This article was originally published on June 19th 2013 in the International Institute for Sustainable Development Reporting Service (IISD RS) news in the Post-2015 Policy & Practice section. See also the related article here.
Ministers and permanent representatives from Australia, Hungary and Japan joined scientists and knowledge management specialists in a panel discussion titled ‘Sustainable Development Goals as a Driver for Trans-disciplinary Research and Education – A View from the Nature Article Authors,' on 19 June 2013, in New York, US.
Taking place on the sidelines of the fourth session of the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG 4) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the event was organized by the Government of Japan and Government of Australia, as part of the Project on Sustainability Transformation beyond 2015. Speakers included: Norichika Kanie, Tokyo Institute of Technology; Dave Griggs, CEO ClimateWorks Australia and Director, Monash Sustainability Institute; and Marc Levy, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia University.
Kanie explained the proposed re-definition of sustainable development as 'Development that meets the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth's life‐support system, on which the welfare of current and future generations depends,' and presented the methodology behind the SDGs proposed in an article in the March 2013 issue of 'Nature' magazine. Kanie also described the Project on Sustainability Transformation beyond 2015.
Griggs, one of the authors of the article, explained the “Great Acceleration” of human activities, in which technology and consumption have overtaken population as a driver of change, despite our “1900s mindset.” Griggs outlined key challenges and opportunities in moving from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the SDGs.
Levy discussed incorporating indicators for governance in the SDGs. He called for “thinking like a system,” arguing that sustainability emerges through the interaction of multiple processes, operating at multiple scales, which requires ‘nested,' interlinked governance and monitoring strategies. He added that we must do a better job demonstrating benefits with respect to core human values of security and well-being.
Remarks were also provided by: Ambassador Csaba Korosi, Permanent Representative of Hungary and OWG co-chair; Katsuhiko Takahashi, Permanent Mission of Japan; Peter Versegi, Permanent Mission of Australia; Faye Leone, IISD; and Yoshihiro Katayama, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.