SDG Update – 9 May 2019

GUEST ARTICLES
What Migratory Birds Tell Us About Sustainability Bruno Portier, FAO Forestry Officer
A sign of the passing seasons which many of us have come to expect is, increasingly, under threat. Each year, flocks of migratory birds arrive and leave in dazzling displays, landing in trees and on lakes, ponds and beaches, foraging for food in fields and marshes. They provide both sustenance and delight for billions of people around the world. But many migratory birds, like people, are struggling amid unsustainable conditions.
POLICY BRIEFS
SDG Knowledge Weekly: Biodiversity Update
Adam Fishman, Thematic Expert for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)
The seventh session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES 7) convened last week in Paris, France, bringing significant global attention to biodiversity and ecosystem services. This SDG Knowledge Weekly brief compiles and collates reports and briefs released around the session and some of the early responses to the IPBES Global Assessment that has generated so much concern.
FEATURED
Experts Review HLPF’s First Cycle, Discuss Possible Improvements
7 May 2019: Experts gathered to consider lessons learned from the first four-year cycle of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which concludes in July 2019. In the context of an intergovernmental review of the HLPF scheduled to take place during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), participants exchanged views based on their experiences with the HLPF to date and made suggestions for improving the voluntary national reviews (VNRs), the SDG thematic reviews and multi-stakeholder participation, among other topics.

Adaptation Finance Update: Most Vulnerable Nations Are Among Least Likely Recipients
5 May 2019: The Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in April highlighted the socioeconomic impacts and costs of climate change in the region, including the debt burden arising from disaster recovery. Several publications emphasized that Pacific island nations are seen as facing particularly high risks, and highlighted adaptation and policy challenges.

Indigenous Peoples Have a Crucial Role in Implementing SDG 16, Concludes Permanent Forum
3 May 2019: The 18th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) convened on the overall theme of ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Knowledge: Generation, Transmission and Protection.’ The meeting drew attention to the role of indigenous peoples in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and highlighted the link between protecting indigenous languages and safeguarding traditional knowledge as a crucial element in addressing climate change and other challenges facing the global community today.
NEWS
Deputy Secretary-General Updates Member States on Status of Development Reforms
3 May 2019: The UN Secretariat is making the planned transition to the new Resident Coordinator (RC) system, but a funding gap for the system exists beyond 2019, UN Member States were informed. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed briefed governments on the status of reforms to the UN development system, noting that the 1% coordination levy will help to fill the anticipated funding gap for the reinvigorated RC system.

SDSN TReNDS Reflects on Lessons Learned on Data Collaboration
April 2019: The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) shared initial insights from the work of Contracts for Data Collaboration (C4DC). The brief from TReNDS highlights benefits of data collaboration and presents an analytical framework to organize data-sharing agreements (DSAs).

Arctic States Reaffirm Commitment to Sustainable Development of Arctic Ecosystems and People
7 May 2019: Ministers of eight Arctic States reaffirmed their commitment to the sustainable development and protection of the Arctic environment and to the well-being of Arctic inhabitants, in a Joint Ministerial Statement signed at the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting. The Council’s Working Groups released reports on climate change, freshwater biodiversity, marine litter, connectivity in the Arctic and many other topics.

UN Secretary-General, AUC Chairperson Urge Greater Momentum on SDGs, Climate Action
6 May 2019: UN Secretary-General António Guterres and African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed their commitment to deepen the strategic partnership between the UN and the AU in achieving sustainable development and addressing peace and security issues in Africa. Guterres and Faki released a joint communique following the Third AU-UN Annual Conference.