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Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
Es e discussion1_framing_paper_29_jan2013
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  • 1. THE WORLD WE WANT E-Discussion Framing Paper: Environmental Sustainability for the World We Want: Moving From the MDGs to Post-2015 29 January 2013The World We Want initiative aims to gather the priorities of people from every corner ofthe world and help build a collective vision that will be used directly by the United Nations andWorld Leaders to plan a new development agenda launching in 2015, one that is based on theaspirations of all citizens.The World We Want web platform is a joint initiative between the United Nations and CivilSociety. The World We Want is a growing movement of people all over the world contributingtheir vision towards an overall plan to build a just and sustainable world free from poverty. Itwill help ensure that global efforts to secure a post-2015 development agenda are also based onthe perspective of people living in poverty.Leading up to the year 2015, the United Nations is planning a series of consultations to helpshape the post-2015 agenda with support from Civil Society coalitions including the Global Callto Action Against Poverty, World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS) and the Beyond2015 Campaign, who have been organizing Civil Society engagement in post-2015 discussions.This process includes the creation of a High Level Panel, up to 100 national consultations, 11thematic consultations, and a Global Online Conversation - all of which will contribute to a visionfor The World We Want beyond 2015.One of the eleven major global thematic consultations is on environmental sustainability.The purpose of this framing document is to propose questions and background to help prompt aglobal conversation on how lessons from the MDGs and MDG7 can be considered in a post-2015development framework. This e-discussion will run from February 4 – March 1, 2013 onwww.worldwewant2015.org/sustainability. 1
  • 2. IntroductionThis paper frames the first e-discussion for the post-2015 thematic consultation onenvironmental sustainability to be launched February 4 – March 1, 2013, onwww.worldwewant2015.org/sustainability. .A series of questions are provided to frame the e-discussion which will focus on learning fromthe MDGs and MDG7 to help frame environmental sustainability in the post-2015 agenda.Additional background is also provided to help inform the dialogue including an An overview ofwhere we stand with MDG7 and environmental sustainability highlighting progress and areaswhere MDG7 is off-track. This is followed by an outline of various success factors for betterenvironmental sustainability in a future development framework and a number of underlyingfactors explaining shortfalls of the MDGs, and MDG7 in particular. For the world to meet theenvironmental sustainability challenge adjustments (or shifts) towards lower intensitydevelopment paths, greener growth, improved waste management at all levels, and moresustainable production and consumption patterns are needed.This paper provides a critique of the shortfalls in the design and implementation of the MDGsand MDG7 specifically. It also discusses the evolution and implementation of the globaldevelopment agenda, in the context of MDGs, as a basis for helping us move towards post-2015goals; to identify the gaps and determine how to better integrate environmental sustainabilitybased on lessons learned from the MDGs. This paper has been prepared to frame somequestions which touch on a backwards review of the MDGs and how this can we used to informthe forward looking process for integrating environmental sustainability in the post-2015agenda. The framing questions follow this introduction.The paper primarily borrows conclusions from two UN publications on MDG7, namely the 2010UNDG Thematic Paper on Environmental Sustainability prepared by 14 UN agencies under UNEPleadership for the 2010 MDG Summit and a 2006 UNDP report on Making Progress onEnvironmental Sustainability that draws lessons and recommendations from a review of over150 MDG country experiences. Additional information has been extracted from the discussionnotes that have been submitted on the Post-2015 Environmental Sustainability ThematicConsultation website. 2
  • 3. Framing QuestionsWeek 1: Capitalizing on the MDGs and MDG7 Achievements and Addressing the Gaps How and to what extent can we build on lessons learned from MDG7s achievement in developing our post-2015 development agenda? How can the post-2015 agenda address any gaps related to environmental sustainability in the overall MDG framework?Week 2: Addressing Development Challenges in a Changing World Which global trends and uncertainties may influence how environmental sustainability is framed in the international development agenda over the next 10-30 years? What new elements and considerations would need to be incorporated into the post- 2015 agenda for it to be environmentally sustainable and adequately capture the essence of the world’s evolving development/financial/social/ economic/ environmental/etc challenges?Week 3: Framing Environmental Sustainability in the Post-2015 Agenda In the spirit of the outcomes of Rio+20, what are the barriers and enablers to gradually moving towards environmental sustainability? Building on the MDGs and the outcomes of Rio+20, how would you envisage a conceptual framework for the post-2015 agenda that can help drive a transition to an environmentally sustainable future? What are the key characteristics?Week 4: Consensus and DivergenceThe final week will wrap up the e-discussion by identifying areas where there seems to beevolving consensus and also areas where further dialogue is needed. The moderators will posea series of questions for the final week based on the outcomes of the first 3-weeks of thediscussion. 3
