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Welcome to our April Newsletter!

Updates on Draft Indicators Report

Public consultation We have received an unexpectedly large number of comments on the draft report. All public comments received on the draft report have been posted online (here). A synthesis of the comments and a revised working draft of the report will be posted online during the first half of May.

UN side event – The April 4, 2014 side-event during a meeting of the Open Working Group was well attended. Member states and stakeholders provided comments on the draft report Indicators for Sustainable Development Goals.

Evaluating OWG’s 16 focus areas – SDSN has released a document mapping its potential and illustrative indicators to the 16 focus areas of the OWG. The document demonstrates that the SDSN indicator framework matches the OWG focus areas well. It will be updated periodically as indicator framework is strengthened and the OWG focus areas evolve.

Changes to the Goals and Targets proposed by the SDSN – A new document on our website summarizes the modifications made to the goals and targets proposed by the SDSN since our initial report in June 2013.

News from Regional and National SDSNs

Amazonia SDSN launched – The SDSN for the Amazon region was launched on March 18, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil. The network is hosted by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) and will coordinate a regional network of research centers, universities, NGOs, and businesses to identify and implement sustainable development solutions. A report of the launch proceeding highlights can be viewed here. For more information about the Amazonia SDSN, visit

SDSN Assembly launched – On April 24, 2014, the SDSN Assembly, comprising all member institutions of the SDSN, was launched. On the call, Jeffrey Sachs gave an update on the SDSN’s work on the post-2015 agenda, thematic groups, national and regional networks, solutions initiatives, and education initiatives. His presentation was followed by a question and answer session where participants asked about the SDSN’s work with various UN processes, proposals for new solutions initiatives, and the creation of new online education materials.

New Collaboration Between the Plastic Busters Solutions Initiative and the Mediterranea Expedition

The Mediterranea, a 5-year expedition through the Mediterranean, Black Sea and northern Red Sea, has invited Professor Cristina Fossi, leader of the Plastic Busters Solutions Initiative, to participate in the expedition contributing with her expertise on the field of marine plastic litter. Click here to learn more about the project and follow #PlasticBusters on Twitter for the latest updates.

SDSN Welcomes New Director of New York Office

The SDSN is very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Glenn Denning as Director of the New York Office of the SDSN. Glenn has more than 30 years of experience in applied research, project management, policy advising, and teaching in agriculture and sustainable development. He also serves as Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the MPA in Development Practice Program at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University.

SDSN at Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Workshop in Sustainable Development

On April 25, 2014, SDSN co-sponsored the 2014 IPWSD at Columbia University. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the SDSN, gave the keynote address on sustainable development research challenges. Laurence Tubiana, Founder of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and Leadership Council Co-Chair of SDSN, participated in a “Panel On The 5th IPCC Report.”

SDSN in the Media

Paul Polman in Guardian Sustainable Business – Challenging the corporate status quo – April 24, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs on Bloomberg TV (video) – Why We Need a Wealth Tax – April 23, 2014

Rajendra Pachauri in World Bank News – IPCC Chair: Delaying Climate Action Raises the Risks and Costs – April 21, 2014

Frances Beinecke in The Huffington Post – NRDC Action Fund and LCV Combine Forces to Represent the Public Interest in Politics (co-author) – April 17, 2014

Paul Polman in China Daily – Sustainability: A vital consideration from a commercial view – April 17, 2014

Amina J. Mohammed in The Broker – A new global partnership for a people-centred and planet-sensitive post-2015 agenda – April 8, 2014

Peter Bakker in The Huffington Post – The Battle for Sustainable Development Will Be Won or Lost in Cities – April 7, 2014

Andrew Steer – The Changing Landscape of Forest Management (co-author) – April 7, 2014

Paul Polman in The Times – Unilever boss urges his peers to go green – April 7, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs on Charlie Rose (video) – Global Warming Effects – April 1, 2014

Sultan Al Jaber – UAE Has Impressive Leadership Track Record in Creating Solutions to Reduce Emission – March 28, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs in Project Syndicate – Ukraine and the Crisis of International Law – March 24, 2014

Frances Beinecke in NRCD Switchboard – Cleaning Up Climate Change Polluting Is Cheaper and Easier than We Thought – March 21, 2014

Upcoming SDSN Events

  • April 29-May 1 – Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) Meeting | Paris, France
  • May 7-8 – Caribbean SDSN Launch | Kingston, Jamaica
  • May 15-16 – SDSN Leadership Council meeting | Beijing, China
  • May 17 – China SDSN Launch Event | Beijing, China
  • May 19-20 – Workshop on Sustainable Development Goals | Melbourne, Australia
  • June 27 – Turkish SDSN Launch Event | Istanbul, Turkey
  • July 7 – South Asia SDSN Launch Event | New Delhi, India
  • August 25-30 – 5th Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit (ISDS) | Ibadan, Nigeria | Click to view the announcement letter
  • September 17-18 – Sustainable Development Solutions Conference organized with MDP Consortium | New York, USA | Call for abstracts
  • September 19-20 – SDSN Leadership Council meeting | New York, USA

News from Our Partners

  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has received a record $4.43 billion in funding pledges from 30 donor countries to support developing countries’ efforts over the next four years to prevent global environmental degradation. Read the full press release here.
  • The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) has recently released a discussion paper “International Cooperation and Development: A Conceptual Overview.” Read the report here.
  • Future Earth seeks input on their 2014 Strategic Research Agenda international consultation to help identify the key challenges for global change science to address over the next 5 years. The survey is open until May 13, 2014.
  • GSK recently announced new strategic investments in Africa to increase access to medicines, build capacity and deliver sustainable growth. Read the full press release here.
  • The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) published its Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII) report, a major 3 year global project produced by a multi-sector, multi-company group. The report, which examines the engagement opportunities between cities and businesses, can be viewed here.
  • CIFAL Scotland, in partnership with Stakeholder Forum, is offering an e-learning opportunity “Introduction to the Post-2015 Development Agenda” through the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Virtual Learning Platform. The online course will run from May 5 – June 1; registration is open until May 1. Learn more about the course here.
  • Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) co-sponsored the study with CIFOR and the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn, which demonstrated the success of conservation incentive programs. View the paper here (Spanish).
  • Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE), in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Bank, developed the operational framework for Vietnam’s new ecosystem-based adaptation for climate change. Learn more about the project here.
  • Case Consortium @ Columbia in partnership with the Global Association of MDP Programs is proud to announce a free case “Côte Sud Initiative: Integrated Development in Haiti”, which takes students behind the scenes of the Côte Sud Initiative (CSI) development project. The entire multimedia case can be viewed here.
  • Verizon’s 2014 Powerful Answers Award will award a number of prizes totaling $6 million to entrepreneurs from around the world, focusing on the best new solutions in four core areas: education, healthcare, sustainability, and transportation. Deadline for submissions is June 30; winners will be announced in January 2015.