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GUEST ARTICLES
Louis Meuleman, Member, UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA); Leuven University, Wageningen University & Research, University of Massachusetts Boston
It Is About Time to Promote Policy and Institutional Coherence for the SDGs
Louis Meuleman, Member, UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA); Leuven University, Wageningen University & Research, University of Massachusetts Boston
One of the best examples of the need to improve policy coherence for sustainability is the mistake of considering biomass combustion inherently “carbon neutral.” We know now that this ignores the fact that using land to produce plants for energy means that this land is not producing plants for other purposes. If bioenergy crops displace food crops, this may lead to more hunger (EEA Scientific Committee, 2011).
Angus Mackay, Manager, Green Development and Climate Change Programme at UNITAR
Transforming Lives and Lifestyles through Education and Green Economy in Mongolia
Angus Mackay, Manager, Green Development and Climate Change Programme at UNITAR
Over the past years, Mongolia has experienced significant change. The country's economy grew by 17% in 2011, and it has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14%, by 2030. More recently, Mongolia endorsed a green development vision for the country. Without a doubt, Mongolia has gained international visibility and far surpassed what might be expected from a country with a population of a little over 3 million and a per capita national income of US$3,800.
Cosmas Zavazava, Chief of Department, Project Support and Knowledge Management, International Telecommunication Union
An End to Electronic Waste – Building the E-waste Coalition
Cosmas Zavazava, Chief of Department, Project Support and Knowledge Management, International Telecommunication Union
On Wednesday, 21 March 2018, organizations from the United Nations system, most active in addressing the global e-waste challenge, signed a Letter of Intent paving the way for coordination and collaboration on United Nations system-wide support for e-waste management.
Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer, CIVICUS
Civil Society, Resolute Resistance and Renewed Purpose
Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer, CIVICUS
Each year, CIVICUS publishes the State of Civil Society Report, which chronicles major global developments and key trends impacting civil society. The report draws from interviews with civil society leaders at the forefront of social change from around the world and CIVICUS’ ongoing research initiatives. This year it reaches an important conclusion: even as fundamental freedoms and democratic values are being encroached upon, peaceful acts of resolute resistance by civil society give us reasons for hope.

POLICY BRIEFS
Adam Fishman, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)
SDG Knowledge Weekly: Blockchain in Practice
Adam Fishman, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)
This week’s brief explores distributed ledger technology (DLT), or blockchain, and its potential for contributing to SDG implementation. As touched upon in February through the lens of financial inclusion, the international community is rapidly exploring the technology’s applications to sustainable development challenges.

FEATURED
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas UNFCCC, UNDP Highlight Long-Term Strategies to Meet Climate Goals
17 April 2018: The World Resources Institute (WRI) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), in cooperation with the UNFCCC, are developing resources to help policymakers integrate long-term strategies (LTSs) into national development plans. A recently launched WRI website details information, publications and perspectives on LTSs. In a series of op-eds, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa describes how LTSs can help achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré Tool Reveals Links Between Human Rights Recommendations, SDG Targets
16 April 2018: The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) has launched the UPR-SDG Data Explorer, which uses an algorithm to automatically identify links between the SDG targets and recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The tool aims to facilitate follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda at the global, regional and national levels.
shipping IMO Members Agree to Cut Emissions from International Shipping in Half by 2050
13 April 2018: Members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have agreed to an initial strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, including a long-term vision to cut emissions by 50% compared to 2008 levels by 2050.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth Parties Provide Inputs to Talanoa Dialogue
2 April 2018: Since January 2018, the Talanoa Dialogue Platform has been receiving submissions from UNFCCC Parties and non-Party stakeholders on the three questions of the Dialogue: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? This summary provides a brief overview of some of the submissions received from Parties regarding the three questions.
Featured Image -200 Sustainable Development Financing Report Pulls Alarm on Short-Termism
13 April 2018: Overcoming the short-term outlook of many investors is a complex but urgent issue, according to the 2018 annual progress report on financing sustainable development titled, ‘Financing for Development: Progress and Prospects.’ The report, which was prepared by the UN's Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF), explains that while the global economy is experiencing a moderate upturn and momentum around sustainable investing is growing, commitments by the international community to create sustainable economies are not being met. As a result, the report indicates that the prospects of around 800 million of the world’s poorest people remain dire.

