Five Questions About Sustainable Development Goals and the Potential Role of Landscapes

5 November 2013

As the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw approach, it’s time to take stock of the international development framework within which they are contextualized. Here, five key questions are considered:

1. The Background – who was calling for Sustainable Development Goals and why?
In 2015, the anti-poverty targets and indicators that make up the eight U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will expire. The 2012 U.N. Task Team Report “Realizing the Future We Want for All” assessed the impressive progress made towards achieving the MDGs, although challenges remain regarding achieving certain goals in some countries. The report also identifies several conceptual shortcomings of the MDGs, most notably their failure to address the environment in an integrated and cross-sectorial manner; the need for some goals to deepen their impact (for example, access to nutritious food instead of just the provision of sufficient quantity); and the challenge of building a partnership for development that does not divide the world into aid recipients and donors, but outlines common but differentiated responsibilities for all. One concept floated by policymakers — the water-energy-food nexus — aims to generate a sustainable economy and a healthy environment by considering how each of the three elements interrelate and are affected by decision-making. Scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) noted in recent research the need for a shift from conservation-oriented perspectives towards increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals.

Read more from CIFOR here