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Adam Fishman, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)
SDG Knowledge Weekly: Blended Finance and Private Sector Contributions to the SDGs
Adam Fishman, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)
How will we finance sustainable development? In last week’s SDG Knowledge Weekly, we saw the possibilities that blockchain technology holds for development finance. This week’s brief considers where and how private sector actors can contribute to SDG achievement, including through blended finance.

Khalid Md. Bahauddin, Regional Focal Point (South and Central Asia) - Disaster Risk Reduction, Major Group for Children & Youth
The Essence of Leadership for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Khalid Md. Bahauddin, Regional Focal Point (South and Central Asia) - Disaster Risk Reduction, Major Group for Children & Youth
At the UN Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, more than 150 world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, aim to end poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, improve access to health and education, build strong institutions and partnerships, and more.
Mira Piel, Erasmus Student, European School of Political and Social Sciences (ESPOL), Université Catholique de Lille
Clean your plate, love. Other children are starving!
Mira Piel, Erasmus Student, European School of Political and Social Sciences (ESPOL), Université Catholique de Lille
At a younger age, I often had dinner at my grandmother’s house, and often I got to hear exactly this phrase. I imagine there are many who can identify with this memory. Having experienced post-World War II famine, my grandmother’s mind set is not surprising. Nowadays, a growing part of our population is fortunate enough not to be confronted with food scarcity or hunger. Still, there are nearly 800 million undernourished people in the world, and we are facing the additional problem of a steadily growing population. This forces the question of how to feed the world.
Featured Image -159 Youth Initiatives Tackle SDGs 6, 11, 13, 14, 16
Nathalie Risse, Ph.D., Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Canada)
13 February 2018: Recent initiatives highlight youth partnerships with UN organizations, and youth involvement in a variety of areas linked to the SDGs, including livelihoods, governance, the environment and water.

Featured Image -206 UN Women Presents Actionable Recommendations to Achieve SDGs
14 February 2018: UN Women has released its flagship report, which examines progress and challenges in implementing the SDGs from a gender perspective. The report recommends integrated approaches to leverage policy synergies and calls for urgent action on unpaid care work as well as ending violence against women.
Featured Image -203 IFAD Members Commit to Invest US$3.5 Billion in Rural Development
14 February 2018: Members of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) agreed to a programme of loans and grants totaling US$3.5 billion to reduce poverty, end hunger and increase resilience to climate change in rural communities around the world.
UN Photo/Nasim Fekrat OECD Report Urges More Effective Energy Taxes to Address Climate Change
14 February 2018: In its report titled, 'Taxing Energy Use 2018,' the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds that current energy taxes are not sufficient to effectively address climate change.
Photo by Lynn Wagner World Bank Report Links Wealth to Natural Resource Management
30 January 2018: The World Bank’s third volume on wealth accounting underscores the role of a portfolio of produced, natural and human capital assets in sustaining long-term development. The report finds that natural capital accounts for nearly half of the wealth in low-income countries, and argues that natural resources management is critical to long-term sustainable development.
Featured Image -179 Joint Inspection Unit to Review UN System in Light of 2030 Agenda
18 January 2018: The Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) of the UN System notes that “a majority of UN system organizations have adapted, or are in the process of adapting, their respective strategies and/or policies to reflect the 2030 Agenda.” The Unit's report, summarizing its work in 2017 and outlining its plans for 2018, also calls for making the UN system more effective in its cooperation with the private sector to support the 2030 Agenda and “implement sustainability in the business models” of the UN.
UN Photo/Mark Garten Panel Discusses Integrated Landscape Strategies as Tool to Address Climate Challenges and SDGs
12 February 2018: The FAO Liaison Office for North America and EcoAgriculture Partners jointly organized a panel discussion titled, 'Meeting Climate and Sustainable Development Goals through Integrated Landscape Strategies: The New Policy Imperative.' In her keynote address, Paula Caballero, World Resources Institute (WRI), highlighted the role of trees and soil in removing carbon from the atmosphere, and therefore the benefits of landscape approaches to maximize their contribution to addressing the climate challenge.

Photo by IISD/ENB Governments Consider Zero Draft of Global Compact on Refugees
5 February 2018: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi issued the zero draft of the global compact on refugees for consideration by Member States. The draft compact is made up of: a Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF); a programme of action for applying the CRRF; and a section on follow-up arrangements.
Featured Image -205 New Urban Agenda Action Plan for LAC Calls for Paradigm Shift
February 2018: An action plan for implementing the New Urban Agenda (NUA) in Latin America and the Caribbean envisions the city as a "macro-level public good" where citizens' economic, social, cultural and environmental rights are guaranteed.
