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International conference on science and the Sustainable Development Goals

By on April 24, 2015

The Hub coordinator participated in the international conference on science and the SDGs organized by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) in collaboration with the United Nations University (UNU) and with the assistance of the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations (UN) in New York.

The conference focused on issues of global sustainability and in particular the contribution of science to realizing the sustainable development goals. Bringing together diverse experts from all scientific disciplines, from relevant UN institutions, as well as representatives from both political and civil society organizations, the conference concluded that science could make a significant contribution to the SDG process in several ways.

First, the implementation of the SDGs can only be evaluated through a meaningful indicator framework, and this framework needs scientific input.

Second, science can support the establishment of evidence-based procedures for evaluating the SDGs and tracking progress in their achievement.

Third, science is needed for co-designing and carrying out scientific assessments that address key questions arising in the SDG process.

Fourth, scientific knowledge is needed for understanding the many inter-linkages and trade-offs embedded in the SDGs and for developing policy options for transforming trade-offs to synergies.

In general, science must provide the factual basis for the SDGs.

The Hub coordinator was a panelist and talked about synergies and tough choices in measuring SDGs.