Two books you should buy if you are engaged in the SDGs
Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal set of seventeen goals and 169 targets, with accompanying indicators, which were agreed by UN member states to frame their policy agendas for the fifteen-year period from 2015 to 2030. Written by three authors who have been engaged in the development of the SDGs from the beginning, this book offers an insider view of the process and a unique entry into what will be seen as one of the most significant negotiations and global policy agendas of the twenty-first century.
The book reviews how the SDGs were developed, what happened in key meetings and how this transformational agenda, which took more than three years to negotiate, came together in September 2015. It dissects and analyzes the meetings, organizations and individuals that played key roles in their development. It provides fascinating insights into the subtleties and challenges of high-level negotiation processes of governments and stakeholders, and into how the SDGs were debated, formulated and agreed. It is essential reading for all interested in the UN, sustainable development and the future of the planet and humankind.Review
"Learning from the process that engaged so many stakeholders at national and international level is important for future multilateral negotiations. This contribution from three actors intimately involved in the process offers rare insights into a long, challenging and ultimately fruitful process. I hope many readers will enjoy the insights presented in this book and be inspired to realise that the impossible is possible through compromise, partnership and leadership."
– from the foreword by Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice, Former President of Ireland (1990–1997) and Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997–2002)
"This is an important book that charts the journey we went on and the challenges faced in agreeing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I hope it will help people understand what was achieved and help those now, and in the future, engaged in the implementation of this agenda."
– from the foreword by Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations in New York, USA, co-chair of the negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals (2012–2014) and co-facilitator of Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2014–2015)
"Having participated in various negotiations on sustainable development since 1992, this overview of the process leading to the ambitious and important Sustainable Development Goals allows us to see the big picture and helps make the journey ahead possible."
– Julia Marton-Lefevre, former Director General of IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature
"As the most prolific writer on issues of sustainable development and the multilateral system, Felix Dodds has done it again; on this occasion, working with Ambassador David Donoghue and Jimena Lieva Roesch. These three authors have brought their individual and collective knowledge and expertise to review the 2030 development agenda, consolidated in a recently articulated set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Offered by people who were immersed in the process, theirs is a necessary and timely analysis of how the multilateral system works, the consultations and negotiations out of which the SDGs evolved and their intended objectives.
Given their backgrounds and proximity to what took place, the authors have brought to their subject the quality of information and analysis likely to be useful to those who will be engaged in fulfilling this agenda within the multilateral system and its myriad stakeholders. When compared with the MDGs, the very large number of sustainable development goals and targets suggest very high ambition and an enormous undertaking at both the national and international levels. For students of development and international relations this will be an essential book. It will become a useful tool for peer review of the attainment of the SDGs. Coming so soon after consensus on the SDGs and the new development agenda were reached, the authors engage in an important discussion on which future books on this area will draw and be assessed.
All three authors are to be congratulated for this important piece of work."
– Liz Thompson, former UN Assistant Secretary General for Rio+20 and Barbados Minister of Energy and Environment
"Experienced journalists covering UN negotiating meetings on sustainable development issues tend to make a bee-line for Felix Dodds to discover what is going on. Now he, and his equally well-informed co-authors – Ambassador David Donoghue and Jimena Leiva Roesch – are doing everyone a service by extending the privilege through this book, which traces the often tortuous process that led to the agreement last September of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Though AS OF YET little-known outside the international environment and development community, the Goals are – as the authors write – ‘a blueprint for the development of humanity and the planet in the 21st century’. Their adoption marks the moment when a decades-old argument was finally won.
This book charts how that happened and suggests how the victory should be followed up with action."
– Geoffrey Lean, award-winning environmental journalist
"Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals is an important and timely contribution to global development policymaking that will further our understanding of how the SDGs became the new overarching framework for a comprehensive development agenda – and help inspire and guide their implementation."
– Mark Suzman, President of Global Policy and Advocacy and Chief Strategy Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus: Global trends of population growth, rising living standards and the rapidly increasing urbanized world are increasing the demand on water, food and energy. Added to this is the growing threat of climate change which will have huge impacts on water and food availability. It is increasingly clear that there is no place in an interlinked world for isolated solutions aimed at just one sector. In recent years the "nexus" has emerged as a powerful concept to capture these inter-linkages of resources and is now a key feature of policy-making.
This book is one of the first to provide a broad overview of both the science behind the nexus and the implications for policies and sustainable development. It brings together contributions by leading intergovernmental and governmental officials, industry, scientists and other stakeholder thinkers who are working to develop the approaches to the Nexus of water-food-energy and climate. It represents a major synthesis and state-of-the-art assessment of the Nexus by major players, in light of the adoption by the United Nations of the new Sustainable Development Goals and Targets in 2015.
With a foreword by HRH the Prince of Wales
"The Water-Food-Energy nexus has emerged as one of the most important management challenges facing the sustainability agenda. Water, food and energy are all basic resources underpinning development, not just in terms of poverty alleviation but also more sustained economic growth and social development. They are Sustainable Development Goals in their own right, but also associated with the realization of all 17 SDGs. While there are many trade-offs related to water us in terms of agriculture and energy, the nexus perspective is primarily about seeking opportunities and achieving multiple benefits through better and more efficient management of resources. This demands new approaches that takes us beyond the predominant, traditional silo (or sector) thinking and management approaches. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the water-food-energy nexus, and the many dimensions associated with this nexus. It offers not just a problem description but also innovative approaches to management of these key resources from a wider systems perspective. It can be read by anyone looking for an introduction to the challenges and opportunities related to the Nexus, as well as anyone interested in practical approaches and solutions."
– Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden.
"Water, food and energy – we have seen these three areas as separate sectors with seperate problems for way too long. The truth is that they are deeply interlinked and must be seen as such if we are to overcome the impacts climate change and growing populations will have on them. That is why the water, food, energy nexus is so important to investigate. This book is an important contribution by major thinkers on what those challenges will be and how to start addressing them in an interlinked manner."
– Ida Auken, former Environment Minister of Denmark.
"Never before has the world needed an integrated approach to sustainable development more. The principles and strategies explored in this book provide a roadmap for just that."
– Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary General, CIVICUS.
"The fact that, in 2015, the world is still struggling with hunger, poverty, and exclusion, almost half a century after mankind managed to set foot on the moon, says a lot about the complexity tackling development challenges. In order to succeed, sustainable development must look at all underlying causes, and embrace their dynamic inter-relations. Hunger will not be solved without looking at factors behind poverty, equal access for men and women and sustainable use of limited natural resources, including water and energy, or the impacts of climate change; and this requires the participation of all stakeholders! Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram's Nexus book illustrates well the need for an integrated approach to the Sustainable Development Goals in Agenda 2030. Only by breaking down silos, will we achieve sustainable development, in all three of its dimensions, in our generation’s lifetime!"
– Gerda Verburg, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations Food organisations in Rome, Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on Food and Nutrition Security, Former Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security (UN CFS) (2013-2015), Chair of the seventeenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-17).
"The Nexus book demonstrates the urgency required for integrated approaches to development in order to address poverty and achieve sustainable development. It provides valuable historical examples that demonstrate why development planning and practice need to be done differently, and with more urgency. It is a 'must-read' for development planners and practitioners globally who have a conscience for really improving the lives of the poor and bettering the world. It is a timely publication that will go a long way in contributing towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals."
– Hesphina Rukato, Executive Director, Centre for African Development Solutions.