Today is all about SDG 16. We’re going to talk about why it is so important and tell you a little bit about the speakers confirmed for the Planetiers World Gathering that endorse this message.

What does SDG 16 stand for?

If you don’t know already your Sustainable Development Goals, we can help you: related to “Peace, Justice and Strong institutions”, SDG 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

This includes all advances in ending violence, as well as strengthening institutions, the delivery of public services, and broader economic development.

Meet our “peacekeepers”

Even though these speakers definitely promote peace and justice through their work and initiatives, they can’t be confined to only one SDG, and are actually connected to several of them.

Mohan Munasinghe

Prof. Mohan Munasinghe posing seated in a chair

As Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he was one of the recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. The reason why he is included in this list should be a no brainer, right?

How does he relate to SDG 16?

Recognized as a leading world authority, Professor Mohan Munasinghe holds many awards for his exceptional global contributions to climate change and sustainable development.

He is also Chairman of the Presidential Expert Commission on Sustainable Sri Lanka 2030 Vision and Honorary Senior Advisor to the Government of Sri Lanka, in Energy and Information Technology, helping to implement the national energy strategy and telecommunications policy.

He’s in complete alignment with the 16.10 target – Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.

Why you should meet him

Besides being involved with the IPCC since its inception, he was a member of the Club of Rome and is widely recognized for proposing the Sustainomics framework and the Millennium Consumption Goals, which served as the foundation for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Gina McCarthy

After being an advisor for five Massachusetts governors, she was nominated as the 13th Administrator of EPA under the Obama Administration.

How does she relate to SDG 16?

Gina McCarthy began her career as the health agent for the Canton Board of Health and has since developed policies on economic growth, energy, transportation, and the environment.

Under the Clean Water Act, she finalized a rule to protect streams, wetlands, and other sources of drinking water and help make sure water polluters were held accountable for their actions.

She also finalized the Clean Power Plan, one of the US’s most important steps to fight climate change, which set the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for fossil-fuel-fired power plants, under the Clean Air Act, seeking to reduce coal use according to the Paris Agreement.

In this regard, her work has promoted targets 16.6 (Develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels) and 16A (Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels).

Why you should meet her


As environmental health and air quality expert, she’s become US leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment. Her significant accomplishments include action on clean energy, public transportation, and public health goals.

She’s the Director of Harvard’s C-Change (Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment), highlighting clear solutions for climate change, and equipping changemakers with the tools they need to act now to build a more sustainable future.

Gustavo Carona

In 2009, doctor Gustavo Carona went on his first humanitarian mission for Doctors of the World and has since worked on 13 humanitarian missions in war zones for Doctors Without Borders.

How does he relate to SDG 16?

In his mission to bring assistance to countries and communities with complete health care shortages, he has stayed in Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Central African Republic, Iraq, Burundi, Yemen, and Palestine.

Having felt the effects of war himself, Gustavo exercises his profession where he thinks he is most needed while fighting indifference and intolerance.

That’s why he contributes to target 16.1 – Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.

Why you should meet him


Author of the book O Mundo Precisa de Saber, he has spread the work of Doctors Without Borders and their humanitarian missions.

The impressive accounts of his experiences give voice to the people in need he’s met along the way and are the written testimony that human value is equal for everyone.

Francisco Piyãko

Former secretary and advisor of the Indigenous Peoples in the government of Acre and advisor to the Presidency of the National Indian Foundation (Funai), Francisco continues to work on the achievement of public policies for the forest people, namely the Ashaninka.

How does he relate to SDG 16?

Indigenous’ people right to land and mantain a tradicional lifestyle are under threat. Every day executives invest in indegenous territory for mineral exploration and weaken official indigenou police. 

Francisco’s commitment is to raise awareness to the violations of Acre peoples’ rights, to strenghten dialogue between communities and to convey the message of respecting diversity and the Amazon.

He’s very active in the fight for implementing the targets 16.3 (Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all), 16.7 (Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels), and 16.B (Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development).

Why you should meet him


Francisco Piyãko is one of the leaders of the Ashaninka people, giving an inside testemony of what it means to live in the Apiwtxa Village, near Amônia river, in Marechal Thaumaturgo.

Through the Apiwtxa Association, the population has been carrying out sustainable development projects, as well as a protection and conservation plan for the Amazon.

Would you like to know more speakers? Stay tuned for all our updates on our website, facebook and instagram 😉