On November 24, 2016, SDSN Brazil held its second national forum. This year the focus was on SDG 11+, going beyond Goal 11 to take into consideration all SDGs connected with urban sustainable development.

The event was organized by SDSN Brazil and Conservation International Brazil in partnership with the Roberto Marinho Foundation and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), and was held at the State Public Library in Rio de Janeiro.

Jeffrey Sachs pointed out the strategic position of Brazil within the global discussions for sustainable development. He focused on the importance not just of sustainable cities and metropolitan regions but also their connections to each other and rural areas, to support biodiversity conservation, global food security, sustainable use of biofuels, and social inclusion. Brazil is uniquely positioned to pilot integrated solutions to address this wide array of sustainable development challenges.

Setting the tone for the day, Brazilian politician Aspasia Camargo called for a “humanization of the SDGs, to make them alive and seductive. To bring poetry to the sustainability agenda.” In the roundtable session, representatives from different sectors gave presentations on the status of SDG implementation in Brazil. Alan Grimard from UN-Habitat said it is important for the global agenda to be in dialogue with and adapted to local perspectives, suggesting the creation of tools for implementation, such as Habitat’s “City Prosperity Index.” Luiz Firmino highlighted the importance of localized implementation and the need for context integration within metropolitan regions in Brazil.

Mr. Luiz Carlos from the State Government spoke about the achievements in Rio for the sustainability agenda related to “big events” like the Olympic Games. Luis Guanaes, professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro brought the perspective of universities and articulated the urgency for an integrated framework for academics to connect. In the same vein, Georgia Pessoa from the Roberto Marinho Foundation spoke about the importance of having foundations and NGOs working together and improving communication of their activities. Helio Mattar, from the NGO Instituto Akatu, pointed out the individual responsibility for the implementation of sustainable development – technological improvements will never be enough if consumerism and old paradigms of society and behavior are not shifted.

During the event a study authored by SDSN Brazil with CI Brazil entitled “The olympic legacy, urban sustainability and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the city of Rio de Janeiro” was pre-launched. In addition, SDSN Global, GIZ, Casa Fluminense, and SDSN Brazil presented an initiative being developed on metropolitan governance. It focuses on helping to improve metropolitan governance for implementation of SDGs and identifying monitoring solutions with public participation and using big data.

Two workshops were held for mapping opportunities and priorities for SDG 11 implementation in Brazil focusing on Education & Governance, and Metrics & Indicators. The results were shared among all participants and will be the basis for action in 2017 for the network.

The event was live streamed via SDSN Brazil’s Facebook page and two side events took place in the Federal State of Minas Gerais and in Amazonia. In Minas Gerais a debate was held on how entrepreneurship and startups can help implement the SDGs in Brazil, while in Amazonia the discussion was on sustainable urban development in the region.

To access the recordings and related posts, please visit our Facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/SDSNBrasil/?fref=ts)