The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. UN SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society. UN SDSN is bringing together global sustainable development leaders from all regions and all sectors, including civil society, public, and private sectors.
UN SDSN Turkey is established under the auspices of Bogazici University in June 2014. Today led by Prof. Mehmed Özkan, Rector of Boğaziçi University, and Chair of UN SDSN Turkey and Dr. Tamer Atabarut, Director of Boğaziçi University Lifelong Learning Center and Director UN SDSN Turkey. The Network mobilizes knowledge institutions and experts from Turkey on the SDGs and technical challenges of implementing the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. Thanks to its knowledge and experience accumulation on sustainability issues and its close track of the global SDGs Agenda, UN SDSN Turkey becomes a significant and credible platform of knowledge exchange for the universities, research centers, local and national governmental institutions, NGOs, business community and SDG consultants.
UN SDSN Turkey works with all levels of Turkish society to build local capacity around the SDGs through raising awareness and engaging stakeholders in Turkey and beyond. Since its establishment, UN SDSN Turkey has been engaged with gathering local, national and regional stakeholders to promote the SDGs. The network serves as a platform for knowledge exchange and policy development.
UN SDSN Turkey focuses on Education for Sustainable Development via SDG Academy courses to companies, institutions, and governmental organizations. To further this work, the network organizes workshops in highschools and universities. UN SDSN Turkey has contributed to REC (the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe) Turkey and Bogaziçi University’s Lifelong Learning Center (BUYEM) via the SDG Academy on themes such as Sustainable Cities, Water, Climate Change, and How to Achieve SDGs with Technology.
In 2018, SDSN Turkey organized a summit which led to the formation of a group of local and regional stakeholders dedicated to defining solutions for plastic pollution. Through workshops and discussions, the group conducted a research project aimed at redefining plastic use in Turkey. In the same spirit, the network is collaborating with Istanbul’s PTwist Project to develop and present innovative strategies to enhance the circular economy of industrial plastics. The network organized a workshop in June 2019 to present innovative strategies and test sustainable approaches on the plastic value chain with participants from the central government, municipalities, private sector, NGOs, and academia.
UN SDSN Turkey sees great value in engaging Turkey’s youth on the SDGs and is a strong collaborator with UN SDSN Youth and other youth-led initiatives. Activities over the last year include participating in the Global Festival of Action (May 2019), promoting SDSN Youth’s Global School Program and developing an “SDG4 Kids Play Cards and Board Game”. Additionally, the network organized a 2nd Youth Festival in May 2019, in collaboration with WWF Turkey, to raise awareness on SDGs among local youth. Forty projects based on solutions to SDGs were presented as part of the “Nature Heros Project Competition”. The top solutions won the chance to visit a WWF Marine Research Boat and participate in BUYEM-SDSN Turkey Talent Camps.