The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) released an advance unedited version of the 2015 edition of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR).
The 2015 GSDR considers how prepared the scientific community is to inform the integrated and multi-dimensional problem solving and policy making that will be needed for implementing the post-2015 development agenda.
It includes contributions from more than 500 scientists and experts from over 20 UN agencies.
8 June 2015: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) released an advance unedited version of the 2015 edition of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). The 2015 GSDR considers how prepared the scientific community is to inform the integrated and multi-dimensional problem solving and policy making that will be needed for implementing the post-2015 development agenda. It includes contributions from more than 500 scientists and experts from over 20 UN agencies.
The GSDR, mandated by the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in ‘The Future We Want’ outcome document, seeks to strengthen the science-policy interface for sustainable development, particularly in the context of the UN High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The report provides “an assessment of assessments,” reflecting existing documentation and making them simple and coherent, rather than producing new knowledge.
The 2015 report contains eight chapters providing examples of analytical approaches that could be considered in future editions of the report. According to the authors, these chapters could each be seen as a template for an annual interim GSDR, produced for the meetings of the HLPF under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) every four years.
Chapters 1 and 2 serve as an introduction to the other chapters. Chapter 1, ‘The science policy interface,’ provides a menu of concrete roles and actions that the HLPF could consider in order to strengthen the science-policy interface for sustainable development. Chapter 2, on ‘Integrated perspectives on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),’ surveys the landscape of major global assessments in terms of their coverage of the SDGs and their interlinkages. It explores the SDG coverage of international assessments conducted within and beyond the UN system, and the extent to which they apply integrated perspectives.
Chapter 3, on ‘The oceans, seas, marine resources, and human well-being nexus,’ seeks to demonstrate the necessity of using an integrated approach when dealing with interlinkages among oceans, seas, marine resources and human well-being, at the global, regional, national and local levels. It highlights case studies illustrating the benefits of integrated approaches for implementation.
Using the proposal of the Open Working Group on SDGs as its reference point, Chapter 4, on ‘Disaster risk reduction: a cross-cutting necessity in the SDGs,’ looks at the interlinkages between DRR and several SDGs, considers impacts of setting DRR targets on monitoring progress, and showcases new solutions for data collection and measurement in the context of DRR.
Chapter 5, on ‘Economic growth, inclusive and sustainable industrial development and sustainable consumption and production,’ reviews the current landscape of industrialization and the challenges ahead for “late industrializers.” It considers the types of policy and institutional support needed to enable late industrialization, particularly along a low-carbon, sustainable path, and how a shift toward sustainable consumption and production (SCP) globally is likely to impact industrialization options.
Chapter 6, on ‘Countries in special situations,’ examines selected aspects of the science-policy interface in the context of the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS). It analyzes: the scope of existing publications on these groups of countries that may be relevant for decision making at the national level; the availability of information and data; and whether and how publications and international commitments on these groups of countries address the proposed 17 SDGs.
Chapter 7, on ‘Science issues for the attention of policy makers,’ explores the ways in which UN processes and other institutions identify issues for policy makers’ consideration. It also presents results of an open call for crowd-sourced science briefs from interested scientific communities around the world, and suggests a number of issues for consideration by the HLPF.
Chapter 8, on ‘New data approaches for monitoring sustainable development progress: the case of Africa,’ highlights innovative uses of data to improve the science-policy interface for sustainable development.
In conclusion, the report notes that the scope of the future editions of the GSDR will depend on how Member States wish to use it to support implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, and to assess progress towards the SDGs.
The report is issued in advance of the HLPF session taking place on 26 June-8 July 2015 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), to inform Member States’ deliberations at the Forum. [Publication: Global Sustainable Development Report: 2015 Edition – Advance Unedited Version] [GSDR Webpage] [HLPF Webpage]