The protection of nature, the environment, and Indigenous cultures are critical issues affecting our world today. These issues have significant implications for our planet and the well-being of its inhabitants. The work, A Better Planet, A Better World, addresses these challenges by harnessing the power and beauty of the arts to promote sustainable development and peace.

Indeed, in recent years, the world has faced a variety of challenges that threaten the well-being of both people and the planet. From climate change and biodiversity loss to inequality and social unrest, the issues we face can often seem overwhelming.

However, despite the challenges, in 2015, all Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisaging “a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality, and non-discrimination” for the good of people and the planet. The SDGs provide a framework for addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges, and art can be a valuable tool for achieving these goals.

A Better Planet, A Better World contributes to promoting peace and awareness about the SDGs and the importance of protecting the environment, the key role Indigenous cultures play in having a deep connection to nature, and how their traditional knowledge and practices can be used to promote sustainable development.

Indigenous peoples have a profound understanding of how to live in harmony with nature. This connection is reflected in their art, which often features natural themes and materials. Indigenous art also carries deep cultural and spiritual significance and is often used to convey important messages and values. In recent years, Indigenous peoples’ knowledge and perspectives have received increased recognition, which has been included in the SDGs.

The United Nations and its SDGs also call for climate action, clean water, and nature preservation. For example, by underlying the importance of forests, which are essential for regulating the climate, supporting biodiversity, and promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, including mountains and drylands.

Nature conservation and restoration also have a direct impact on peace and security. In many parts of the world, conflict and violence arise from competition over natural resources such as land, water, and minerals. Environmental degradation and climate change can exacerbate these tensions, leading to displacement, migration, and further instability.

Art, as a vital component of global sustainable development efforts, can play a powerful role in creating a better planet and a better world. Through their work, the artists raise awareness of such important issues, inspire action, and promote positive change.

By working together, artists and all people united can create a more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world.

Daniela Bas

Dr. Daniela Bas, Italian born in the Friuli region, held the post of Senior Director leading the Division for Inclusive Social Development at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DISD/UNDESA) from 2011 until March 2023. She also worked at the United Nations from 1986 to 1995.

Before joining the United Nations Secretariat in 2011, from 2000, she was, inter alia, adviser for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Italy. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was a Board Member of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and of the Committee to Promote non-Armed and non-Violent Civil Defense of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

She was also the special adviser to the Vice President of the European Commission on human rights, democracy, and social affairs. Before 2000, she held Senior Director roles in the private sector in Italy. Dr.Daniela Bas has a background in political science with a major in International Politics. She is also a certified life coach and journalist and worked for the major press, radio, and television networks.

As a globally leading expert on the SDGs and their socially sustainable dimension, and as DB Consulting, she is currently collaborating with visionary leaders to link SDGs performance with business strategy to increase opportunities for sustainability and innovation. She is championing equity, and disabilities rights with a particular focus on women, and sports for all.

Her motto is “SustainABILITY – Think Different – Act with Purpose.”

Copyright Daniela Bas, per courtesy Predrag Vasić