Sustainble Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise known as the Global Goals, build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. The MDGs, adopted in 2000, aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation. Enormous progress has been made on the MDGs, showing the value of a unifying agenda underpinned by goals and targets. Despite this success, the indignity of poverty has not been ended for all.
The new SDGs, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.
As a developmental institution committed to improve the livelihood of the rural people, the International Sericultural Commission (ISC) has given priority to support its Member Countries and countries associated with silk industry to achieve few of the above goals through its various programmes. The Commission is mainly focusing on the following goals that can be achieved through the activities of Sericulture and Silk Industry.
Sericulture and Silk Industry is considered as an effective tool for poverty alleviation. The Labour Force Participation Rate in sericulture is highest in comparison to similar rural occupations. The industry provides job opportunities to all family members, especially, women and elderly persons. It has the unique nature of converting family labour into useful income to the family. Hence, this occupation could bring significant revenue to the households, thereby helped several poverty stricken families in the rural areas, especially the marginalised population and forest dwellers.
The sericulture and silk industry, per se is highly labour intensive and gives employment to mostly the tribal and the extremely backward rural people. Hence, the ISC has been making serious efforts to introduce sericulture practice in many poverty ridden areas of Africa, South Asia and Latin American Countries. Through continued efforts in R&D sector, the productivity and quality of silk has enhanced significantly thereby improving the livelihood earning of the people already engaged in the industry.
The women participation in sericulture and silk industry is about 60%. By introducing the sericulture industry to larger areas, more women and family members are able to generate substantial income for the family. Many of the studies undertaken in China, Thailand and India proved that the sericulture and industry is an ideal tool for women empowerment and gender equality.
4) Climate Action
The sericulture is an agro based industry where the food plants of the silkworm need to be cultivated for undertaking the animal husbandry activities. Since, most of the food plants are perennial in nature; the cultivated area gives substantial green cover.
The industry is labour intensive and hence carbon emitting in the production process is very minimal. The industry need not compete with other agricultural crops as the land unsuitable for food crop cultivation could be used for sericulture. Thus, the industry contributes for the sustainability of environment like; eco friendly production process, increases green cover, helps soil conservation and prevents soil erosion.
5) Decent Work and Economic Growth
Since sericulture provides employment opportunities to people in different age groups, the occupation emerged as a alternative source of income to many under privileged people. The industry provides regular dependable income on a consistent basis. Most of the activities can be taken up indoor thereby making it as a decent occupation for a wide range of age groups and social stratum. The economic returns of the occupation directly benefits the family requirement as the family members are deeply associated in its various activities. This would ultimately benefit the economic growth of the family.
6) Partnerships for the Goals
The Silk Industry plays a major role in creating global partnerships for development in various regions. The prime advantage of the silk industry is that the major consumers of the silk are from the developed countries and the affluent people of the other regions whereas the major silk producers are from the developing countries comprising the poor farmers, reelers and weavers. This would enable flow of equity from rich to poor. This mechanism of equity flow created major and critical partnerships among these divergent sectoral groups under the leadership of the Government agencies and other agencies. The International Sericultural Commission is playing a crucial role in building partnership among the various sectoral groups and other agencies to ensure that there shall be equitable growth for all the stakeholders of the silk value chain.