  • 4. Background and ContextMany have recognized the value of the MDGs, including MDG7, in terms of their shared focus onpoverty reduction, their globally accepted set of indicators with clear goals, targets andtimeframes to support policy monitoring and accountability, and the comparatively high level ofvisible political commitment attached to the Goals1. Many have also acknowledged that theMDGs provide a common framework and an improved coordination opportunity fordevelopment actors and promote concrete actions to address human development issues2. “TheMDGs have rallied different stakeholders under a single umbrella and created global consensusand contributed for the betterment of life.”3 The experience also shows that “global consensusaround environment goals can be achieved, and that goal-setting can be a powerful way ofmotivating, shaping and driving actors to achieve positive outcomes.”4 However, many havealso argued that the MDGs had important shortcomings which could have been avoided if amore inclusive process had led to their design and content.5Although progress was achieved to reach some of the MDGs, achievement of MDG7 onenvironmental sustainability by 2015 is mostly off track.6 While there is progress in someindicators others are critically lagging behind highlighting that progress on environmentalsustainability requires a change in the way that development occurs: one that results in lowercarbon intensity development paths; greener growth; improved waste management at all levels;and, more sustainable consumption and production patterns7.The next set of development goals will no doubt need to be embedded into the broaderframework of sustainable development, which demonstrates the values and socio-economicbenefits of environmental sustainability to countries and at the global level, and points toresponsibilities of all countries.81 UN DESA and UNDP. 2012. Synthesis of National Reports for Rio+20:http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/742RIO+20_Synthesis_Report_Final.pdf2 UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda (2012). (See reference above).3 Geremew Sahilu Gebrie, submitted discussion note4 Hui-Chi Goh, submitted discussion note5 Realizing the Future We Want for All, Report to the Secretary General; UN System Task Team on the Post2015 Development Agenda, New York June 2012.6 Thematic paper on MDG7 Environmental Sustainability prepared by the UNDG Task Force on MDGs forthe 2010 Global MDG Summit7 Thematic paper on MDG7 Environmental Sustainability prepared by the UNDG Task Force on MDGs forthe 2010 Global MDG Summit8 Realizing the Future We Want for All, Report to the Secretary General; UN System Task Team on the Post2015 Development Agenda, New York June 2012. 4
  • 5. MDG 7: Where Do We Stand?The below table summarizes the MDG 7 targets and indicators: MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability Targets Indicators Target 7.a 7.1: Proportion of land area covered by forest Integrate the principles of sustainable development 7.2: CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 into country policies and programmes and reverse GDP (PPP) the loss of environmental resources. 7.3: Consumption of ozone-depleting substances Target 7.b 7.4: Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a limits significant reduction in the rate of loss 7.5: Proportion of total water resources used 7.6: Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 7.7: Proportion of species threatened with extinction Target 7.c 7.8: Proportion of population using an improved Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without drinking water source sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic 7.9: Proportion of population using an improved sanitation sanitation facility Target 7.d 7.10: Proportion of urban population living in Achieve significant improvement in the lives of at slums least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020To measure achievements of the MDGs global MDG Reports have been carried out every yearsince 20059. The 2012 Report shows that contributions of national Governments, theinternational community, civil society and the private sector will need to intensify to meet thechallenge of inequality, food security, gender equality, maternal health, rural development,infrastructure, environmental sustainability, and responses to climate change10. Annex Aprovides extracts from the latest progress charts for MDG7 from the 2011 and 2012 MDGReports.Examples of the global progress towards achieving some MDG 7 targets include: the MontrealProtocol has resulted in the phasing out of the production and consumption of over 98% of allcontrolled ozone-depleting substances (ODS); the world has met the drinking water target 5years ahead of schedule, however issues of inequality remain in distribution. Furthermore, as of2008, 73 countries have protected 10% or more of their national surface area, with 18 nationsreaching protected area coverage of 25% or more.9 Global assessment reports (from 2005 to 2012) are available at: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/reports.shtml10 United Nations. 