NEWS
Photo by American Public Power Association IRENA Roadmap Calls for Six-Fold Increase in Renewable Energy
17 April 2018: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released a roadmap for the global energy transformation. The roadmap shows that the adoption of renewable energy must increase dramatically to achieve the target of limiting global temperature increase to well below 2°C.
Photo by Patrick Hendry IEA: Energy Efficiency Could Deliver 35% of Needed Emissions Reductions
17 April 2018: According to a report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy efficiency measures could deliver more than a third of the cumulative reductions of GHG emissions necessary to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Achieving these savings requires new policies and investments of US$1.7 trillion in energy efficiency and electrification of transport, the authors find.
Photo by Neil Palmer (CIAT) First-Ever Africa Climate Week Provides Regional Input to Talanoa Dialogue
16 April 2018: The first-ever Africa Climate Week (ACW2018) convened to address climate issues in the regional context, support implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the SDGs, and provide input to the formal negotiations under the UNFCCC, through the Talanoa Dialogue. ACW2018 convened from 9-13 April 2018, in Nairobi, Kenya.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth DESA Promotes SDGs at Policy Meeting for Asia
13 April 2018: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) addressed Asian leaders on the importance of regional cooperation for achieving the SDGs, at the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). The international organization, initially proposed by the former heads of state of Australia, Japan, and the Philippines, serves as a platform for policy dialogue in Asia.
Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov Asia-Pacific Business Forum Urges Regulation of Technologies, Financing Models
12 April 2018: The Asia-Pacific Business Forum (APBF) highlighted the need for massive investment to achieve the SDGs, and the potential for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to produce social and economic benefits. Participants noted, however, that appropriate regulation should be put in place to ensure, for example, adequate cybersecurity and equitable access to infrastructure.
Photo by Lynn Wagner Mountain Partnership Unveils Baseline Data for SDG Indicator 15.4.2
11 April 2018: Ahead of the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the Mountain Partnership published baseline data for the Mountain Green Cover Index, one the official indicators for SDG target 15.4, which seeks to ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth Indigenous Peoples, Member States Express Dissatisfaction with UNGA Decision
9 April 2018: Indigenous peoples and many UN Member States expressed deep dissatisfaction regarding the outcome of a process on enabling indigenous peoples' participation in UN meetings. The views were expressed during an informal interactive hearing organized by UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Miroslav Lajcak, meant to reflect on possible further measures to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and organizations in meetings of UN bodies.
URBANIZATION UN-Habitat Municipal Finance Handbook Advances NUA, SDG 11
9 April 2018: The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has launched a resource guide on municipal finance, highlighting the importance for implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the SDGs, particularly SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities). The handbook provides city leaders with a range of financing solutions that emphasize sustainability, inclusion and financial autonomy, aiming to contribute to discussions on how cities can finance large capital expenditures, infrastructure maintenance and operation, and public services.
Photo by IISD/ENB Data Initiative Seeks Comparability in Measuring Partnership Outcomes
3 April 2018: UN Member States and officials discussed the impacts and applications of the Partnership Data for SDGs initiative (PD4SDGs). The initiative, which was launched in 2016, seeks to ensure the comparability of work by multi-stakeholder partnerships for the SDGs, by utilizing SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resource-based, with clear and Time-based deliverables).
Photo by Markus Spiske Commission White Paper Explores Blockchain Use for SDGs
2 March 2018: A publication by the Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) looks at the potential of block chain technology to accelerate progress on the SDGs. The white paper explores the successful use of blockchain in bringing new levels of efficiency and effectiveness to the fields of development aid, supply chain management, renewable energy and economic growth.
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner CCIC Event Asks if Canada is Doing Enough to Meet SDGs
16 April 2018: At the third of four FutureDev events hosted by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC), John McArthur, Brookings Institution, delivered a keynote address, asking whether Canada is doing enough in terms of meeting its responsibilities and commitments to the SDGs.
Photo by IISD/Francis Dejon Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance Supports SDG 14 Achievement
16 April 2018: The Government of the UK has announced the establishment of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance to eliminate single use plastic and address marine plastic pollution. Meanwhile, the Plastic Bank is using blockchain technology to incentivize the collection and recycling of plastic waste.
Photo by Peter Berko Population and Development Commission Addresses Urbanization, Migration
13 April 2018: The 51st session of the Commission on Population and Development considered ways to protect people on the move, address urban challenges and support the creation of sustainable cities. The Commission failed to reach consensus on an outcome document on its session theme, ‘sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration,’ but delegates reiterated their commitment to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the International Conference on Population and Development.
