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GUEST ARTICLES
Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment
Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting Provides Impetus to Focus on Economic Opportunities of Climate Action
Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment
The Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting provided new impetus to make 2019 a year to focus on the economic opportunities of climate action. The UAE was proud to host the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting, the precursor to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, presided over the gathering, sending a clear signal that we are once again raising our level of ambition.

POLICY BRIEFS
Elsa Tsioumani, Ph.D., Thematic Expert on Biodiversity (Greece)
Why Biodiversity Matters: Mapping the Linkages between Biodiversity and the SDGs
Elsa Tsioumani, Ph.D., Thematic Expert on Biodiversity (Greece)
Biodiversity is a concept difficult to understand or appreciate, let alone regulate and communicate. Defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including … diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems,” the term attempts to reflect the variation of, and interaction among, all life on Earth.

FEATURED
Photo Credit: Kiara Worth/IISD Seven Countries Present Second Voluntary National Review of SDG Implementation
15 July 2019: Seven UN Member States reported on progress in implementing the SDGs in their countries, during the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Ministers from Azerbaijan, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Turkey presented their voluntary national reviews (VNRs), and addressed questions from other Member States as well as stakeholder groups.
Featured Image-255 Institutional Finance Update: Addressing Climate-relevant Expenditures and Funding Gaps
11 July 2019: In June and July 2019, multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the World Bank Group reported on progress towards increasing climate finance, as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved funding for ten new projects and programmes. “Negative expenditures” on the climate in the form of fossil fuel subsidies were highlighted in a joint report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) raising concerns about a global slowdown in reducing fossil fuel subsidies. Informed by this report, G20 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
Photo by Anastasia Palagutina on Unsplash 2019 SDG Report Urges Deeper, More Ambitious Response
9 July 2019: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) released ‘The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019,’ which finds progress in a number of areas, but stresses that “monumental challenges” are making progress slow and uneven. The annual report concludes that a “much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed” to unleash the economic and social transformation necessary to achieve the SDGs.
Photo by Anastasia Palagutina on Unsplash Abu Dhabi Meeting Takes Stock of Progress Ahead of UN Climate Action Summit
1 July 2019: The Abu Dhabi Preparatory Meeting for the UN Secretary General’s UN Climate Action Summit brought together representatives from government, business, local authorities, civil society, the UN system and youth to take stock of progress ahead of the Summit. The meeting assessed progress across the Summit’s nine action areas, and identified and developed proposals for initiatives for announcement at the Summit.
Photo Credit: Kiara Worth/IISD "No Accidental Outcomes": SDG 16 Review Shows Need for Policy
12 July 2019: For the first time since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, governments and stakeholders conducted an in-depth review of SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. Lead discussant Edward Thomas Porokwa, Pastoralists Indigenous NGOs Forum, said a one-size-fits-all strategy for SDG 16 implementation is guaranteed to leave indigenous peoples behind.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth HLPF Participants Reflect on Four Years of VNRs
15 July 2019: As part of the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), countries, UN officials and stakeholders shared views on the four first years of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), during which 142 countries presented reports. The discussion highlighted the VNRs' areas of added value, challenges and lessons learned, as well as specific initiatives taken at the regional and national levels to make progress on the 2030 Agenda.
UN Photo/Kibae Park Delegates Discuss GSDR Ahead of SDG Summit
11 July 2019: A thematic review during the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) addressed the science-policy interface (SPI), with several UN Member States welcoming the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). The co-chairs of the group of scientists that produced the GSDR briefed participants.

NEWS
Photo Credit: Kiara Worth/IISD Report Examines Progress Towards SDG Target 16.2 on Violence against Children
16 July 2019: The Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children launched a report addressing SDG target 16.2, which calls for ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children. Goal 16 is being reviewed during the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) taking place from 9-18 July 2019, in New York, US.