2012. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012:http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Resources/Static/Products/Progress2012/English2012.pdf 5
  • 6. Still, the target on reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 has not been met. Overallbiodiversity is still declining and species are increasingly threatened: nearly 17 000 plant andanimal species are known to be threatened with extinction, and major threats and drivers ofbiodiversity loss, such as including over-consumption, population pressure, habitat loss, invasivespecies, pollution and climate change, are not yet being effectively tackled.Regarding the proportion of land area covered by forest, some 13 million hectares of the world’sforests are still being deforested each year even if the rate of net loss of forest area has fallensince the 1990-2000 period at the global level. Furthermore, primary forests – forests with novisible signs of past or present human activities, and which include some of the most biologicallydiverse ecosystems on the planet – are being lost or modified at a rate of 4 million hectares ayear. Whilst the ocean occupies over 70% of Earth’s surface area and over 90% of thebiosphere’s volume, less than 2% of the ocean surface is under marine protected areas.On the rate of growth of CO2, and related global warming, progress is not encouraging either:equivalent emissions was higher during 1995-2004 than during the previous period of 1970-1994; the global trend has not changed so far; and the IPCC reported that eleven of the lasttwelve years (1995-2006) rank among the twelve warmest years of recorded global surfacetemperature (since 1850).Noting that between 1990 and 2008 the proportion of people without improved sanitationdecreased by only 7%, the world will not achieve even half of the sanitation target by 2015.Finally, the target on improving the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers has been met infull but during the same period more than 200 million new slum dwellers have been added tothe urban population.What are the elements of success?Based on national experiences and lessons learned from MDG7 a series of elements have beenidentified that support successful integration of environmental sustainability in developmentefforts. Those elements include: developing comprehensive and coherent development planning frameworks integrating all of the aspects related to environmental sustainability (e.g. poverty reduction, gender equality, health) that are relevant to any given country in a balanced manner; adopting national sustainable development plans and strategies that specifically include MDG 7 related targets and indicators, and linking them to relevant national action plans; incorporating environmental sustainability in all development policies (including amongst others, health, education, and employment) and related national budgets; promoting greener development policy approaches and creating economic incentives through public-private partnerships; 6
  • 7. harnessing science, technology and innovation for innovative solutions;involving all relevant stakeholders in the planning, programming and budgeting cycle to implement the national plans; integrating the perspective of culture and of local stakeholders into environmental sustainability policies; ensuring that the traditional knowledge, cultural resources and practices which contribute to environmental sustainability are fully taken into account in development strategies and policies; ensuring the ability of all stakeholders/the whole population to contribute to implementing environmental sustainability through education, public awareness and training; recognizing efforts to ensure rural-urban linkages and addressing those issues in national development strategies; implementing development projects that cut across the MDG ‘silos’, and address all 8 MDGs in an integrated manner (an example can be found in the “widespread use of solar cookers… The European Commission and solar cooker experts estimate that 165 to 200 million households could benefit from solar cookers.”11); adopting strong national legislation with mandatory targets and commitments towards the attainment of sustainable development objectives. This involves not adopting mechanically the global targets and indicators, but rather tailoring them to national development policies and priorities, local context, and ecosystem specificities by, inter alia, assessing countries environmental issues, identifying existing priorities, setting country specific and verifiable targets, selecting indicators and establishing a baseline to track progress; having strong international and/or regional frameworks that promote global partnerships, coordinated action and cooperation, fostering policy coherence with related frameworks including those on disaster risk reduction and ocean governance; adopting strong international and/or regional (i.e. trans-boundary) regulatory frameworks; providing fiscal investments for the attainment of the goals and multilateral funding to supplement national resources; developing national monitoring systems to track progress and ensuring institutional and organizational capacity to do so.11 Patricia McArdle, submitted discussion note 7