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner UNESCO, Japan Award Education for Sustainable Development Prize
12 April 2018: A public education project has won a UNESCO prize for its clear explanation of how the world can move towards achieving the SDGs. The UK-based non-profit organization Hard Rain Project created a photo exhibition, short film and website that briefly explain the challenges represented by each of the 17 SDGs, and highlights policy and personal actions that society can choose to take. The Hard Rain Project is one of three winners of the 2017 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
Photo by IISD/ENB UN Member States Discuss First Draft of Refugee Global Compact
6 April 2018: UN Member States have conducted several rounds of consultations on a global compact on refugees, and a second draft is being prepared by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The global compact on refugees aims to: ease pressures on countries that welcome and host refugees; build self-reliance of refugees; expand access to resettlement in third countries and other complementary pathways; and foster conditions that enable refugees voluntarily to return to their home countries.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth APA Co-Chairs Detail Expectations for Bonn Climate Change Conference
10 April 2018: The Co-Chairs of the UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) have released a reflections note on the fourth part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-4) to facilitate preparations for APA 1-5, highlighting that deliberations during APA 1-4 enabled Parties to transition from broad conceptual debates to more specific technical discussions and the elaboration of substantive elements.
UN Photo/Martine Perret SOI Dialogue Outcome Supports Cross-Sectoral Collaboration
13 April 2018: The second meeting of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations (RSOs) and Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs) discussed ways and means to accelerate national and regional efforts to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the SDGs related to marine biodiversity.
Photo by American Public Power Association Climate Mitigation Finance Update: Guidance for Aligning Infrastructure Investments with Sustainability Objectives
13 April 2018: The past month has seen the release of several reports and publications relating to: aligning climate financing and sustainable infrastructure investments with sustainability objectives; announcements around solar energy, including at the first meeting of the International Solar Alliance; and project funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy in several countries and regions.
UN Photo/Nasim Fekrat NAMA Update: What are Success Factors of the Financial Mechanisms Attached to NAMAs?
5 April 2018: This Update focuses on individual nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries and related support, events and activities for the months of February and March 2018. During this period, Guatemala, Honduras, Viet Nam and Dominican Republic entered NAMAs seeking external support in the UNFCCC Registry, and the NAMA Facility reported submissions of 76 ideas for NAMA Support Project Outlines as its 5th Call closed, on March 15.
Featured Image -161 World Bank Report Reviews SDG Achievement in Water-Scarce Cities
5 April 2018: A World Bank report titled, 'Water-Scarce Cities: Thriving in a Finite World,' highlights water security as an integral part of achieving the SDGs. The report draws on experiences from 20 water-scarce cities around the world, in both developed and developing countries, and proposes a range of measures for improving urban water supply security.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth Africa Clean Mobility Week Explores Options for Cleaner Mobility Solutions
16 March 2018: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) hosted Africa Clean Mobility Week in Nairobi, Kenya, during which delegates explored opportunities for African countries to leapfrog to cleaner and more efficient mobility solutions.

CURRENT & UPCOMING EVENTS SEE MORE »
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018
16-20 April 2018 | London, England, UK
17th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII 17)
16-27 April 2018 | New York City, US
Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2018
18-20 April 2018 | Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile
Coordination Meeting with International Organizations on Statistics for SDGs
20 April 2018 | Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Tenth International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
20-21 April 2018 | US
2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group
20-22 April 2018 | Washington D.C., US
G7 Foreign Affairs and Security Ministers: Building a More Peaceful and Secure World
22-24 April 2018 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Generation SDG Summit
22-25 April 2018 | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Trinity College Dublin Online Course on Achieving Sustainable Development
23 April 2018 | virtual
Global Commodities Forum 2018
23-24 April 2018 | Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
3rd Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit
23-25 April 2018 | Yogyakarta (Java), Indonesia
Financing for Development (FfD) Forum 2018
23-26 April 2018 | New York City, US
17th Session of UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA)
23-27 April 2018 | New York City, US
FAO Regional Conference for the Near East (NERC)
23-27 April 2018 | Beirut, Beyrouth, Lebanon
UNECE Resource Management Week 2018
23-27 April 2018 | Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
2018 ISDR Asia Partnership Forum
24-25 April 2018 | Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia