Author(s): Nilsson, Måns and Costanza, Robert

Year: 2015

In: ICSU, ISSC (2015): Review of the Sustainable Development Goals:
The Science Perspective. Paris: International Council for Science (ICSU).

ISBN: 9780-930357-9

Type: Report chapter

Language:
English

Centre:
Global

Link to SEI author:

Review of Targets for the Sustainable Development Goals: The Science Perspective

SEI Research Director Måns Nilsson and co-author Robert Costanza review the overall framework and framing of the Sustainable Development Goals in this scientific review of the proposed SDGs.

This report offers the first comprehensive assessment of the SDG targets carried out by the scientific community, and represents the work of over 40 leading researchers covering a range of fields across the natural and social sciences.

In the opening chapter, Måns Nilsson and Robert Costanza review the overall framework and framing of the goals. They find that:

  • The proposed Sustainable Development Goals offer major improvements on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDG framework addresses key systemic barriers to sustainable development such as inequality, unsustainable consumption patterns, weak institutional capacity, and environmental degradation that the MDGs neglected.
  • An overarching goal and compelling narrative of change is needed, to aid communication of the goals and mobilize broad stakeholder action. These should be accompanied by new metrics of progress.
  • The current ‘silo approach’ within the SDGs is probably unavoidable given political and institutional realities, but should be complemented by an approach to target setting that better reflects the interlinkages between goal areas.
  • There is a need to aggregate and package the goals and their interactions in order to communicate the SDGs effectively.

Read more and download the report at the ICSU website.»

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