Notes #20

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Stumbled over …

A very important article by two of my former LUCSUS colleagues, Murray Scown and Kimberly A. Nicholas in which they show that the European agricultural policy requires a stronger performance framework to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals:

Agriculture provides many benefits to people, such as producing food and creating jobs in rural areas, but it can also have negative impacts on the environment. We analysed existing monitoring indicators for the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to evaluate whether the CAP is effectively achieving multiple social and environmental goals. We found that the current CAP monitoring system is unable to balance many potentially competing goals because its indicators are biased towards a few objectives. We suggest the European Union and its Member States adopt a broader set of indicators covering clear targets when the policy is reformed after 2020.

Scown and Nicholas 2020

In light of the still unresolved negotiations on the MFF, the Green Deal moving to deployment, and the need to re-think economic, environmental, and all kind of sectoral policies, including the CAP, for a post-corona time, this article is even more relevant than the authors will have thought when they started the analysis.

UN Bodies Formalize Silence Procedure for Decision-making during Pandemic

The UN General Assembly and the UN Economic and Social Council adopted a version of the silence procedure for making decisions amid limitations on in-person meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The silence procedure provides UN Member States with at least 72 hours to raise objections on a draft resolution or decision, and allows for explanations of position. Voting is not currently possible in this scenario for technical reasons.

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub

I wonder what the “technical reasons” are. Is it a placeholder for “political reasons” and / or “legal reasons”? In an exchange on Twitter, Marianne Beisheim suggested that the silence procedure might not be compatible with the voting procedure. This makes sense, but somehow I can not get rid of the hunch that this is just one of the cases in which the UN is hampering itself through a lack of innovation and childish behavior of some Member States.

Also, as a good example that some UN units actually do great work: UNDESA is organizing virtual consultations on six topics for discussion during the planned July 2020 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Recommended Reading

  • Corina Niebuhr, Abkürzungen durch die Krise, Merton Magazine, 9 April 2020. Covid-19 entlarvt die Transformationssünden der Vergangenheit in Forschung und Bildung. Das ist schmerzhaft. Abhilfe versprechen derzeit Netzwerke und der Rat von Pionieren und Spezialisten, die Orientierung in Echtzeit geben können. Aber auch Open Science, Open Data und Hackathons bewähren sich in der Krise.


In other news

#Academic Publishing#Biodiversity#Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)#Corona#HLPF#Indicators & Metrics#Innovation#Open Science#Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)#transformation#UN General Assembly (UNGA)#UNDESA#Voluntary National Reviews (VNR)