What may happen if there is more garbage than trees?

12 Jul 2017

Anastasia Kvashilava, 10, winner of a graphic contest for the Sustainable Development Goals in Georgia Anastasia Kvashilava, 10, winner of a graphic contest for the Sustainable Development Goals in Georgia

“If there is more garbage than trees, it may cause changes that will be very bad for our planet and all of us,” Anastasia says.

She is so dead serious about it that a silly little smile adults always have on the ready for children is fading from my face.

Anastasia Kvashilava is only 10 but she already thinks about complicated matters like pollution and waste management. A poster she painted pictures sustainable production and consumption and is the winner of a graphic contest announced by UNDP, and our partners from the government and civil society, in spring 2017 to spread the message about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Georgia.

Anastasia’s work stands out in a range of professional photos and expertly-designed posters for its unbeatable sincerity.

“There’s a little girl sitting on a heap of waste. It means that when we litter, we do not think about environment and our planet but, at least, we should think about the future and our children”, - she says.

Now I feel thrilled enough to ask her, with some caution, if she really thinks about her future children.

“No, I don’t,” she says.

“But I do think about myself and I should think about everybody else, right?”

Thinking of yourself and everybody else is, perhaps, the most inspiring definition of the Sustainable Development Goals I have ever gotten. I feel that youngsters get it better than we do. Whatever complex ideas sustainable development is based on, children understand them instantly as an obvious logic for a happy life.

Anastasia’s poster will be one of the visual symbols of an information campaign for responsible consumption and production in Georgia. UNDP is running this campaign under the recently kicked-off programme that helps Georgia implement the country’s first Waste Management Code and introduce the concept of Extended Producers Responsibility.

In October 2017, we will invite Anastasia to take part in the SDG Forum in Tbilisi which will bring together winners of the graphic contest and all those – authorities, civil society, students – who want to make the Sustainable Development Goals an essential part of Georgia’s progress towards the future.

I am sure we will find the new, greener and smarter, solutions to our problems. I am also sure that the expectation and hope in the eyes of a little girl on Anastasia’s poster will make all of us think more about the trace we leave and the changes, good or bad, we may cause in our near future.   

For more results of the SDG contest for photos and posters, visit the Facebook page of our civil society partner, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI).    

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