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Featured Image -179 An Annotated Guide to the UN Secretary-General’s Reform Proposals
Ana Maria Lebada, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Romania)
One year after the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a policy instrument to align the UN development system with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review – QCPR 2017-2020), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres advanced detailed proposals for reforms to the UN development system, in line with the QCPR mandates. This process is part of the Secretary-General’s broader reform agenda, which also includes reform of the peace and security architecture and management reform.
Photo by IISD/ENB SDG Knowledge Weekly: Davos, Inequality and Development Finance
Adam Fishman, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)
This week’s brief reviews issues being discussed at the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is holding its annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland from 23-26 January 2018. The meeting’s theme, 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,' acknowledges political, economic, social and environmental challenges facing the global community.

Marc Hernandez, MA Candidate, George Washington University, certified personal trainer and nutrition expert Rosemary Manu, MA Candidate, George Washington University
Growing Greener Cities: Urban Agriculture and the Impact on SDG 11
Marc Hernandez, MA Candidate, George Washington University, certified personal trainer and nutrition expert; and Rosemary Manu, MA Candidate, George Washington University
The focus of sustainable agriculture tends to be on rural areas and conventional solutions to development. As modernization engulfs both the developed and developing world, it is critical to address the importance of urban agriculture.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth Initiatives Summon Youth Engagement on Climate, Water and Technology
Nathalie Risse, Ph.D., Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Canada)
January 2018: The voices and vision of youth are informing SDG-related discussions on technology, innovation, climate, and water. The World Bank Group Youth Summit 2017 brought together World Bank experts and innovative thinkers between the ages of 18 and 35, and awarded youth teams for projects related to technology and innovation. In the lead-up to the 8th World Water Forum, events such as the Rumo a Brasília (Towards Brasilia) 2018 are involving youth representatives in discussions on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the need for young people to help solve water-related challenges. Also on water, the ‘Youth Voices → Policy Choices’ initiative will select youth representatives to present their vision on water to European elected officials at the 24th session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP 24), in December 2018.

Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth NASA Confirms Methane Increase Linked to Oil and Gas Industry
19 January 2018: The oil and gas industry is primarily responsible for the increase in methane emissions, according to a study led by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which explains that methane emission sources have historically been underestimated. The increase equals around 25 teragrams (25 trillion grams) per year since 2006, a finding that underscores the need to transition to renewable energy sources in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner Stakeholders, Audit Community Discuss Government Accountability for SDGs
18 January 2018: During a webinar on accountability for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) implementation, stakeholders and representatives from the government audit community discussed the role of audits in making progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Participants also highlighted national experiences on auditing SDG preparedness, and SDG initiatives undertaken by the audit community.