UN Photo/R Marklin Ontario Commissioner Reports Reduced GHG Emissions
30 January 2018: The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) has released the 2017 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Progress Report, showing that Ontario’s GHG emissions have dropped to the lowest level since reporting began in 1990, while gross domestic product (GDP) and population have continued to grow. The ECO is an independent, environmental watchdog for the province of Ontario.
ENVIRONMENT-AIR POLLUTION CDP Report: Companies Saved US$14 Billion with Emissions Cuts in 2017
29 January 2018: In 2017, major global companies significantly reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their supply chains, according to a report by the environmental disclosure platform CDP. The annual report on the global supply chain finds that companies such as Honda and Microsoft saved around US$14 billion as a result of emission reduction activities.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu OECD Report on Blended Finance Provides Recommendations for SDGs
29 January 2018: A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) looks at blended finance for the SDGs, and notes that 17 members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) engage in blended finance, although at different stages in terms of the range of instruments used and how blending is carried out. Between 2000 and 2016, donor governments set up 167 dedicated facilities that pool public financing for blending, and the number of new facilities grew every year.
One Planet Summit | Plenary Video Climate Chain Coalition Supports Blockchain Technology Use
22 January 2018: The UNFCCC Secretariat has initiated and facilitated the creation of the Climate Chain Coalition to encourage use of distributed ledger technology (DLT). DLT, or blockchain technology, enables the continual update of climate action information from a range of sources. It also supports open and transparent data sharing.
UN Photo/Mark Garten Unilever, DFID Partner for Low-income Households
18 January 2018: A partnership between Unilever and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has pledged £40 million to support market-based solutions that meet low-income household needs in developing countries, through a second phase of the TRANSFORM initiative.
Featured Image -204 EU Invests in Energy Efficiency and Environment, Reports Increased Energy Consumption
8 February 2018: The European Commission and the Board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced investments in environmental quality of life and building efficiency. Eurostat announced that Europe is lagging in its energy efficiency goals.
UN Photo/Mark Garten NAMA Update: Moldova Registers Twelve Actions for Support, Thailand Submits Unilateral NAMA
12 February 2018: This Update focuses on individual nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries and related support, events and activities for the months of December 2017 and January 2018. After a quieter period, January saw several countries entering NAMAs seeking external support in the UNFCCC Registry, with Moldova alone accounting for twelve.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Climate Finance Institutional Update: Progress in Portfolio Decarbonization, Green Bonds
12 February 2018: During the month of January 2018, climate financing institutions and experts took a look back at 2017, reporting growth in financing for the green economy, green bond markets and support to portfolio decarbonization. However, finance researchers continue to neglect climate finance and risk, according to academic findings.
UN Photo/Cia Pak Forum Promotes Global Engagement for SDGs
8 February 2018: UN Secretary-General António Guterres cautioned against rising inequality across the world, saying the feeling of being “left behind” undermines the confidence of people, communities and regions, in governments and international organizations like the UN, which ultimately results in increased instability. Guterres was speaking during the first Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development, where participants considered the theme, ‘Putting People and Planet at the Center.’
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth nrg4SD Reports on Regional Government Climate Change Adaptation
7 February 2018: The Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD) released a report titled, 'RegionsAdapt 2017 Report: Regions accelerating climate change adaptation.' The publication reviews data from 35 regional governments on the climate risks they face and available adaptation actions.
UN Photo/Evan Schneider UN Leaders Call for Accelerated Action on SDG 5.3
6 February 2018: On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), UN leaders underscored the role of eliminating FGM and empowering women and girls in achieving the SDGs. Leaders highlighted the role of political will, community engagement and targeted investment in changing practices and lives, stressing that FGM can and must be stopped.
ENVIRONMENT-AIR POLLUTION Kazakhstan Launches Online Platform for Emissions MRV
5 February 2018: The World Bank and the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan launched an online platform for monitoring, reporting and verifying emission sources and greenhouse gases (GHG). The platform is a critical component of Kazakhstan’s national emissions trading system (ETS), which was launched in 2013, and is the first of its kind in Central Asia.
URBANIZATION IPEEC 2017 Report Highlights Progress in Energy Efficiency
5 February 2018: The International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) has released its 2017 Annual Report, detailing the achievements of its six country-led task groups and nine work streams under the IPEEC Leading Programme.
Photo by IISD/ENB Experts Brief Governments on Global Economic Outlook
2 February 2018: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) briefed Member States on the current global economic situation, based on reports by DESA, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Experts presented the risk and opportunities of the economic global outlook, as well as policy suggestions to safeguard gains and ensure inclusive economic growth.