Featured Image -304 SDG 16 Side Event Highlights Linkages with 24 Other SDG Targets
16 July 2019: An event on the sidelines of the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) discussed an expanded version of SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) that reflects interlinkages with other SDGs by combining the original SDG 16 targets with 24 additional targets from other SDGs. The expanded concept is known as SDG 16+.
Featured Image -200 Moving from Words to Action? HLPF Assesses Progress on Goal 17
15 July 2019: The UN High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF) held its in-depth review of SDG 17 on means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda. The session marked the completion of the series of reviews of six SDGs selected for 2019: Goals 4 (quality education), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), 13 (climate action), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17. SDG 17 is the only Goal reviewed every year.
UN Photo/John Isaac UN Member States Agree on International Migration Review Forum Modalities
15 July 2019: The co-facilitators of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations on the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) announced that UN Member State have reached agreement on the format and organizational aspects of the new Forum. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is expected to take action on the draft resolution on 19 July 2019.
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner ICAO/FAO Initiative Links Soil Management to Reduced Emissions in the Aviation Sector
10 July 2019: Despite technological and operational improvements planned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the international aviation sector, which contributes to 1.3% of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, is not on track to meet its emissions reduction targets. The proposed Recarbonization of Global Soils (RECSOIL) Facility aims to curb aviation sector CO2 emissions by supporting farming practices that boost soil organic carbon (SOC) for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
UN Photo/Gill Fickling NAP Global Network Summit Highlights Ways Business and Government Can Partner to Advance Adaptation
9 July 2019: The National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network hosted a summit to help developing countries engage the private sector in their efforts to respond to the impacts of climate change. In preparation for the summit, the NAP Global Network published five blog posts on engaging with the private sector.
Yokohama, Japan /  Viviane Okubo on Unsplash Japan, UNEP Partner on New Mercury Project
9 July 2019: Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have announced a new USD 3 million project to protect the environment and human health from the adverse impacts of mercury.
Photo credit: TAP Network Civil Society Report Provides Guidance on Crafting “Spotlight Reports”
8 July 2019: The Transparency, Accountability, and Participation (TAP) Network and partners have compiled guidance on producing civil society “spotlight reports” on SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). The TAP Network launched the report at the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), to coincide with the HLPF’s in-depth review of SDG 16.
Featured Image - 241 SIWI Policy Briefs Highlight Water Diplomacy, Water Resource Management in Achieving SDGs
8 July 2019: The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) has published two policy briefs on water resource management ahead of the 2019 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The briefs highlight the role of water diplomacy in resolving conflict and promoting joint management of shared freshwater resources, and the role of water management in achieving the SDGs. SIWI underscores the need for trust building and better cooperation among water actors, and for linking available technical knowledge with political discussions and decision making.
UN Photo/Martine Perret SIWI Launches Source-to-Sea Guide for Practitioners
5 July 2019: The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) launched a guide for water resource managers and planners, which outlines a management framework for treating coastal and inland water-related ecosystems as an undivided whole. The guide highlights the benefits of source-to-sea management in linking implementation of SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) with SDG 14 (life below water) to address issues such as land-based sources of marine pollution, fragmentation of wildlife habitat, and overall degradation of freshwater, terrestrial and marine environments.
Photo by Andrzej Kryszpiniuk IOC Assembly Welcomes Progress on SDG 14 Indicators, Supports Cooperation on Ocean-Climate Nexus
4 July 2019: The 30th session of the Assembly of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) reviewed progress on the Commission’s work, and agreed on future priorities. The Assembly welcomed the Commission’s progress on elevating awareness on SDG 14 (life below water) and the Commission’s role in developing accelerated methodologies for SDG 14 indicators.
Photo by American Public Power Association REN21 Report Calls for “Ambitious and Sustained” Policies to Make Energy Systems Sustainable
27 June 2019: Although renewable energy use is on the rise, the lack of “ambitious and sustained policies” is hindering the sector’s potential contribution to reducing emissions and achieving climate and development goals, according to a report published by REN21, a global policy network of experts that provides up-to-date information to shape the energy debate.
