The report, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” represents a big and unique step for people, planet, prosperity and peace.

We have worked behind the scenes and in the corridors of the UN headquarters in New York, following and influencing the Agenda 2030 process since the announcement of the SDGs at Rio +20 in 2012. We have also influenced the process indirectly through supporting collaborating partner organisations´ work in following and informing the negotiations. There were a number of key processes that led to the successful launch of SDGs. The first influential action was the 2011 Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability which ended with a suite of urgent and far-reaching recommendations delivered to the United Nations. SwedBio provided input regarding poverty to the Executive Summary of scientific background reports for the symposium.

 

SRC research a base for UN Secretary General’s High‐level Panel on Global Sustainability

One of the most influential reports paving the way for Agenda 2030 was the UN Secretary General’s High‐level Panel on Global Sustainability’s ‘Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing’. The report was clearly influenced by the SRC’s scientific work, not least the Planetary Boundaries framework.

 

A multi-stakeholder Dialogue in Colombia

SwedBio arranged several dialogues with partner organisations and countries to discuss relevant aspects of the Agenda 2030. The most prominent one was “The multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Integrating Social-Ecological Resilience into the New Development Agenda” in Medellín in December 2013.

Colombia, the country initiating the SDGs, together with SwedBio, SRC and the Humboldt Institute, invited 60 participants from 18 countries to take part in the dialogue. Professors Johan Rockström and Brigitte Baptiste were co-chairs and participants came from government organisations, UN organisations, research organisations and a variety of civil society organisations. Their aim was to explore options for better integrating social-ecological resilience, underpinned by biodiversity and ecosystem services, into the future development goals and monitoring frameworks.

 

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network
One of the most important channels in influencing the final outcome of the Agenda 2030 document has been Sustainable Development Solutions Network, SDSN. SDSN was launched by Ban Ki Moon with the goal of mobilising scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector to develop solution-oriented initiatives in relation to Agenda 2030. Professor Jeffrey Sachs not only leads SDSN but is a key person behind the architecture of Agenda 2030 and together with SwedBio, has been well-placed to make influential inputs to these processes. For example, during the pre-intergovernmental negotiations, discussions were held in the so-called Open Working Group (OWG) where a large majority of the UN member states were represented. SwedBio’s close links to the scientific advisor of the OWG and to its Hungarian co-chair, Csaba Körösi, Janos Zlinszky, laid the foundations for a formal and informal dialogue to explore different strategic issues in between each negotiation session. Following this, SwedBio worked with researchers at SRC, to analyse and formally comment on the various drafts produced by the OWG.

 

SwedBio in the Swedish Delegation
Thanks to its track record of professionalism and dedication to creating effective dialogues, SwedBio was invited to the Swedish delegation for one of the final intergovernmental negotiations of the Post-2015 development agenda leading up to the final agreement.

“We had a trustful dialogue with the Swedish government about constructive ways to ensure integration of biodiversity-related issues into the Agenda,”says Hanna Wetterstrand, the SwedBio representative in the Swedish delegation.

Maria Schultz, the head of SwedBio and a leading expert of biodiversity finance issues, provided crucial input to the negotiations and the SDSN report on Finance for Development that ran parallel to Agenda 2030. Maria sums up a fundamental message underpinning SwedBio’s engagement throughout the process:

“Human prosperity and development must occur within a safe and fair operating space on a stable planet. This implies meeting human development goals within scientifically defined global sustainability goals and targets, such as a minimum protection of biological diversity on earth.”

SwedBio and SRC have contributed together to feeding in the perspectives of concepts such as the Planetary Boundaries framework and other relevant research at SRC related to poverty, equity, ecosystem services, biodiversity, marine issues, agriculture, rights of indigenous peoples and urban resilience issues in to the process of negotiating the SDGs.