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My response to Mark Stafford-Smith's article on the SDGs in Nature

The wonderful Mark Stafford-Smith has an interesting article on the SDGs in Nature this is my response to it.

I have attended all the negotiating sessions of the SDG OWG and Mark is right the input from science has failed on two accounts on content and on lobbying. I dont agree with the issue of 10 goals and the reason for that is we should not be focusing on the number but on what needs to be addressed. In that context the difference between the MDGs and SDGs is that the MDGs dealt with ONLY developing countries and only traditional development. The SDGs is dealing with ALL countries and sustainable development. It is therefore not surprising we have twice as many. As far as the targets are concerned one of the very cleaver things the governments have done is to separate the outcome from the SDG OWG and the formal negotiations which will probably start in February by six months for exactly this consideration of what the final targets should be. This is a "floor not a ceiling" as Maurice Strong said in his speech to the UN Stocktaking event on the 11th of September . The main push for a reduction in targets has come from the development Ministries in the north who don't really want to address 'sustainable development' so be careful what you wish for. 

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