The Global Thematic Consultation on Environmental Sustainability culminated in a Leadership Meeting in San José, Costa Rica, from 18-19 March 2013.
The meeting, which was co-convened by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and co-hosted by the Governments of Costa Rica and France, aimed to stimulate creative thinking on how to reflect environmental sustainability within the post-2015 agenda.
21 March 2013: The Global Thematic Consultation on Environmental Sustainability culminated in a Leadership Meeting in San José, Costa Rica, from 18-19 March 2013. The meeting, which was co-convened by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and co-hosted by the Governments of Costa Rica and France, aimed to stimulate creative thinking on how to best reflect environmental sustainability in a multi-dimensional context within the post-2015 agenda.
The meeting, which was attended by over 100 participants, reviewed the results of the first phase of the Consultation and exchanged views on areas of consensus and areas for further dialogue. Participants met in plenary sessions, working groups and breakout sessions.
The working group on “Capitalizing on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and MDG achievements and addressing the gaps” convened on the first day. On MDG framing and achievements, participants discussed inter alia: elusive progress on environmental sustainability; lack of recognition that environmental sustainability underpins achievement of other MDGs; and measuring success at the national level. On the content of the MDGs, participants recalled a lack of thorough preparation and strong political will to include environmental sustainability, resulting in a narrow focus on conservation and exclusion of climate change, natural capital, oceans and sustainable consumption and production. On application of the MDGs, participants discussed the need for, inter alia: a universal and holistic approach; an accountability framework; and institutional and planning capacity. Participants expressed common support for responsible global consumption, an equitable green economy, re-visiting economic models and access to justice.
The working group on “Addressing environmental sustainability in the post-2015 agenda” convened on the second day. Five breakout groups discussed: protecting global commons while respecting national development; country typologies, including that typologies should be minimized and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be universal; building from the local level, including recognizing community-based initiatives and traditional knowledge and replicating local efforts through networks; governance, human rights, peace and security; and inequality and inter-generational issues.
Summarizing the meeting, George Bouma, UNDP, emphasized a key focus on interlinkages in the post-2015 agenda. He also noted the meeting showed “plenty of divergence,” mirroring the diversity of views in online discussions. Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP, said new questions will be posed to continue online discussions over the next six weeks. She said expected outputs include: a Co-Chairs’ summary; a Consultation summary as input to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP); and a report synthesizing the 74 national, 11 thematic consultations and online discussions, to provide input to the Secretary-General’s report for the September 2013 Special Event on the MDGs. [UNEP News] [UNDP News] [Helen Clark’s Statement] [IISD RS Coverage]