Featured Image - 242 Concerns on Financing Sustainable Development Cited Ahead of UNGA Dialogue
12 July 2019: The UN’s Interagency Task Force on Financing for Development (FfD) held a discussion on the findings of its 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report (FSDR). Meeting on the sidelines of the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), speakers drew attention to technology, data and digital finance, which will be in focus in the 2020 edition of the report.
Featured Image -304 Progress in Fight Against Inequalities in HLPF Spotlight
11 July 2019: UN Member States and stakeholders reviewed progress towards SDG 10, which calls for reducing inequalities based on income, age, sex and other categories, as well as reducing inequalities between countries, which are driven by migration, development assistance and representation in international bodies, among other factors.
Mlondolozi Mbolo/Decent Work Regulation UNDP Multi-Dimensional Poverty Report Reveals Wide Inequalities Among the Poor
11 July 2019: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has released its 2019 report on multi-dimensional poverty, which uses ten indicators to assess the severity and nature of deprivation around the world. The report goes beyond income to consider indicators of health, education, threat of violence, quality of work and standard of living, thus providing a single "headline measure" of countries' progress on at least seven different SDGs.
Photo courtesy of Graciela Metternicht HLPF Side Event Highlights Community-based Model of Landscape Management
15 July 2019: An event on the sidelines of the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) highlighted the ways in which a community-based model of landscape management can enhance the resilience of local ecosystems, protect biodiversity and support sustainable livelihoods of rural communities.
UN Photo/Mark Garten Panels Discuss 2030 Agenda under G20 Japanese Presidency, Reveal Priorities for Saudi Arabia’s Presidency in 2020
15 July 2019: An event on the sidelines of the 2019 UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) focused on the G20’s role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provided insights into the G20 development agenda.
UN Photo/Mark Garten Strengthening Science-Policy Interface Can Help Meet Climate, Sustainable Development Goals
12 July 2019: On the sidelines of the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), a side event addressed the need to strengthen the science-policy interface (SPI) to integrate climate change, resilience and the SDGs.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth Transparency International Calls for Annual HLPF Review of SDG 16
12 July 2019: Transparency International (TI) has suggested that SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) should be reviewed every year. To date, only one of the SDGs, Goal 17 on partnerships, is reviewed annually at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The organization also calls on the UN to set "concrete, advanced indicators" to measure progress on SDG 16.
Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash VNR Lab Discusses National Follow-up, Challenges and Way Forward
12 July 2019: Delegates discussed how national governments have followed up on their voluntary national reviews (VNRs) during the sixth VNR Lab of the 2019 UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Presenters and attendees outlined follow-up experiences, challenges encountered during VNR preparations, and ideas for the way forward.
Photo by Markus Spiske HLPF Side Event Explores Impacts of Digital Revolution on Sustainable Development
12 July 2019: An event on the sidelines of the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) addressed opportunities and challenges regarding the digital revolution and sustainable development. The side event was presented by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and The World in 2050 (TWI2050) research initiative.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth HLPF Event Reinforces Synergies Between Human Rights, 2030 Agenda
12 July 2019: On the sidelines of the 2019 UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), countries, UN entities and stakeholders shared views and experiences on ways to strengthen linkages between human rights and the 2030 Agenda. Some participants remarked that human rights are an intrinsic part of sustainable development, and said the 2030 Agenda is a human rights agenda.
Photo by Lynn Wagner Five Years On: Civil Society Networks Outline Principles for Next HLPF Cycle
11 July 2019: Looking ahead to the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) review of the functions of the HLPF, as well as the five-year milestone of SDG implementation, an event organized on the sidelines of HLPF 2019 shared civil society perspectives on how to organize the upcoming review and improve stakeholder engagement in the process.
UN Photo/JC McIlwaine HLPF Side Event Highlights Critical Role of Water in Integrated SDG Action
11 July 2019: A side event exploring the critical role of water in the realization of the SDGs under review at the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) highlighted how reliable water supplies help to achieve a number of SDGs, including: productivity and job security (SDG 8); reduced poverty (SDG 1); human rights, peace and justice (SDG 16); and reduced inequality, especially for marginalized and poor populations, women, and those affected by migration and conflict (SDGs 5 and 10).
