Lena Ek on cultural sustainability

15:31 by Cornelius Holtorf

I had the opportunity on 7 August 2019 in Kalmar to talk to Lena Ek, former Swedish Minister of the Environment (2011-2014) and directly involved in the negotiations of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On my question about the prospects for making cultural sustainability more prominent in future global sustainability goals, she pointed out three important issues:

  1. The SDGs focus on the most prioritised issues only, and it is significant already that culture is mentioned twice in the current targets (SDG 4.7 and SDG 11.4).
  2. The SDGs evoke many other treaties and conventions, especially related to human rights. It may be important to relate cultural sustainability to cultural rights.
  3. In the eyes of some nations, cultural issues and potential goals are not always very concrete or considered important for development, so there is room for more clarity on this.
Cornelius Holtorf
In 2017, Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden, was awarded a UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures. This is one of eight Chairs in Sweden, and the only one within the cultural sector. Cornelius Holtorf, holder of the UNESCO Chair, alongside Anders Högberg and Sarah May, will continue to generate ideas through this forum.

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