The EMG Nexus Dialogue Series 2017
UN Photo/Logan Abassi
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To implement the SDGs, it will be crucial to identify ways to increase coherence, enhance synergies, put in place effective institutional architecture and decision‐making processes, and scale up financing and partnerships.

The Environment Management Group (EMG), in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute, has organised a series of Nexus Dialogues on environmental nexus issues linked to the SDGs.

The outcome of the Dialogues will include a first set of identified environmental nexuses and a heightened awareness of a nexus approach as a way to approach the implementation of the integrated 2030 Agenda.

The United Nations System will focus on supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the next 13 years. In doing so, the UN system will be able to draw on the wealth of specialized technical, normative and operational capacity, and services to support Member States on specific aspects of sustainable development that it has developed over recent decades. However, with its integrated approach and indivisible nature, the 2030 Agenda challenges agencies of the UN system to ensure that their specialized policy decision making and response systems are well suited to uptake and effectively support the integrated SDGs, including the environmental dimension of the goals and targets.

To implement the SDGs, it will be crucial to identify ways to increase coherence, enhance synergies in governance and policy planning, put in place effective institutional architecture and decision‐making processes, and scale up financing and partnerships. In this context, the Environment Management Group (EMG), in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute, has organised a series of Nexus Dialogues on environmental nexus issues linked to the SDGs.

For these Nexus Dialogues, a “nexus” approach implies focusing on overlaps across sectors while respecting sectoral expertise in order to make better plans by understanding interactions.

The essential task when tackling complex issues is to break them down into feasible components and address the components one by one. The temptation – and often a useful strategy – is to break problems down along sectoral lines, but when crucial decisions must be made at the nexus across sectors, this approach creates risks. Sector experts know their business, while few are experts on the overlaps across fields. Thus, we advocate a nexus approach to capitalize on the benefits of sectoral expertise focused on breaking down the complexity of the overlaps of these sectors. The purpose is practical: to make better plans through an understanding of interactions.

The 2017 Launch

The 2017 Nexus Dialogue Series was launched in Geneva on the 26th and 27th April 2017 at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organisation. Over two days, the first Nexus Dialogue welcomed more than 80 participants who collectively addressed policy, planning and practical implementation issues associated with the nexus approach.

The Technical Segment probed the practical implementation of the nexus approach at the global and country levels, by focusing on opportunities and challenges, whilst exploring ways to establish and maintain nexus partnerships among various stakeholders. The High-Level Segment gave an opportunity for UN Senior Officials, academia, the private sector and civil society to discuss the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships to strengthen policy coherence in implementing the environmental dimensions of the SDGs.

A more detailed overview of the first Nexus Dialogue is available on our website at https://unemg.org/emg-nexus-dialogues/dialogue-1.

Nexus Dialogue Two

Registrations for the second Nexus Dialogue, which focuses on the poverty and environment nexus, are now open on our website https://unemg.org/emg-nexus-dialogues/dialogue-2. The second dialogue will convene in New York, from 13-14 July, in the margins of the High-level Political Forum. Along with continued support from the Stockholm Environment Institute, the second Dialogue has been developed in collaboration with the UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative.

During the Technical Segment, attendees will focus on opportunities to strengthen the implementation of the SDGs by looking at lessons learned and good practice at the nexus of poverty and environment at country level. By mapping out links between the SDG targets and areas where poverty and environment overlap, the potential for further synergy, efficiency and partnerships will be explored. Furthermore, case studies will be presented to bring forth lessons learned in cross-sectoral partnerships at the nexus of environment and poverty at country level.

During the Policy Segment, based on the findings of the technical segment, Senior Officials of UN entities, Member States and other stakeholders will share their perspectives on supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by strengthening the environment and poverty nexus. A panel will address challenges and opportunities for enhancing partnerships in this context as well as issues that require strategic planning by the UN system, including through the work of the EMG.

Lookout for further EMG Nexus Dialogues as part of our 2017 Series. In October, the third Dialogue will be held in Geneva, focusing on the humanitarian-environment nexus. The fourth and final Dialogue of the 2017 Series will be held in December, in the margins of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, and will focus on nexus issues relating to urban pollution, cities and the environment.

Outcome of the 2017 Series

Through the EMG Nexus Dialogues, participants are able to view the SDGs from a nexus perspective, to acquaint themselves with available nexus methodologies and to identify practical strategies for integrating the nexus approach into their mission and work. The Dialogues also serve as an opportunity for Member States to consider how a nexus approach could support collaboration among different governmental departments.

The outcome of the 2017 EMG Nexus Dialogue Series will include a first set of identified environmental nexuses, a mapping of how environment related goals and targets contribute to other goals and targets and vice versa, and a heightened awareness of a nexus approach as a way to approach the implementation of the integrated 2030 Agenda.

As there is no single preferred methodology in addressing a nexus, the EMG may build on the results of the Dialogues to identify appropriate methodologies through its Issue Management Groups. Ultimately, the Dialogues may trigger UN agencies to establish multi-stakeholder partnerships to strengthen policy coherence and integrated policy development, and adopt mutual strategies in support of implementing the SDGs.

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