“International High-Level Event: Follow-Up and Review Mechanisms for Natural Resources in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”
International High-Level Event, 12-13 May 2015, New York City
Organised by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (Potsdam, Germany), Biovision Foundation (Zurich, Switzerland) and Millennium Institute (Washington D.C., United States)
Renewable Resources and the Sustainable Development Goals Forum
Please read the: Chair's Conclusion + Side Event Summary + IISD Summary Report
In September 2015, Member States of the United Nations will agree and adopt the post-2015 development agenda comprised of a set of universally applicable Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Robust review and follow-up mechanisms will have to be elaborated in order to ensure a successful implementation of the SDGs. Since the 18-22 May session of the Post-2015 IGN will have follow-up and review as its main topic, the High-Level Event on “Follow-up and Review Mechanisms for Natural Resource Management and Governance to Achieve the SDGs” comes very timely to address some of the key issues in this regard.
The event will discuss options for follow-up and review mechanisms that effectively connect the national with the regional and global levels and encourage wide participation. This is in accordance with the vision of the UN Secretary General in his Synthesis Report on the post 2015 sustainable development agenda which states in Para 149 that “[…] a universal review process […] could be initiated at the national level, and would inform the […] regional, and global level reviews. At all levels, review discussions should be public, participatory, broadly accessible, and based on facts, data, scientific findings, and evidence-based evaluations”. Para 149.i further calls for the most significant component of the review process to be a country-led, national component. If conducted in an inclusive and participatory manner, a national process can provide means of empowerment for concerned stakeholders to articulate their priorities leading to integrated and evidence-based decision-making.
The focus is on the management and governance of natural resources but the options presented could be further developed and applied to other thematic and cross-cutting areas of the Post-2015 agenda. Natural resources such as water, land and biodiversity, will support the achievement of the SDGs as they are central to ensure food and energy security, and will be fundamental to lift people out of poverty and to ensure the economic development of countries. However, the current set of SDGs does not sufficiently address the conflicting uses and the need for protection of the same natural resources across and among different goals and targets. These challenges should be addressed through robust follow-up and review mechanisms at the national level, but also at the regional and global level. If we fail to do so, the lack of integration will intensify conflicts over natural resources, like land and soils. This can have ripple effects leading to greater social, economic and environmental problems.
It is against this background, that the event will explore options and possible criteria for cross-cutting follow-up and review mechanisms at national level, and will discuss potential synergies and tradeoffs among different SDGs that relate to natural resources. The mechanisms discussed will also be applicable to other thematic and cross-cutting areas of the Post-2015 agenda. At the same time, such mechanisms will aim to connect the national level to the regional and global levels, where the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is expected to follow up on the implementation of sustainable development (Para 84 of A/RES/66/288 the Future We Want).
- Gather negotiators, national government experts, UN system, science, civil society and business representatives to discuss options to develop robust follow-up and review mechanisms that connect the global (HLPF), regional and national levels.
- Discuss opportunities and possible criteria for an integrated approach in the follow-up and review in order to successfully implement the SDGs, with a focus on natural resource management and governance.
- Discuss the potential role and contribution of participatory platforms in the follow-up and review of the implementation of the SDGs.
We aim that from the discussions at the High-Level Event a message with specific recommendations will emerge, reflecting the views by the participants. This message shall include suggestions for follow-up and review mechanisms for natural resources in the Post-2015 Agenda. If participants decide to do so, the message could be complemented by language suggestions for the Declaration for the Post-2015 Agenda based on the zero draft.
Ivonne Lobos Alva
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Germany
Ivonne.LobosAlva [at] iass-potsdam.de