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This is the fifth post in a series about the United Nations Development Goals, seventeen benchmarks for eradicating global poverty. UN member nations have set to work in partnership with NGOs, businesses, and individuals, to make sure these goals are met within 15 years. Through our fair trade partnerships, Global Handmade Hope is working hard to alleviate global poverty, and we’re proud to be a part of this movement.

Today, we’ll discuss goals 13, 14, and 15.

GOAL THIRTEEN: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Climate change is the most urgent problem facing the world today, as our warming planet affects all aspects of life worldwide. Global emissions of carbon dioxide have been increasing steadily in the last three decades, contributing to the rise of ocean levels, an increase in powerful weather events, and a sharp rise in the atmosphere’s average temperature. The United Nations, in partnership with the nations that signed on to the Paris Climate Accord in 2015, is working to increase education about ways to combat climate change, incentivize nations to make changes to decrease their carbon emissions, and help vulnerable countries deal with the effects of climate change on their populations. In an effort to do our part we work with partners to produce products made of recycled materials. An excellent example of recycled products is our Haitian artwork, which is made of recycled metal drums. This hummingbird is an example of one of our newest arrivals.

recycled metal hummingbird sculptures from Haiti

GOAL FOURTEEN: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources.

According to the United Nations, “our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea.” This means keeping our oceans clean, safe, and healthy should be of paramount importance to all of us. The UN is working to reduce ocean pollution, protect fragile ecosystems, and prevent overfishing and harmful fishing practices. There is an enormous amount of plastic polluting our oceans, and in an effort to divert discarded plastic from making its way to our landfills and ultimately, into the oceans, our partner Conserve in India crafts some their products from up-cycled plastic and tires. This purse is made of recycled plastic and tires is one of our favorite items.

Purse made of recycled plastic and tires

GOAL FIFTEEN: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.

Forests cover 50% of the earth’s surface, and they support a significant amount of the planet’s plant and animal life, but more than thirty-two million acres of forest are chopped down annually - a threat to the health and livelihoods of rural communities around the world. The UN is working to educate poor communities about sustainable forest management, halt deforestation, and actively increase reforestation of depleted areas. We work with partners who handcraft their products out of wood. We intentionally seek out producers who find sustainable sources for their wood and plant new trees in their communities. Not only do we source products made from sustainable wood or sustainable grass like our baskets from Rwanda, but we also strive to find products that are innovative in their solutions to deforestation. We would love to take this opportunity to highlight the work that our partner Peruvian partner Berrocal does with butterfly wings. This group protects the tropical rainforest from deforestation by collecting butterfly wings and turning them into beautiful sterling silver jewelry pieces. After the butterflies have lived their natural lifecycle, people gather the wings and send them to another group who makes sterling silver jewelry. Butterfly farming provides and alternative livelihood for local indigenous people who now work to protect the butterflies natural habitat instead allowing the widespread practice of cutting and burning to continue. Here is one of our favorite pieces.

Sterling silver earrings with butterfly wings

Here is a link to many more fair trade gifts that match up to help accomplish the UN Development Goals and that are working to eradicate poverty. 


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