  • 8. What factors explain MDG 7 shortfalls?A series of factors explaining the shortfalls in achieving MDG7 targets have been identified12 andalso reflected in several of the submitted discussion notes on the Environmental SustainabilityThematic Consultation platform. Some of these shortfalls and challenges are highlighted below: Lack of data: Many countries are just initiating MDG7 data collection and monitoring efforts, and some are finding it difficult to allocate the proper resources13. According to the UNDP review of national MDG reports in 2006, apart from access to water, less than half of countries had reported sufficient data for monitoring progress. It should be noted that with several indicators added in 2008 additional data and reporting has occurred in recent years but there is still lack of scientific capacities to for the provision of reliable scientific information, data, and statistics. Weak linkages: Links between MDG 7 and other MDGs are rarely made in the MDG country reports. If environmental issues are discussed in the context of the other goals, the causal link between poverty and the environment is not well articulated nor a response developed. MDG 7 is fragmented and does not integrate the different components of environmental sustainability well. While MDG 7 contains elements that contribute to environmental sustainability, those elements do not provide a full picture. Indicators on forestry and protected areas for example do not reflect critical changes affecting the poor such as land degradation and desertification, although improvements in protection and management of forests and other systems are of particular relevance to the rural poor who rely more directly on biodiversity and natural resources. “Poverty reduction and biodiversity or ecosystem degradation are deeply intertwined and have roots in social, environmental and economic complexities. These can be dealt with building partnerships at local or regional scale and by fostering institutions which are embedded within communities.”14 This lack of linkages can be exacerbated at the national level if countries mechanically adopt the global set of targets and indicators without explicitly linking or tailoring them to national priorities and conditions15. The science-policy interface needs to be strengthened to ensure evidence- based policies for environmental sustainability.1612 These have been identified in both the UNDG Thematic Paper on Environmental Sustainability (2010)and the UNDP report on Making Progress on Environmental Sustainability (2006).22 “A Decade of National MDG Reports: What are we learning?” UNDP Poverty Practice Working Paper(2012)13 UNDP, 2010. The Path to Achieving the MDGs: A Synthesis of Evidence from Around the World14 Harpinder Sandhu, submitted discussion note15 UNDP. 2006. Making Progress on Environmental Sustainability: Lessons and Recommendations from a Review ofover 150 MDG Country Experiences:http://www.undp.org/content/dam/aplaws/publication/en/publications/environment-energy/www-ee-library/mainstreaming/making-progress-on-environmental-sustainability/mdg7english.pdf16 United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. 2012. Resilient People,Resilient Planet: A future worth choosing. 8
  • 9. Monitoring challenges: Countries face many challenges in monitoring the MDG 7 indicators. These include unreliable and inaccessible data, a lack of statistical capacities, as well as difficulties related to lack of public awareness, legislative and regulatory frameworks, inadequate human resource capacity and the need for more partnerships. Lack of participation: The insufficient participation of stakeholders at all levels, including the marginalized and those most affected by a lack of environmental sustainability, is frequently mentioned as a major obstacle to progress. Consequently, there is a need to empower everyone to participate in efforts towards environmental sustainability through education, public awareness and training. Participation also implies taking into account the local context and the cultural dimension, as well as recognizing the relevance of free, independent and pluralistic media for progress towards environmental sustainability. Other obstacles to progress: Lack of political will, pressure on environmental resources from high use and “natural hazards and other external shocks”17, insufficient governance and planning policies, a lack of “science, education, media and culture for environmental sustainability”18, social unrest and lack of financial resources are