Co-designing solutions to integrate SDGs into policies and practices through education and capacity development

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Co-designing solutions to integrate SDGs into policies and practices through education and capacity development

July 9, 2020
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

In the current COVID-19 environment, immediate attention has been placed on mitigating COVID-19 infections and treating those who become ill. However, sustainable development remains a paramount priority as before COVID-19 and recovery plans are a unique opportunity for a strong inclusion of SDGs. Will policy and decision-makers consider that SDGs and their cross-cutting scope should remain more than ever THEIR top priority to face the many sustainable development challenges? How could they deliver the interlinked and indivisible dimensions of SDGs? How to help them continue to stimulate and drive necessary changes? 

The Pandemic demonstrates impacts of one issue on most of SDGs and the imperative need to strengthen our collective resilience. Building resilience in the context of recovery plans by taking into account Global Environmental commons is a key issue for public and private actors. The threats of water-related disasters have already been visible under the COVID-19 in East Africa, North America, Indian Ocean and Southern Pacific. Climate and global changes are exacerbating, so shortage of safe water and sanitation among disaster risk reduction responses could magnify negative impacts on COVID-19 health care responses. Urgent actions for SDGs and their cross-cutting scope are necessary.

Despite the recognition of oceans by the UN (UNFCCC COP 21 in 2015, first UN Ocean Conference in 2017 followed by the appointment of Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji as UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) proclaimed in 2017 during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), etc.) and the GSDR as one of the main critical global environmental commons, basic knowledges by actual and future decision makers of the largest Earth’s ecosystem need to be improved. Understanding Ocean issues as a global environmental common and having a systemic view of the interaction and link between SDGs are crucial to define sustainable policies and more than ever in a post-covid context. 

SDG14, for example, is closely linked with many other SDGs. What are the operational implications of the links between Integrated Water Resources Management principles (SDG target 6.5) and prevention and significant reduction of marine pollution of all kinds (SGD target 14.1)? Between conservation of at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas (SGD Target 14.5) and ensuring that all that global citizenship education must include the knowledge and conservation of the environment (SGD Target 4.7).

Another example is that IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) principles under SDG 6 (especially target 6.5), could transform the way that the practitioners on water management may apply the SDGs as a common language to identify challenges and share strategy and show the cooperation among stakeholders is promoted in an applicable social unit, such as a river basin. 

- How to promote an integrative and systemic approach to give SDGs the highest probability of success in the years to come? 
- How to provide life-long learning opportunities that have a heavy emphasis on Environmental and Sustainable Literacy? 
- How to strengthen the collective resilience in a river basin by taking into consideration social, environmental and economic aspects under co-occurring risks?

This side event will be the opportunity for the Member States and other stakeholders including practitioners to address global environment commons on how to take immediate actions towards the integration of SDGs in their policies and practices. The outcome of this side event will contribute to the implementation of actions as well as the various international conferences and meetings.

Partner organizers
Sulitest
Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan 

Provisional Program

Moderator: Ms. Radhika Iyengar, Earth Institute, Columbia University. 
09:00 Opening by the moderator
09:05 Round table 1: The issue of Integration of SDGs in policy and practices
 Linkages between SDG4.7 (Global citizenship) and SDG 14 (Oceans and seas) by Professor. Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University 
 Integrating ocean issues in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 by Commissioner Mr. Virginijus SINKEVIČIUS or Mr. Ricardo Serrão Santos Minister of Maritime Affairs (Portugal) or a Member of the European Parliament
 From SDG6.5 (IWRM) to all SDGs by representative from MLIT
09:35 Q&A (selection of questions from the chat by a moderator to ask to the panelists)
09:45 Round table 2: Case studies  
 Co-designing literacy on SDGs. The case of Ocean module of Sulitest by Mr. Aurélien Décamps, Sulitest and Mr. Pierre Bahurel Director General, Mercator Ocean International? 
 Promote the River Basin Approach to the SDGs (RBAS) by Indonesia and West Africa representatives 
 Eco-ambassador program that links SGD 14 and 4 through science based activism by Columbia University
10:15 Q&A (selection of questions from the chat by a moderator to ask to the panelists)
10:25 Closing by the moderator 

Event Contact Information: 
Radhika Iyengar
iyengar@ei.columbia.edu