Many places around the world have no idea how much groundwater and surface water they have, let alone how much they can use sustainably. The United Nation's proposed Sustainable Development Goals, however, could transform the way governments understand and manage scarce water resources.
WRI's new global director of governance, Mark Robinson, explains why governance is important for sustainable development, and highlights its challenges and opportunities.
Between now and September 2015, when heads of state will gather for the UN General Assembly, we have a historic chance to set the world on a more sustainable path that will eradicate poverty and enhance prosperity for all.
Over the coming months, however, leaders must work together to set the world on the right course to realize this vision.
A recent UN report highlights the need to examine the role of development finance institutions in sustainable development, but it leaves open the question of whether member states should call for a review process.
Here’s a perspective on some of the outstanding negotiation challenges.
The UN proposed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate extreme poverty, placing economic transformation and environmental sustainability at the center of the agenda. WRI and 10 other institutes in the Independent Research Forum (IRF) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda organized discussions with negotiators of the UN Open Working Group on SDGs and provided recommendations.
At the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), governments concluded that the world needed a more ambitious, universal global development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. To meet the challenge of eradicating poverty and expanding the global economy while protecting the environment, the new agenda needed to go beyond the MDGs to more deeply engage the private sector, local governments and civil society. Reaching such a consensus on this complex, politically charged issue required that negotiators shift from the formal UN process to substantive discussions about a strengthened successor to the MDGs.
WRI and 10 other institutes in the Independent Research Forum (IRF) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda organized a series of informal retreats for negotiators of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), together with other UN Member States and senior UN officials. The retreats created a safe space to discuss the complex, potentially divisive questions of how to make the goals apply to all countries, and how to integrate social, economic and environmental sustainability. WRI’s analysis and facilitation, together with IRF, helped provide an opportunity for dialogue rather than negotiations, and allowed participants to test ideas and identify solutions. WRI’s project teams also gave regular input, providing concrete recommendations on global targets for sustainable food systems, energy, water, terrestrial ecosystems, oceans, climate change, cities, sustainable growth, sustainable consumption and production, and governance.
The Open Working Group Outcome Document, adopted in July 2014, proposes 17 ambitious SDGs. The SDGs mark a shift from the MDGs, aiming to eradicate extreme poverty in all its forms and placing economic transformation and environmental sustainability on equal footing at the center of the agenda. All countries will need to take action to implement the agenda, and civil society and the private sector will also be critical to the SDGs’ success. With one more year until the SDGs are due to be adopted at a UN Summit in September 2015, WRI stands ready to continue its support.
Multinational corporations have a central role in planning for climate change impacts. However, business leaders can go a step further by making their supply chains—often made up of small businesses in developing countries—more resilient.
Here’s a look at why small businesses need a significant role in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
After 17 months of debate, the UN Open Working Group has proposed a set of Sustainable Development Goals to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which expire next year. These goals focus on eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.
How do these newly proposed goals square with this ambitious aim?
A U.N. working group of 70 member states recently adopted a proposed set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to succeed the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set to expire in 2015. The “post-2015” SDGs will aim to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 while also supporting inclusive economic development and environmental sustainability. While the proposal puts forward a plethora of targets for the international community to pursue between 2015 and 2030, it leaves out a critical component of improving rural livelihoods—securing community land rights.
The “People-oriented Cities” series—exclusive to TheCityFix and Insights—is an exploration of how cities can grow to become more sustainable and livable through transit-oriented development (TOD). The nine-part series will address different urban design techniques and trends that reorient cities around people rather than cars.
A new WRI working paper, “Monitoring Climate Finance in Developing Countries: Challenges and Next Steps,” draws on a series of three regional workshops in Latin America, Africa, and Asia where representatives from governments and other agencies discussed the challenges in monitoring climate finance flows, and some of the efforts their countries are making to overcome these challenges.