GSDR Experts Discuss Paths to SDG Achievement
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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The independent group of scientists to draft the 2019 edition of the quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report met in Helsinki, Finland, to identify paths that could bring the changes required to achieve the SDGs.

The IGS has prepared the report’s annotated outline and a work plan for engaging with scientific communities and other stakeholders, especially from the global South.

In October, it had issued a “call for inputs” for the 2019 GSDR that targeted scientific communities, policy makers, and communities holding indigenous knowledge and other knowledge systems.

12 December 2017: The independent group of scientists (IGS) to draft the 2019 edition of the quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) met in Helsinki, Finland, to identify paths that could bring the changes required to achieve the SDGs. Prior to the meeting, on 1 December 2017, the IGS closed its call for inputs from scientific communities, policy makers, and communities holding indigenous knowledge and other knowledge systems.

The GSDR is a quadrennial publication that was called for in the outcome document from the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). It seeks to inform the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), strengthen the science-policy interface, and provide a strong evidence-based instrument to support policymakers in promoting poverty eradication and sustainable development. The 2019 GSDR is being prepared by an IGS of 15 experts appointed in 2016 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and supported by a task team of UN system entities. Endah Murniningtyas (Indonesia) and Peter Messerli (Switzerland) serve as co-chairs of the IGS. The 2019 GSDR will be considered during the 2019 session of the HLPF.

The IGS had a first meeting from 21-23 February 2017, in New York, US to identify activities needed to ensure the scientific credibility, legitimacy and relevance of the 2019 GSDR. The second meeting took place from 14-19 July 2017, at Glen Cove Conference Center, New York, to consider the scope and objectives of the report.

The workshop on ‘Transformations towards Sustainable Development: Pathways to Equity and Economic and Environmental sustainability’ brought together, in addition to IGS members, 20 scientists with various expertise from all over the world, at Hotel Kalastajatorppa in Helsinki, Finland, from 12-13 December. Participants considered how flows of raw materials between countries and continents and shifts in lifestyles affect sustainability, and possible ways to influence them to move towards sustainable development. These topics were examined especially from the points of view of land use, consumption and production, urbanization and the economy.

On progress, the GSDR 2019 website notes that the IGS has advanced the conceptualization and structuring of the report. It has finished the report’s annotated outline and a work plan for engaging with scientific communities and other stakeholders, especially from the global South.

In October, the IGS issued a “call for inputs” for the 2019 GSDR that targeted scientific communities, policy makers, and communities holding indigenous knowledge and other knowledge systems. The call for inputs focused on: interactions among SDGs and their targets; transformation pathways; looking beyond the SDGs; and the role of science for sustainable development. [Update January 2018: The call for inputs is open until 2 February.] [Finnish Environment Institute Press Release on ‘Transformations towards Sustainable Development’ Workshop] [GSDR 2019 Website] [GSDR 2019 Background] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Call for Inputs] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on GSDR Briefing of July 2017]


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