UNU-IAS Publishes New Policy Briefs on Sustainable Development Goals

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  • 2014•06•10     Tokyo

    The UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) has published three new policy briefs focused on the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The policy briefs address several important aspects of the SDGs regarding the architecture of the goals, the connections between goals for education and water, and the integration of governance into the SDGs. Partners in this effort include the POST2015 Project at Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the Earth System Governance project.

    Earth System Challenges and a Multi-Layered Approach for the Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizes that the SDGs must “address issues of Earth system governance and the challenge of redirecting unsustainable practices of individuals, groups, and countries worldwide”. In order to do this, actors must work “to bridge gaps among sectoral silos by farming goals that are cross-cutting and integrative in nature”. To meet these challenges, the authors argue for the adoption of a multi-layered approach that embodies safe, just and sustainable universal goals while tailoring targets at the regional, national, local or corporate/organization levels which would “provide a menu of options allowing actors with different needs and capabilities to select those best suited for them”.

    Linking Education and Water in the Sustainable Development Goals, highlights the importance of ‘water-literacy’, or “an appropriate knowledge about various aspects of water use and management in order to ensure water consumption and to contribute to Disaster Risk Reduction”. It points out that “it is essential that government representatives and other stakeholders acquire an accurate understanding of water-related issues and that systems be established for implementing concrete measures”.

    Integrating Governance into the Sustainable Development Goals, highlights three aspects of governance that need to be articulated in the SDGs: good governance (the process of decision-making and their institutional foundations), effective governance (the capacity of institutions to manage challenges), and equitable governance (distributive outcomes). As a result of the need to focus on all three of these aspects of governance, the authors investigate what this means in terms of proposals for a stand-alone governance goal or governance targets integrated into the different issue areas.

    These policy briefs are the first in the POST2015/UNU-IAS Policy Brief Series on the SDGs, produced by UNU-IAS and the Earth System Governance project.

    For more information and to download the policy briefs, see the UNU-IAS website.