23 September 2019
Stumbled over …
An in-depth profile of the designated EU Commissioner with the research and innovation portfolio Mariya Gabriel: Friend to bees and techies: a closer look at the EU’s new research and innovation chief.
And the IEEP Policy Calendar with a frequently updated list of the key events and dates that will be of particular relevance to environmental and sustainability policies in the European Union in the coming months.
UNEA 5 will take place in 2021, one year before the 50th anniversary of UNEP, the 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration and the 30th anniversary of the first Rio Conference. Currently the bureau is working on identifying the themes. Following possible themes are on the table:
- Scaling-up/Implementing Nature-based Solutions for a clean Environment and Sustainable Development
- Blue Planet: Transformative actions to protect our freshwater and oceans
- Addressing the water–energy–food interlinkages for sustainability
As outlined in Finding the right theme for the 2021 UN Environment Assembly: Thought-starter for discussion, following the first meeting of the Environment Assembly Bureau, a consultative process is underway:
(…) ensuring broad, inclusive and transparent consultations with all relevant stakeholders, including the Committee of Permanent Representatives and representatives of civil society and other Major Groups such as the scientific and academic community and the private sector.Finding the right theme for the 2021 UN Environment Assembly
The challenge such a consultative processes face, is that civil society and stakeholders – if they are aware of this opportunity in the first place – have very little incentives to engage in a tailored manner beyond just pushing the standard messaging. The opportunity costs are high if one considers that even the best substantial relevant input will hardly move the scope of the themes and even less the actual discussion at UNEA-5. Nevertheless, such consultative processes will only remain and be more than window-dressing if there is substantial input and engagement by relevant (!) stakeholders.
I am curious if the Major Group Science & Technology will respond to this opportunity.
- E.M. De Santo, Á. Ásgeirsdóttir, A. Barros-Platiau, F. Biermann, J. Dryzek, L.R. Gonçalves, R.E. Kim, E. Mendenhall, R. Mitchell, E. Nyman, M. Scobie, K. Sun, R. Tiller, D.G. Webster, O. Young. 2019. Protecting biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction: An earth system governance perspective. Earth System Governance (in press). Highlights three areas of concern: (i) the politicization of science and coping with scientific uncertainty, (ii) institutional fragmentation; and (iii) the need for a new agreement to respond to the complex set of multiple, multilevel, and systemic threats to marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.
- Des Gasper. 2019. The road to the Sustainable Development Goals: building global alliances and norms. Journal of Global Ethics, Vol. 15 (2): 118–137. Several insider accounts of the formation of the Sustainable Development Goals suggest that the process (the procedures used and the emergent organizational and governance system features) was as important as the resulting goal-set. This paper looks at both aspects, and relationships between them.
- Marianne Beisheim. 2019. UN-Gipfel – Jetzt mal Taten statt Worte? Staats- und Regierungschefs treffen sich zum SDG-Gipfel in New York. SWP-Aktuell 2019/A 49, September 2019. Very good preview on the SDG Summit / HLPF2019 GA Session – in German.
- Elisabeth Hege and Damien Barchiche. 2019. What to expect from the first SDG Summit? IDDRI Blog 19 September 2019. Another preview on the SDG Summit – incl. reference to the study I co-authored on Europe’s approach to implementing the SDGs: good practices and the way forward.
ISC Action Plan 2019-2021
The International Science Council launched its Action Plan 2019-2021. It is a well-balanced coherent document addressing challenges in science and challenges to which science can contribute solutions; scientific fields that will benefit from coordinated international action, and emerging issues; and, importantly, it is not buzzword-driven as so many action plans especially in sustainable development research tend to be.
The Action Plan sets out the International Science Council’s activities over the next two and a half years. Its most important purpose is to form a practical framework for the ISC’s work until the end of 2021, and to work towards our vision of science as a global public good.Advancing Science as a Global Public Good
The action plan focusses on four domains:
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,
- The Digital Revolution,
- Science in Policy and Public Discourse and
- The Evolution of Science and Science Systems