UN Photo/Manuel Elías Governments Respond to Secretary-General’s Development System Reform Proposals
23 January 2018: UN Member States provided feedback to the detailed proposals for reforms to the UN development system advanced by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as presented in his second report on the matter released on 20 December 2017. In a meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), governments engaged in an interactive dialogue with the Secretary-General and debated the way forward.
UN Photo/Kibae Park Eleven Global Corporations Pledge to Recycle All Packaging by 2025
22 January 2018: Eleven global corporations announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, that they will ensure all their packaging is reused, recycled or composted by the year 2025. The companies are working on this transition with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a UK-registered charity whose mission is to accelerate the shift to a circular economy. The companies that made the pledge are behind many household consumer brands and include: Amcor, Ecover, Evian, L’Oréal, Mars, Marks & Spencer, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Walmart, and Werner & Mertz.
UN Photo/Pasqual Gorriz RE100 Report Shows Corporate Progress Towards 100% Renewable Energy
22 January 2018: A report released by The Climate Group and CDP shows that multilateral corporations are making progress towards their 100% renewable energy pledges, as part of the RE100 initiative.
Photo by IISD/ENB External Team Advises UNGA President on Sustaining Peace, Strengthening UNGA
21 January 2018: UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Miroslav Lajčák met with a Team of External Advisors to discuss the UNGA’s work during its 72nd session, strengthening the UNGA, and the overall efficiency of the UN related to sustaining peace and preventing conflict.
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner Global Goals Website Creates Target-level Icons
17 January 2018: In addition to icons for each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ‘The Global Goals for Sustainable Development’ website now includes icons for each of the SDG targets. The communication initiative notes that it is time to turn worldwide enthusiasm for the SDGs into action, and the targets are meant to guide engagement on a personal level.
Featured Image - 93 UN Agencies and Partners Explore Lasting Solutions to Somali Drought
17 January 2018: The office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia launched the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan with a call for long-term solutions for drought, conflict and displacement. Various country programmes and partnerships have announced similar initiatives in recent months, aimed at reducing the vulnerability of drought-affected populations and contributing to improved resilience.
UN Photo/Mark Garten Initiatives Highlight Innovations of Past and Present to Tackle Water-related Challenges
January 2018: While the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is working to create a network of museums to understand the evolution and raise awareness of water use and conservation, an 'International Water Summit' (IWS) and preparations towards World Water Week have emphasized the future, in particular, technologies and linkages for meeting water-related challenges and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Photo by Neil Palmer (CIAT) ITPGRFA Opens Fourth Call for Proposals under Benefit-sharing Fund
15 December 2017: The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) has opened a call for proposals for projects to be funded through its Benefit-sharing Fund, to enable farmers in developing countries to use and conserve adapted plant varieties.
UN Photo/Evan Schneider World Bank Loans Support Water Supply Services, Wastewater Treatment
22 January 2018: Through in-country projects, the World Bank is supporting efforts towards improved wastewater management and water supply. In one such project, the World Bank loaned US$120 million to the Government of India to improve water supply services in peri-urban areas of Uttarakhand state in northern India, helping ensure a minimum 16-hour water supply that will meet the government's water quality standards.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth Major Fashion Labels Set Targets Towards Circular Fashion System
18 January 2018: More than 60 global fashion companies have set targets in support of a more sustainable fashion industry including transitioning towards a more circular fashion system. The targets address actions to foster circular design strategies and to increase the volume of garments that are collected, resold and reused.
UN Photo/Nasim Fekrat CDP Finds Auto Industry Must Go Low-Carbon to Survive
18 January 2018: The global auto industry must rapidly adapt to technological changes and strengthen environmental regulations or risk falling behind, according to a report by CDP. The report ranks 16 of the world’s largest publicly listed auto companies on readiness for a low carbon transition.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth Initiatives Announced under Third International Year of the Reef
17 January 2018: On the occasion of the third International Year of the Reef (IYOR), the UN, governments and non-government organizations reiterated their commitment to protect coral reefs. The IYOR aims to strengthen global awareness of the value of coral reef ecosystems, promote partnerships, and identify and implement effective management strategies for the conservation, sustainable use and resilience of reef ecosystems.
UN Photo/Cia Pak UN Secretary-General Presents 12 Priorities for 2018
16 January 2018: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has presented his priorities for 2018, identifying 12 areas of concern where action is required immediately. He also provided details on a system-wide strategy for gender equality.
ENVIRONMENT-AIR POLLUTION PAGE Shows Way to Green Economic Transition through Industrial Policy
January 2018: Green industrial policy can help in the transformation to a green economy, and has social, environmental and economic co-benefits, according to a report published as part of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE). The authors outline approaches towards an economy that balances environmental sustainability and wealth creation.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth Trial Landscapes Investment and Finance Toolkit Launched
January 2018: EcoAgriculture Partners and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Netherlands have launched a trial version of the Landscape Investment and Finance Toolkit (LIFT). The toolkit aims to help multi-stakeholder platforms access financing for integrated landscape management plans.
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner OECD Review Calls on Finland to Address Development Aid Decline
December 2017: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a review on the performance of Finland, including the implementation of its development cooperation policy and delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in partner countries. The assessment shows that Finland’s development aid has declined sharply over 2016, and it recommends setting plans to restore its foreign aid budget, to continue making impacts through development aid programs.
Peter Luethi, Biovision Foundation Agricultural Ministers Call for Action on Sustainable Livestock Production for SDG Implementation
20 January 2018: Agricultural Ministers and representatives of international organizations participating in the tenth Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) stressed the need for action towards more sustainable, responsible and efficient livestock production and animal husbandry to address global challenges, including SDG 2 (Zero Hunger); SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being); and SDG 13 (Climate Action).

Second Africa-EU Symposium on Renewable Energy Research and Innovation (RERIS 2018)
23-26 January 2018 | Maseru, Lesotho
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018
23-26 January 2018 | Davos, Graubunden, Switzerland
Expert Group Meeting: Advancing the 2030 Agenda: Interlinkages and Common Themes at the HLPF 2018
25-26 January 2018 | New York City, US
Second Conference of the Parties to the Bamako Convention
28-30 January 2018 | Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Forty-sixth Session of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf
29 January 2018 | New York City, US
Data Gaps Initiative Meeting (DGI) (G20 2018)
29-30 January 2018 | Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
Workshop on Risk Mitigation in Renewable Energy Investments in Africa
29-30 January 2018 | Nairobi, Kenya
SAICM Regional Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean
29-31 January 2018 | Panama City, Panama
56th Session of the Commission for Social Development
29 January - 7 February 2018 | New York City, US
Cuba Sustainable Energy Forum 2018
30-31 January 2018 | Havana, Ciudad De La Habana, Cuba
ECOSOC Youth Forum 2018
30-31 January 2018 | New York City, US
Session Proposals for UN World Data Forum 2018 Due
31 January 2018 | virtual
Regional Workshop on Geothermal Financing and Risk Mitigation in Africa
31 January - 1 February 2018 | Nairobi, Kenya
28th UN-Water Meeting
1-2 February 2018 | Rome, Lazio, Italy
Inputs Due for 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR)
2 February 2018 | virtual
World Wetlands Day 2018
2 February 2018 | worldwide