CSOs Respond to Zero Drafts for Habitat III, 2030 Agenda Follow-up
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Civil society organizations (CSOs) have made recommendations on national-level implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and reacted to the zero draft of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on global-level follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda, in preparation for the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).

In addition, NGOs issued reports on: international humanitarian assistance data, in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS); sustainable seafood; and updated environmental performance rankings for 180 countries.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)23 May 2016: Civil society organizations (CSOs) have made recommendations on national-level implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and reacted to the zero draft of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on global-level follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda, in preparation for the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). In addition, NGOs issued reports on: international humanitarian assistance data, in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS); sustainable seafood; and updated environmental performance rankings for 180 countries.

On national implementation, World Vision and the Partnering Initiative explore how national-level platforms can contribute to SDG integration, deliver results for the most vulnerable countries and people, avoid duplication at the national level, and ensure the most effective leadership structure to support such platforms, with the broader aim of accelerating progress towards the 2030 Agenda. ‘Delivering on the Promise: In-country multi-stakeholder platforms to catalyze collaboration and partnership for Agenda 2030′ recommends: a shared cross-sector leadership strategy; application of integration principles to platforms’ internal operation and external linkages; and building on existing partnership structures and systems.

On global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda, Together 2030 compiled reactions to the zero draft of the resolution prepared by the Permanent Representatives of Belize and Denmark on the basis of consultations taking place in New York. Key recommendations include: encouraging Member States to carry out at least three voluntary national reviews at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in the 15-year period of the 2030 Agenda; hosting HLPF meetings under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) every year to ensure that national reviews take place annually; and revising the themes and sub-set of SDGs to be reviewed at the sessions in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to better reflect interlinkages among the Goals.

On the New Urban Agenda, the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) observes that the zero draft of the Habitat III outcome document emphasizes access to economic and social services, rather than addressing access to sustainable transport system, saying this emphasis is a key distinction between the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. SLoCaT commends the draft for highlighting the role of transport in advancing sustainable urban development and the need for a “transformation in [mobility] policy.” However, to “do justice” the Paris Agreement on climate change, SLoCaT says the text must place greater emphasis on the role of sustainable transport in greenhouse (GHG) mitigation, and on the urgency of investments and policies for sustainable mobility. SLoCaT also calls for increased attention to: air quality; road accidents; the health benefits of active mobility; and freight transport and logistics.

The forthcoming Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Report 2016 will underscore remaining links between poverty and crisis situations, according to Development Initiatives, which has released figures from GHA 2016, ahead of the WHS convening in May 2016. The report will show that 76% of people in extreme poverty are living in countries that are environmentally vulnerable, politically fragile, or both. The report also will show: an increase in total international humanitarian assistance for the third consecutive year, to US$28 billion; a shortfall in funding for UN-coordinated appeals, and gaps between the best- and worst-funded UN-coordinated appeals; an 11% increase in humanitarian assistance from government donors, to US$21.8 billion; and a 13% increase in private contributions, to US$6.2 billion. Development Initiatives has also published a report on humanitarian transparency.

The percentage of seafood certified as sustainable has increased from 0.5% of global production in 2005, to 14% in 2015, according to a report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade. ‘State of Sustainability Initiatives Review: Standards and the Blue Economy’ examines market and performance trends among seafood certification schemes. The report also finds that the majority of certification schemes do not address protection of worker’s rights.

The world is making progress in some environmental issues, but performing poorly on wastewater treatment, air quality, carbon intensity and fisheries, according to the findings of the Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2016. The report, which provides a baseline, scorecard and ranking of 180 countries’ performance, highlights promising trends on access to drinking water and sanitation and health impacts, but stresses that progress remains slow and may be offset by related findings. For instance, although nations protected more marine habitat, fish stocks are still declining. The report also suggests ways for data to help monitor progress towards the SDGs and other international goals.

On the private sector’s contribution to SDG implementation, Diva Ventures will seek to address the SDGs through “corporate impact venturing” by bringing high-impact ventures to scale through efforts to co-develop and co-invest in opportunities with a high potential to deliver positive societal impact. According to an announcement made in April 2016, the coalition includes the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Novozymes and DSM. It aims to bridge the for-profit, impact investment and not-for-profit worlds to enable impact delivery at scale in markets globally. [World Vision Publications] [Together 2030 Reaction] [SLoCaT Press Release] [GHA 2016] [IISD Publications] [EPI 2016] [Global Metrics for the Environment] [Diva Press Release]


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