among the challenges contributing to insufficient progress on environmental sustainability. One of the main challenges is the lack of coordination among national institutions and authorities stemming from an unclear definition of roles and responsibilities. Collaboration among the donors also presents difficulties in terms of country priorities versus those of the donor community. Another major issue is the lack of commitment regarding the necessary national investments to achieve MDG 7, pointing to the fact that targeted interventions and investments in environmental sustainability can have strong positive impacts.Concluding ThoughtsMDG 7 “fails to address the motors driving impoverished populations from the countryside intocities.”19 “Failures to reach global targets in relation to halting biodiversity loss have addedfurther stresses to vulnerable peoples and communities. Biodiversity, ecosystems and theservices they provide are the foundations on which all people rely.”20 Indeed, the futuredevelopment framework will need to, among others “adequately recognize the genderdimensions in several of the other but, MDG3 targets, including MDG7 on environmentalsustainability”21, to “adequately reflect the importance of conserving and restoring naturalsystems as a component of strategies to reach other development targets”22. A futuredevelopment framework needs to be more comprehensive regarding environmental17 CAN International and Beyond 2015, submitted discussion note18 UNESCO, submitted discussion note19 Brendan Coyne, submitted discussion note20 BirdLife International, submitted discussion note21 International Alliance of Women, submitted discussion note22 Alejandra Bowles, submitted discussion note 9
  • 10. sustainability and address priority areas, such as the ocean, for example, which were absentfrom the MDGs.MDGs lack clarity on how to tailor global targets to national realities and regional dynamics23.Furthermore, MDGs have been criticized as they deal “with issues in ‘silos’, which undermine theability to address environmental sustainability and human well-being in an integrated way. Atthe same time, given their significance, environmental sustainability and social equity must bespecifically recognizable and measurable elements of goal statements, targets or indicators inorder to be effectively addressed.”24 “Moreover, the underlying drivers of poverty were notaddressed. Therefore, the significance of environmental sustainability demands specific attentionso it is fully recognized and effectively addressed.”25 It has been further argued that the globaltargets have missed out on addressing local issues, due to “a lack of genuine participation inboth framing and implementing environmental sustainability objectives…leading to badlyplanned out or ill-adapted projects.”26 Therefore, the MDGs have, in some cases, “not benefittedthe most impoverished and socially excluded people.”27A 2012 Thematic Paper on MDG 7 shows that this goal won’t be reached by 2015 unless webring changes to the way development occurs. This motivates for the need for “truly forward-looking development goals. … focusing also on the needs of people who will be born over thenext years.”28 Furthermore, CAN International and Beyond 2015 noted that it was a “lostopportunity that the MDGs did not provide guidance on how to address the root causes ofpoverty and environmental degradation, such as inequality within and between countries”.23 UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda (2012). (See reference above).24 WWF, submitted discussion note25 CAN International and Beyond 2015, submitted discussion note26 Brendan Coyne, submitted discussion note27 Brendan Coyne, submitted discussion note28 Michael Herrman, submitted discussion note 10
  • 11. Key Background DocumentsUN DESA and UNDP, 2012. Synthesis of National Reports for Rio+20:http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/742RIO+20_Synthesis_Report_Final.pdfUNDG, 2010. Thematic Paper on MDG7 Environmental Sustainability:http://www.undg.org/docs/11421/MDG7_1954-UNDG-MDG7-LR.pdfUNDP, 2010. The Path to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: A Synthesis of Evidencefrom Around the Worldhttp://content.undp.org/go/cms-service/stream/asset/?asset_id=2677427UNDP, 2006. Making Progress on Environmental Sustainability: Lessons and Recommendationsfrom a Review of over 150 MDG Country Experiences:http://www.undp.org/content/dam/aplaws/publication/en/publications/environment-energy/www-ee-library/mainstreaming/making-progress-on-environmental-sustainability/mdg7english.pdfUnited Nations, 2012. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012:http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Resources/Static/Products/Progress2012/English2012.pdfUN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, 2012. Realizing the FutureWe Want for All. Report to the Secretary-General:http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/Post_2015_UNTTreport.pdf 11
  • 12. Annex A: Progress on MDG7http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mdg/Host.aspx?Content=Products/ProgressReports.htm 2012 MDG Progress Chart 2011 MDG Progress Chart 12

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