Photo by Patrick Hendry HLPF Side Event Explores Role of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform in Achieving Multiple SDGs
10 July 2019: A side event at the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) discussed how fossil fuel subsidy (FFS) reform can help to scale up climate ambition (SDG 13) and contribute to achievement of several other SDGs, including poverty reduction (SDG 1), health and well-being (SDG 3), energy (SDG 7) and responsible consumption and production (SDG 12).
Photo courtesy of SDG Fund WHO Event Highlights Opportunities to Accelerate Health-related SDG Targets
10 July 2019: A side event convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the sidelines of the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) raised awareness of the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (GAP) as an instrument to support countries to strengthen their healthcare systems and accelerate the achievement of health-related targets under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
UN Photo/Marco Dormino Research and Partnerships Contribute to Synergies Between 2030 Agenda, Agenda 2063 and Paris Agreement in Africa
9 July 2019: An event held on the sidelines of the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) explored the interlinkages between the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs, the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want’ and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Featured Image -119 ODI Paper Outlines Ways to Address SDG Synergies and Trade-offs
July 2019: In a working paper released by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), David Donoghue and Amina Khan examine the implications of synergies and trade-offs among the SDGs. They stress that realization of the 2030 Agenda depends on the extent to which governments can manage trade-offs, mitigate their "more harmful impacts" and keep countries on track in overall terms.
Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov South African Hub Offers Recommendations for Cloud Computing and SDGs
July 2019: The South African SDG Hub at the University of Pretoria has released a policy brief that explores the relationship between science, technology and innovation (STI) and the SDGs. Titled, ‘Cloud Computing and the Sustainable Development Goals in South Africa: An Opportunity to Accelerate Progress,’ the brief focuses on the potentially transformative impact of cloud computing.
Featured Image - 171 Paper Evaluates Impact of Research Method on Global Assessment Results
July 2019: As the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) considers how close countries are to achieving the SDGs, a new research paper explores the impact that the research method has on assessments of countries’ relative positions.
Featured Image -301 Circle Economy Report Highlights Role of Local Governments in Enabling Circular Economy
June 2019: A report by the Circle Economy, a membership-based organization, has provided a range of recommendations for municipalities to promote the transition from a linear to a circular economy. The report, based on research in several European cities, argues that municipalities and governments are responsible for creating conditions for the circular economy to thrive, and suggests that such a transition could create 700,000 new jobs in the EU by the year 2020.

CURRENT & UPCOMING EVENTS SEE MORE »
Open-ended Online Discussions on the Post-2020 Implementation Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Bio...
8-19 July 2019 | virtual
25th Session of the ISA Council (Part II)
15-19 July 2019 | Kingston, Jamaica
25th Session of the ISA Assembly
22-26 July 2019 | Kingston, Jamaica
Species on the Move 2019
22-26 July 2019 | Limpopo {greater region}, South Africa
Pacific Community Workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
23-25 July 2019 | Noumea, New Caledonia
Twelfth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the Regular Process for Global Reporting...
29-30 July 2019 | New York City, US
UAE SDG Photography Award
31 July 2019 | virtual
50th Session of the IPCC
2-6 August 2019 | Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
International Youth Day 2019
12 August 2019 | worldwide
CITES CoP18
17-28 August 2019 | Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week 2019
19-23 August 2019 | Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Third Session of the Intergovernmental Conference on BBNJ
19-30 August 2019 | New York City, US
2nd Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific Region
21-22 August 2019 | Fiji
Regional Technical Expert Meeting on Circular Economy and Waste-to-Energy
23 August 2019 | Montevideo, Uruguay
31st UN-Water Meeting
23-24 August 2019 | Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
G7 Leaders’ Summit 2019
24-26 August 2019 | Biarritz, Aquitaine, France