Climate Change and Faversham

Posted: 29th October, 2021 Category: Natural History, Society

On the eve of Cop 26 Faversham Life explores the Sustainable Development Goals for the town.

Words Matthew Hatchwell Photographs Matthew Hatchwell & others

Climate Change is the hot issue of our times.  It affects everyone worldwide but if you want to discover its relevance to Faversham and what can be done to mitigate the impact on the town and its environs read on.

In November, the UK will host the most important meeting of the UN Climate Change Convention that has ever taken place – COP 26.  It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of our planet depends on a successful outcome.

renewable energy infrastructure must be planned to be compatible with biodiversity conservation

Claygate Spring. Renewable energy infrastructure must be planned to be compatible with biodiversity conservation

Water quality is a problem in the UK as well as in most other countries, with ageing infrastructure badly in need of an upgrade

Water quality is a problem in the UK as well in most other countries, with ageing infrastructure badly in need of an upgrade

Events are being planned all around the UK, and beyond, to highlight the implications of global climate change for communities like Faversham.  In our case, an opportunity has come up to highlight the local relevance not only of climate change, but of the entire suite of UN Sustainable Development Goals (https://sdgs.un.org/goals), which also address the issues of poverty, human health, human rights, biodiversity loss, and so on.  The SDGs are different from their precursors – the Millennium Development Goals – in that they were conceived to be relevant to every country in the world, not just developing ones.

Together with an international development NGO (Bond) and Faversham Town Council, the Faversham Society is co-organising a week-long exhibition to demonstrate the links between the Sustainable Development Goals and work being done by local groups in and around the town.  We are also planning four evening presentations and discussions focusing on 1) the SDGs and their broad relevance for Faversham; 2) the implications of climate change for the town and what we can do to mitigate or adapt to its impacts; 3) a panel discussion about the SDGs and Faversham that explores a broad range of issues relevant to the community including sustainable housing and transport; and 4) climate-related migration and the impacts for a community like Faversham of climate change in other parts of the world. The full programme of events, which includes a live discussion with Sir Bob Geldof, can be found at the end of this article.

The SDGs target poverty worldwide, not just in less-developed countries. The picture in Faversham is more mixed than many residents realise

The SDGs target poverty worldwide, not just in less-developed countries. The picture in Faversham is more mixed than many residents realise

The exhibition and evening events will take place from November 8-12 (= Week 2 of COP26) in the Assembly Rooms on Preston Street.  Further details will be posted on the Society’s website and social media as they are confirmed.

The Assembly Rooms Faversham

The handsome Italianate Assembly Rooms on Preston Street are an excellent venue for a public exhibition

The Sustainable Development Goals are as relevant for Faversham as they are for every other community in the world.  SDG Target 11.4, for example, is to “Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.”  Cherishing and preserving the town’s rich cultural and historic heritage remains vital to maintaining its unique character, but the greatest challenge facing the town and the Faversham Society today – in the face of the ongoing housebuilding boom – is to define a positive and ambitious vision of the community we want to be and then to achieve that through our actions.

From Local to Global: Faversham and the Sustainable Development Goals

Exhibition at Assembly Rooms, 66 Preston Street, Faversham, open from 10h-16h daily from November 8-12, 2021, featuring local and national charities whose work relates to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Evening events (19h30-20h30 at the Assembly Rooms)

See https://www.facebook.com/events/1261970227611298 for all details, including link to EventBrite for evening event reservations (open from Monday, November 1).