SDG Update – 6 February 2018


SDG Knowledge Weekly: Health, Gender, and Blockchain for Financial Inclusion

Adam Fishman, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)

Building on recent SDG Knowledge Weekly discussions of activities relating to gender, health and finance, this week’s brief unpacks the interlinked issues of water, health and gender, which were among the priority development topics discussed in Davos. This column also examines blockchain technology, which presents new opportunities to leverage additional funding for achieving the SDGs.


Youth Express Needs, Recommendations for SDG Implementation Ana Maria Lebada, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Romania)

31 January 2018: Participants at the 2018 UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum called for engaging youth in monitoring and implementing the SDGs, including through countries’ voluntary national reviews (VNRs), using more accessible language on the SDGs, and fostering development of skills that are relevant to the future of work, among other priorities.


Bamako COP Affirms Commitment to Pollution-Free Africa

2 February 2018: The second Conference of the Parties (COP 2) to the Bamako Convention adopted a Ministerial Declaration reaffirming Parties’ commitment to a pollution-free Africa as the region’s contribution to achieving the SDGs and the sound management of chemicals and wastes. Parties called for urgent action and effective mechanisms at national and regional levels to implement the Convention.

Donors Boost Financing for Education Systems

2 February 2018: At the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) conference in Dakar, Senegal, donors announced a US$1 billion increase in education funding for developing countries. Their commitments mark progress towards GPE’s target of raising US$2 billion a year by 2020 to achieve large-scale gains in education worldwide. The UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), meanwhile, finds that reading literacy has risen in some countries, and highlights metrics for assessing progress.


EEA Report Analyzes Environmental Impacts of Aviation and Shipping

4 February 2018: A ‘Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism’ (TERM) report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) analyzes drivers behind the increasingly negative environmental impact of Europe’s shipping and aviation industries, and offers policy recommendations to reverse the trend.

UN-Water Members and Partners Discuss Baselines for SDG-6 Indicators, Awareness Raising

2 February 2018: During the 28th UN-Water meeting, UN-Water Members and Partners discussed upcoming high-level events and report launches related to water and sanitation policy and practice, including implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6).

Australia Launches Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy

1 February 2018: The ‘Good Practice Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy’ were launched on the sidelines of the 28th UN-Water Meeting, held in Rome, Italy, from 1-2 February 2018.

Investors Urged to Align Portfolios with Paris Agreement

1 February 2018: Transitioning towards a low-carbon economy requires the global investor community to increase climate action, and raise its ambition to divest from fossil fuel investments, according to UN officials attending an investors’ summit.

Hawai’i Plans State-level SDG Implementation

17 January 2018: The Hawai’i State Senate announced its intention to enact the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into state law to achieve the sustainability of Hawai’i’s people, communities, natural resources and economic prosperity. Hawai’i will implement the SDGs through the Aloha+ Challenge.

WHO Targets Infectious Diseases, Premature Cancer Deaths

31 January 2018: The World Health Organization (WHO) is tackling both communicative and non-communicative diseases, with a series of recent initiatives. An investigation by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) highlights the economic value of preventive activities tailored to each country’s “cancer profile.” The Organization is also working to eliminate measles, rubella and yellow fever in several target countries, and supporting countries to monitor the rise of antimicrobial resistance by establishing their own national surveillance systems.

EU Expert Group Provides Recommendations for Sustainable Finance

31 January 2018: The EU High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) issued its final report and recommendations on integrating sustainable finance within the EU and broader global financial systems. The report will guide the Commission’s forthcoming action plan on sustainable finance.

Climate Mitigation Finance Update: Renewable and Energy Efficiency Financing and Guidance for Paris-compatible Investments

31 January 2018: Funding for several renewable energy projects has been announced in January, including initiatives to support photovoltaic (PV) solar projects in Jordan, Mauritius, Peru and Rwanda, and wind power in Peru and the Dominican Republic. Investments in energy efficiency are expected to reduce energy intensity and improve energy security in Kosovo. A debt fund has been launched in Africa to finance clean, off-grid electricity access. Seven leading finance organizations have launched an initiative to guide investors in enabling their investments to be compatible with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

Symposium Discusses Supply Chain and Deforestation Links

30 January 2018: An international symposium in Tokyo, Japan, showcased initiatives aiming at developing forestry-related supply chains that are beneficial for small producers while meeting global zero-deforestation commitments, such as in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Conflict Continues to Drive Hunger

29 January 2018: The majority of the 815 million people affected by hunger worldwide live in conflict zones and their situation continues to worsen. According to an update to the UN Security Council provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), in half of the countries monitored, more than a quarter of the population faces emergency or crisis levels of food insecurity.

Companies Commit to Science-Based Climate Targets

26 January 2018: Businesses around the world have been called on to set science-based, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets as a way to ensure corporate action on climate change. Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra made the call in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), which will convene from 12-14 September 2018 in San Francisco, California, US.

UNFCCC Paper Urges Coordination on Climate, Disasters and SDGs

25 January 2018: To overcome the challenges of rising global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and weather-related disasters while achieving the SDGs, unprecedented levels of coordination are required, according to a report from the UNFCCC. The report summarizes the views of experts who met in Bonn, Germany, on the sidelines of the 46th session of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies in May 2017, for the second annual technical expert meeting (TEM) on adaptation.

World Bank, OECD Advance Financing Initiatives for SDGs, Paris Agreement

January 2018: The international community is taking steps to gear financial markets towards the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Initiatives by the World Bank, OECD and others address sustainability financing while reinforcing gender equality, environmental goals, and transparency.