July 18, 2018
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the Philippines is working to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among Filipino youth through a nationwide digital art competition for college students.
The SDGs refer to the global vision of 193 member countries of the United Nations (UN) to help eradicate poverty in the next 15 years. The SDGs are made up of 17 goals, 169 targets, and 230 indicators towards poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
The digital art competition aims to raise awareness on SDGs among the Filipino youth combined with the contribution of JICA in improving the lives of Filipinos.
"JICA began mainstreaming the SDGs within the organization in 2016. We aim to contribute to achieving the SDGs and promoting international cooperation by sharing Japan's experience and through Official Development Assistance (ODA) to partner countries like the Philippines," said JICA Senior Representative Aya Kano.
In the Philippines, JICA is implementing over 100 development cooperation projects that support the SDG targets.
The digital art contest on SDGs, according to JICA, is a venue for young Filipinos to become familiar with SDGs and understand how working towards achieving them will improve society and lives.
For instance, to achieve zero hunger, JICA has helped more than 300 agrarian reform communities through credit and infrastructure support. Moreover, JICA's maternal and child health projects in remote areas like the Cordillera helped increase facility-based delivery in the area to 92% (2015) from 65% (2010), which helped promote good health and well-being.
JICA has constructed over 7,000 school buildings since the 1960s and rehabilitated about 10,000 elementary and secondary schools in the country to support quality education. When the Philippines launched the K-12 Basic Education Program, JICA supported the country through a senior high school modeling project in six (6) pilot technical vocational schools.
On gender equality, a JICA forestland resource management project helps empower women leaders in Nueva Ecija through livelihood project. On clean water and sanitation, JICA and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. partnered for a water resource management program in Metro Manila to serve the needs of rising population and water demand.
Among the other JICA development cooperation activities related to SDGs are the grant aid to upgrade power distribution in electric cooperatives in Mindanao (for SDG target on affordable and clean energy), 11 transport infrastructure projects in the Philippines' Build Build Build agenda (decent work and economic growth), human resource and supply value chain development support (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), nearly 73 poverty reduction projects on disaster risk reduction, agriculture, and environment (SDG target on reduced inequalities), flood control management in 10 Philippine critical river basins (sustainable cities and communities), partnership with Japanese SMEs to raise agriculture productivity and introduce technologies on waste management and recycling (SDG targets on responsible consumption and production and climate action).
The other projects, meanwhile, help address SDG targets involving life below water (e.g. partnership with Philippine universities to protect marine biodiversity); life on land (e.g. forestland management project in critical river basins); peace, justice and strong institutions (e.g. capacity building in Mindanao's conflict areas); and partnerships (e.g. dispatch of Japanese volunteers and partnership with Japanese NGOs to support development work).
For the digital art activity, JICA partnered with the Embassy of Japan in Manila and the Japan Foundation as well as media organizations, namely Philippine Television Network, Inc., CNN Philippines, ABS-CBN, and Rappler.
Details about the JICA digital art competition on the SDGs: Building an Inclusive Future can be found here:
and JICA's Facebook Page: