Sustainable Development Goals: scientists worldwide mobilised around transformative agenda
The scientific media (New Scientist, Nature, SciDevNet) are already highlighting the critical role of Future Earth to coordinate the research community to support the goals. Engaging in the process to develop indicators for the goals is a priority.
Future Earth Executive Director Paul Shrivastava’s article for the Huffington Post argues that the world needs a transformation in how we consume and produce in the Anthropocene. Also in the Huffington Post, Future Earth vice chair Melissa Leach discussed the importance of establishing gender equality. Future Earth and the Stockholm Resilience Centre are guest-editing a series on the goals for the World Economic Forum:
10 Steps to remove carbon from the global economy. Nabojsa Nakicenovic
Have the oceans reached a tipping point? Beatrice Crona
Four ways countries are successfully fighting hunger. Bruce Campbell
Climate change may be worse than we think. Will Steffen
6 invisible global water issues. Line Gordon, Lan Wang-Erlandsson, Pat Keys
5 ways to improve health and wellbeing for all. Mattieu Ricard
10 facts about the SDGs. Owen Gaffney
How can we eradicate poverty by 2030? Winnie Byanyima
To mark this historic event, we asked members of Future Earth’s Science Committee and Engagement Committee for their thoughts on the goals:
Karen O’Brien, Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway:
“We live in a world of limited resources with a continuous increased demand for such unique resources. World leaders are set to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals. The goals include efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and child mortality and to consolidate efforts to slow climate change and preserve our world environment. Without doubt science has a major role to play assisting policy makers with scientific data to guide their decisions for the sustainability of our common world. Future Earth’s interdisciplinary scientific platform is mobilizing scientists worldwide to work on understanding natural and social systems and their interactions, the social drivers of transformation and the overall pathways to achieve sustainable development. Science and Policy for the well-being of humanity.”
Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester:
“There can be no sustainability without gender equality. Tackling women’s poverty will reduce global poverty. Securing women farmers’ rights in land and resources is the key to sustainable agriculture. Women’s empowerment can provide the essential synergy and energy for fulfilling all the SDGs.”
Youba Sokona, South Centre Special Advisor on Sustainable Development, Geneva:
"Sustainable Development intersects with many drivers of climate change, and many climate change responses and sustainable development strategies overlap. Aligning climate actions and SDGs is the only option because the window of opportunity to adequately address both challenges is rapidly closing."
Heinz Gutscher, Professor Emeritus of Social Psychology at the University of Zurich (UZH):
"The SDGs will again open eyes and guide the search for solutions. Future Earth as a new global science project together with it’s 50,000+ scientists is ready to contribute to finding solutions – together with all people affected by the huge discrepancies between what is and what ought to be. Let’s stop just talking! Let’s join knowledge and experience! Let’s move forward!"
Ruth Wolstenholme, Managing Director of Sniffer, the Scottish charity that brokers knowledge on sustainability, environmental management and climate resilience:
“The vision for the SDGs is that they will be transformational. They are also universal with action needed domestically in developed and developing nations. Future Earth will play a vital role in supporting such action, given its role working with partners in society to co-develop the knowledge needed to support decision-makers and societal change at all scales”
Sandra Diaz, Professor of Community and Ecosystems Ecology at Córdoba National University and Senior Principal Researcher of the National Research Council of Argentina:
“Poverty is not a natural state of being and the destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems is not necessarily the collateral damage of growth and progress. Poverty, including the loss of our common environmental assets, are the result of development models in which the immediate and disproportionate benefit of a few is achieved at the cost of the deprivation of the vast majority. We have now the historic opportunity to find development paths that include all people and the natural world that has nurtured humanity since its origins."
Mario Hernandez, Latin American regional representative of the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote sensing (ISPRS):
"We live in a world of limited resources with a continuous increased demand for such unique resources. World leaders are set to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals which includes efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and child mortality and to consolidate efforts to slow climate change and preserve our world environment. Without doubt science has a major role to play assisting policy makers with scientific data to guide their decisions for the sustainability of our common world. Future Earth is an interdisciplinary scientific platform that is mobilizing scientists worldwide to work in understanding natural and social systems and their interactions, the social drivers of transformation and the overall pathways to achieve sustainable development. Science and Policy for the well-being of humanity."
Melissa Leach, Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, UK:
‘The SDGs lay out a transformative agenda for people and planet. To deliver, we need integrated approaches to build synergies and ensure that urgent environmental goals don’t trump poverty reduction, equality and justice, and to understand and act on power and politics to make transformations real. Future Earth’s integrated, co-designed approaches to science and knowledge have vital contributions to make.”
Eduardo Brondizio, Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor of Environmental Sciences at Indiana University-Bloomington:
“The SDGs are still largely unknown to the broader public and in fact to many segments of the academic community. The SDGs framework has enormous potential to build upon some of the advances of the Millennium Development Goals. But, it still needs to find its way into national political debates about development and environment, to leave the realms of the UN and international forums to enter into household conversations. There lies perhaps the biggest challenge and impact of the SDGs, to frame our day-to-day conversations about the future(s) we want. This requires more robust and concerted efforts. By engaging the research community and diverse stakeholder forums around the SDGs, Future Earth can contribute to broaden this conversation and to realize the potential impacts of the SDGs
during the coming debate."
DATESeptember 25, 2015
AUTHORFuture Earth Staff Member
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