at The Istanbul Naval Museum, Turkey October 12, 2018

Left to right: Zelal Yalçın (Yereliz), İkbal Polat (Yereliz), Anna Kiknadze (Polis 180), Günce Beyazer (Yereliz) Picture Credits: Anna Kiknadze

Report by Anna Kiknadze

Within the Civil Society Exchange framework, Anna attended the “Global Vision, Local Action” Conference held at the Istanbul Naval Museum on 12 October 2018. Organized by our partner organisation Yereliz, the conference aimed at raising awareness of best practices on localizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to strengthen local governments in Turkey and establish cooperation within Europe, Yereliz presented various success stories from local municipalities and yielded the floor to government representatives, civil society organizations and experts.

It was interesting to see how the CSE partnership actually impacted on our daily work in practice. In fact, during the last 8 months jointly focusing on Storytelling as an influential means for spreading the organizational message to an appropriate audience, resulted in using this tool during the formal opening of the conference. The story, told by well-known Turkish actress Roza Erdem, made a concise introduction and thematically engaged the audience with forthcoming topics.

Following the Storytelling performance, Bülent Açıkgöz, Portfolio Manager for Public Sector Policies and Services at UNDP Turkey, gave a keynote and presented the UN identified SDGs. For more practical insights, his speech was followed by 3 sessions on economic impact and prosperity; social impact, equality and justice; and environmental impact. Among the speakers and moderators of the conference were Ilhami Alkan Olsson, Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) Turkey Director, who introduced a new common project with Yereliz on human right cities; Ana Carrillo Poza, head of foreign relations department at the Madrid municipality, who presented CONSUL Project – aa worldwide online platform for citizen participation in the decision-making process on the local level; Mustafa Bozbey, Mayor of Nilüfer Municipality from Turkey, who introduced the local “EFQM Excellence Model” –  activities aiming for woman empowerment, strengthening start-up-spirit with trainings, developing of rural areas and supporting organic farming, etc.; and Aykurt Nuhoğlu, Mayor of Kadikoy Municipality from Istanbul, spoke about “Society Restoration Projects” on innovative use of public spaces.

The last session dealt with environmental challenges and the role of local administration cooperation in the global struggle with climate change. Andreas Wolter, Deputy Mayor of the City of Cologne, shared his experience on global responsibilities through municipal climate partnerships together with Nalan Fidan, Head of Environmental Protection and Control Department at the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, Zafer Yalçınpınar, head of Sustainability Committee at the Seferihisar Municipality, and Türkan Erken, Deputy Mayor of the Seyhan Municipality in Turkey. For more detailed information, see the conference report by Yereliz.

The Civil Society Exchange programme is designed for civil society organisations from Europe and Turkey to support the idea of a unified Europe through cross-border cooperation. It encourages CSOs to establish long-term partnerships and work together on common organisational issues in order to develop more capacities. The programme is a cooperation between the Center for Civil Society Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University and MitOst e.V., and is funded by Stiftung Mercator.