Welcome to our May Newsletter!
SDSN Leadership Council Meeting in Beijing
On May 15-16, 2014, the SDSN Leadership Council convened in Beijing at the invitation of Tsinghua University. The meeting focused on the SDSN contribution to the post-2015 processes and the preparations of the 2015 climate conference in Paris, building the national and regional networks, and expanding the online education initiatives. Presentations from the meeting are available here.
At the invitation of Chen Jining, President of Tsinghua University, a second meeting was held to prepare the launch of the China SDSN scheduled for November 2014 and to review lessons from National and Regional SDSNs in other parts of the world. Senior representatives from universities and research institutions joined the meeting: the China Academy of Social Sciences, Development Research Council, Beijing Normal, Nankai, Peking, Shandong, Tongji, Tsinghua, and the Columbia Global Centers | East Asia. The China Business Council on Sustainable Development also participated.
Leadership Council Side Events
Beijing Health Forum – On May 13, 2013, the SDSN in collaboration with Peking University, WHO China, and the Columbia Global Centers | East Asia held a health forum at Peking University focusing on the challenges of expanding and financing quality health coverage in China. Keynote presentations were made by former Chinese Minister of Health Chen Zhu and Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Redefining the Role of Business for Sustainable Development – On May 14, 2014, the WBCSD, the CBCSD, and the SDSN convened a meeting in Beijing to discuss how Chinese business can contribute to sustainable development. The groups agreed to work closely with the China SDSN and to organize periodic meetings to discuss long-term pathways to sustainable development in China. A first meeting will be convened in late 2014 to discuss deep decarbonization pathways for China with business leaders.
Pathways to Sustainable Agriculture in China – On May 14, 2014, the SDSN in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, and the China Agricultural University (CAU), held a meeting in Beijing, China, to discuss opportunities for collaboration. Meeting participants agreed to develop a national pathway for sustainable agricultural intensification in China under the umbrella of the SDSN.
Sustainable Urbanization in China – On May 14, 2014, the SDSN in partnership with Columbia Global Centers | East Asia, UN Habitat and United Cities, and Local Governments (UCLG) hosted an expert roundtable, entitled “Learning Lessons From Sustainable Urbanization in China and Encouraging Progress through Sustainable Development Goals.” A detailed event report including presentations can be viewed here.
Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources – On May 14, 2014, the SDSN co-hosted a workshop in Beijing on sustainable development and extractive industries with the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The goal of the workshop was to explore ways of enhancing the developmental impact of natural resources, particularly in Africa. A detailed event report including presentations can be viewed here.
The Challenges of Social Inclusion – On May 17, 2014, the SDSN, in partnership with Beijing Normal University, hosted an expert roundtable entitled “The Challenges of Social Inclusion.” The meeting explored lessons from China’s experiences of reducing inequality and social exclusion. A detailed event report including presentations can be viewed here.
Laurence Tubiana Nominated as France’s Special Representative for COP21
The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has nominated Laurence Tubiana, Co-Chair of the SDSN Leadership Council, as Special Representative for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP-21). The announcement (in French) is available here.
Revised Working Draft of Indicators Report Released
SDSN has released a revised working draft of the report “Indicators for Sustainable Development Goals”, which can be viewed here. Additionally, synthesis and full database of all comments received from the 6-week public consultation can be found here. These indicators have been incorporated into our new, detailed pages on SDSN’s proposed goals and targets.
SDSN Side Event for Open Working Group Side: Examining the Evidence Base for the 16 OWG Focus Areas
On May 5, 2014, SDSN, in partnership with the Governments of Bhutan, Colombia, Denmark, Rwanda, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland, hosted a side event at the Open Working Group (OWG) to discuss the evidence base for the 16 focus areas. The presentations and supplementary notes are available here.
Potential for Regional Use of East Africa’s Natural Gas
The Sustainable Engineering Lab (SEL) at the Earth Institute has released an SDSN Briefing Paper on “Potential for Regional Use of East Africa’s Natural Gas”.
2nd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice
The Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice Programs (MDP), in collaboration with the SDSN, will hold the 2nd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice (ICSDP) on September 17-18, 2014, at Columbia University in New York City. Proposals are welcome across 12 SDSN thematic areas and must be submitted via the form on the conference website by May 30, 2014. For questions please write to ICSDP@globalmdp.org.
News from Regional and National SDSNs
Caribbean SDSN launch: On May 7-8, 2014, the SDSN Caribbean was launched at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica, under the auspices of Prime Minster Portia Simpson-Miller. UWI Vice Chancellor E. Nigel Harris, Jeffrey D. Sachs, and UN Resident Coordinator Arun Kashyap also participated in the launch, which saw 14 presentations of possible solutions initiatives. The launch was covered in Jamaica Observer.
SDSN Australia/Pacific – On May 19-21, 2014, SDSN Australia/Pacific and the Monash Sustainability Institute organized a Workshop on Sustainable Development Goals; the SDSN Youth Solutions Launch Event; a keynote address by Jeffrey D. Sachs on “Australia in the Age of Sustainable Development”; and the launch of “How Australia can thrive in a low carbon world: Pathways to prosperity in 2050”. Learn more about the Australia Deep Decarbonization Pathway here. During his visit, Sachs was interviewed by The Business, AM, and The Age.
SDSN Germany – The network has announced the first members of its Leadership Council, which will be chaired by Dirk Messner, head of the German Development Institute, and Klaus Töpfer, head of IASS.
Plastic Busters Mediterranean Research Expedition
The researchers under the Mediterranean Plastic Busters solutions initiative have joined the Mediterranea Cultural and Scientific expedition in combatting the presence of plastics in the Mediterranean Sea. During this expedition, Plastic Busters will recover data on the presence of microplastics and their impacts on marine life from the region between Bari and Otranto Puglia. Read more about the expedition here.