Photo by IISD/Lynn Wagner Platform to Galvanize Business Leadership on Ocean
2 February 2018: The UN Global Compact has announced the establishment of a ‘Business Action Platform for the Ocean,’ a three-year global programme bringing together a range of stakeholders to advance the ocean economy and sustainable development. The Platform will develop a business leadership framework focused on ocean growth, innovation and sustainability, with the aim of scaling up commitments and performance of companies.
Featured Image -161 UNESCO Tool Monitors Water Quality
2 February 2018: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has developed a tool to monitor water quality using Earth Observation. The tool - the International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) World Water Quality Portal - fosters understanding of the impacts of climate- and human-induced change on water security.
shipping Report Finds Market Opportunities for SDGs 10, 12, 13, 14
1 February 2018: A number of SDGs are at risk of missing their 2030 ambitions unless renewed efforts are undertaken, according to a report published by the UN Global Compact, DNV GL and Sustainia. The report titled, ‘Global Opportunity Report 2018,’ illustrates how sustainability challenges and risks can be viewed as opportunities, and focuses on four SDGs that may miss the 2030 deadline: Goals 10 (reduced inequalities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate action) and 14 (life below water).
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner European Court of Auditors Assesses EU Strategy to Combat Desertification
31 January 2018: The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has launched an assessment of the EU’s plans to combat desertification to determine “whether the risk of desertification in the EU is being effectively and efficiently addressed.” The first desertification audit will cover Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain, which are among 12 European Member States listed as “affected countries” under the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
UN Photo/R Marklin Carbon Pricing and Markets Update: Canada Implements National Carbon Pricing
29 January 2018: In January, Canada kicked-off its nation-wide carbon pricing strategy. In emissions trading scheme (ETS) news, the US state of New Jersey is rejoining a regional greenhouse gas (GHG) initiative after six years, and Kazakhstan launched its reformed ETS.
UN Photo/Lily Solmssen IDRC Reports on eHealth Projects in Developing Countries
29 January 2018: The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has documented a series of eHealth (electronic health) and mHealth (mobile health) projects it supported in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lebanon, Peru, and Viet Nam. It notes that these projects have yielded valuable lessons on innovation to tackle inequities, and illustrate ways to overcome common challenges faced by eHealth programs, including with regard to gender inequality and women's empowerment.
Photo by Neil Palmer (CIAT) Insurance Scheme to Protect Poor from Climate Risks
18 January 2018: A US$10 million insurance scheme will help up to four million poor people in Africa and Asia deal with challenges arising from climate disasters. Known as ARDIS - the African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme - the scheme has a credit line for disaster finance from the InsuResilience Investment Fund.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada Vigil India Workshop Addresses Infrastructure Resilience
16 January 2018: An international workshop in India addressed the Sendai Framework's target on resilient infrastructure. The workshop will provide input to the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) taking place in Mongolia in July 2018.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Small States Emphasize Finance, Partnerships
7 December 2017: Small States face a “triple trap” of climate impacts, high fossil fuel prices and high levels of indebtedness, according to discussions at the Small States Forum. Forum Chair Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, released the summary of the 2017 Forum.

Online Course for Policy Makers: Sustainable Energy for SIDS
5 February - 11 March 2018 | virtual
AHTEG on Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources
13-16 February 2018 | Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2018 Winter Youth Assembly
14-16 February 2018 | New York City, US
2nd Data Gaps Initiative Meeting (DGI) (G20 2018)
14-16 February 2018 | Paris, Ile-De-France, France
First Global Conference of Inter-agency Platform for Collaboration on Tax
14-16 February 2018 | New York City, US
7th Meeting of the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface
15-16 February 2018 | Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
World Sustainable Development Summit 2018
15-17 February 2018 | New Delhi, Delhi, India
Sustainable Energy Forum for East Africa
19-21 February 2018 | Kigali, Rwanda
SAICM Regional Meeting for Central and Eastern Europe
19-23 February 2018 | Lodz, Lodzkie, Poland
SWFI Institutional Investor Forum 2018
20-22 February 2018 | US
Working Across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area: From Aspiration to Action
20-22 February 2018 | Rome, Lazio, Italy
Intergovernmental Negotiations on Migration Compact - February 2018
20-23 February 2018 | New York City, US
Fourth Multi-stakeholder Hearing on Migration Global Compact
21 February 2018 | New York City, US
High-level Forum for National SDG Coordinators from European and CIS States
21-22 February 2018 | Minsk, Belarus
Energizing the 2030 Agenda: Global Preparatory Meeting for Review of SDG 7
21-23 February 2018 | Bangkok (Krung Thep), Thailand
World Bank Group Briefing: Maximizing Finance for Development
22 February 2018 | New York City, US