Actor, producer and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Dia Mirza is vocal about her crusade for the environment and a sustainable lifestyle. Successfully completing three years as a UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocate, she has been the face of many crucial environment campaigns across India. Mirza has been relentlessly advocating to spread the message on priority areas including climate change, single use plastics, clean air and oceans and also wildlife conservation. With the global COVID-19 pandemic and consistent news that doesn’t help anyone feel better about the climate crisis, the work of the SDG Advocates has become even more critical than ever before.
At an SDG Advocates meeting on Tuesday, Mirza spoke about the ill-effects of climate change on women and how it disproportionately impacts them. The virtual meeting was convened by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres for all SDG Advocates.
“Women are in the frontlines of our pandemic response – as 50-70 percent of healthcare and frontline workers across countries, and they are also the first to be impacted by global shocks like pandemics and climate change,” said Mirza at the meeting. She also underlined how inequalities have divided the world between those who can afford to shelter from the virus and wash their hands at home, and the billions who don’t have access to quality sanitation.
She emphasised that climate action must be foremost about people and its relationship with nature and added, “We must keep our focus on those most vulnerable and ensure that renewable energy and water conservation efforts better the lives of the poorest.”
Mirza was joined by Nobel Laureate and fellow Indian Kailash Satyarthi, as a fellow SDG Advocate. She welcomed her fellow SDG advocate and said,”I am especially proud to welcome Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, to the cohort of SDG advocates. We are stronger for your gracious acceptance to join this global movement and together, we will work to provide the final push for the SDGs and the beginning of a long and hopeful recovery from the worst impacts of the global COVID 19 pandemic.”
She also highlighted the importance of mainstreaming the green economy through multi stakeholder approaches emphasising that nature and its services contribute half of the world’s GDP. “We must recognise that rainforests are our lungs and coastlines are our livelihoods. Development cannot just be GDP – it must mean natural capital; and climate action cannot just be implemented in conference rooms, it must become the main conversation in the next ten years. We must encourage sustainable lifestyles, green school curriculums, and social media campaigns for the science of climate change in the face of disinformation,” said Mirza.
In the last three years, Mirza has advocated for a more mindful and sustainable lifestyle through her Instagram campaign- ‘Down to Earth with Dee’. Other dignitaries present at the virtual meeting included Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar, His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II 14th Emir of Kano, Blackpink, Richard Curtis, Hindou Ibrahim, Graca Machel, Valentina Munoz, Jeff Sachs, Kailash Satyarthi and Forest Whitaker.