Fourth Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) Country Team Meeting
On April 30- May 2, 2014, the DDPP held its fourth in-person meeting in Paris with over 40 participants, representing the 15 country teams as well as partners from international organizations and research institutions. The DDPP report will be launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on July 8, 2014.
SDSN at Abu Dhabi Ascent
On May 4, 2014, several members of the SDSN Leadership Council addressed the Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting in preparation of the Climate Leaders’ Summit on September 23, including Paul Polman, Sultan Al Jaber, Christiana Figueres, Laurence Tubiana, Peter Bakker, along with Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the SDSN.
SDSN in the Media
Jeffrey Sachs in Project Syndicate – Our Last Chance for a Safe Planet – May 28, 2014
Jeffrey Sachs in Project Syndicate – Why Bill Gates Gets It Wrong – May 23, 2014
Frank Jotzo & Anna Skarbek – Australia has nothing to fear from deep global carbon cuts – May 22, 2014
James Hansen in WBUR – Antarctic Melt And Calls For Action – May 20, 2014
Bineta Diop in CNN – Building peace in Africa? Give power to women – May 19, 2014
Jeffrey Sachs in CCTV – Poverty reduction will remain at core (video) – May 15, 2014
Laurence Tubiana in The Guardian – EU must embrace its role as a world leader (signatory) – May 14, 2014
Andrew Steer in Huffington Post – 3 Tales of Hope for a Low-Carbon Future – May 13, 2014
Andrew Steer in Eco-Business – Why businesses should put sustainability at the heart of decision-making – May 13, 2014
Frances Beinecke in Switchboard – Climate Change Hits the Grocery Store and Dinner Plate – May 8, 2014
Winnie Byanyima in Oxfam – Growth in Africa undermined by rapidly increasing inequality – May 7, 2014
Feike Sijbesma in Bloomberg – DSM Says Nutrition Supplement Market Shows Signs of Improvement – May 6, 2014
Jeffrey Sachs in The New York Times – At the U.N., a Free-for-All on Setting Global Goals – May 6, 2014
Sultan Al Jaber in Gulf News – Governments urged to aspire towards sustainability – May 5, 2014
K. Srinath Reddy in Yahoo News UK – Healthier Choices ‘Could Save 40m’ (video) – May 3, 2014
Paul Polman in Business Times – A quite revolution – May 3, 2014
Jeffrey Sachs (signatory) – Statement of the Joint PAS/PASS Workshop on Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility – May 2, 2014
Christiana Figueres in Thomas Reuters Foundation – Adaptation will fail without emissions cuts, funding insufficient – April 30, 2014
Upcoming SDSN Events
- June 23-24 – Expert workshop on SDG indicators and data collection with United Nations Statistical Division | New York, USA
- June 27 – Turkish SDSN Launch Event | Istanbul, Turkey
- July 7 – South Asia SDSN Launch Event | New Delhi, India
- July 8 – Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) press conference | New York, USA
- August 25-30 – 5th Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit (ISDS) | Ibadan, Nigeria
- September 17-18 – 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice organized with MDP Consortium | New York, USA
- September 19-20 – Leadership Council meeting | New York, USA
- October 22-24 – Sustainability Science Congress 2014 | Copenhagen, Denmark
- November 4-11 – APEC meetings | Beijing, China
News from Our Partners
- On April 28-30, 2014, the SDSN participated in a workshop on the “Post-2015 Data Test: Unpacking the Data Revolution at the Country Level” in Nairobi, Kenya, a joint project of the Center for Policy Dialogue, the North-South Institute, and Southern Voice examining how the SDG agenda can be measured at the country level.
- The Global Environment Facility (GEF) held its 5th Assembly and Associated Meeting in Cancun, Mexico from May 20-25, 2014. SDSN participants included Jeffrey Sachs, Rajendra Pachauri (IPCC), and Andrew Steer (WRI). Additionally, GEF has recently announced the launch of a $120 million initiative on Integrated Approach Pilot program Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- TERI University has partnered with the Coca-Cola Foundation to create a department of regional water studies. Learn more about the initiative here.
- Congratulations to Zulfiqar Bhutta, who received the “Ihsan Dogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize” at the World Health Assembly on May 22, 2014, for his work on child and newborn survival health.
- Congratulations to Prince Albert II of Monaco, who won the sixth cycle of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment Award for the work of his foundation’s sustainability projects. Read more about the award here.
- Congratulations to Glenn Denning, Director of SDSN’s NY Office and Columbia University’s MPA in Development Practice program, who received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching from Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger at the University commencement ceremony on May 21, 2014
- The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) welcome entries for the 5th WASH Media Awards! Eligible media entries must be published or broadcast between June 15, 2013 to June 15, 2014, and winners receive a cash award and the opportunity to participate World Water Week.
- The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Pakistan has released a study on “Energy and tax reforms: household and firm analyses from Pakistan”, which highlights the need for energy and tax reforms for economic growth. Read more about the study here.
- The Center for Agricultural Economic Research in Israel has recently released a discussion paper “Closing the (widening) gap between natural water resources and water needs in the Jordan River Basin: A long term perspective,” which presents a comprehensive policy to address the region’s long-term water need and access issues. The full paper is available here.
- Antonio M. A. Pedro has written a Global Governance Spotlight on “Adding Value to Natural Resources: A multilevel challenge” for Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden (SEF) / Development and Peace Foundation, available here.
- A new research paper “Conflict translates environmental and social risk into business costs” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and extend report “Costs of Company-Community Conflict in the Extractive Sector” for the Harvard Kennedy School examines the financial costs of social conflict.