What should we do with the SDG Targets that fall in 2020?

Original paper published in 2017 for the Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development  December workshop. This was revised in 2019.
Felix Dodds (1, 2)), Jamie Bartram (2) and Gastón Ocampo (3)

1: Tellus Institute, UNC Global Research Institute

2: The Water Institute at UNC, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

3: Roanoke College, Department of International Relations, Salem, VA, USA

 

Abstract

Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the 193-member states of the United Nations in September 2015. It includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are accompanied by 169 targets, 107 of which are considered output targets and 62 are designated ‘means of implementation’.

While the SDGs are associated with the period 2016 – 2030, twenty-three targets (14%) have dates for completion before 2030. For twenty of those targets the date is 2020 and for the remaining three it is 2025.  The affected targets are associated with 232 individual indicators.  Not addressing the issues that arise because of this has the potential to create two classes of targets. 

In most cases other UN processes will recommend continuation, modification, abandonment or replacement of expiring targets – outside the SDG framework.  The updating of targets outside the SDG framework and therefore the emergence of two classes of targets has the potential to threaten the overall cohesion of the SDG enterprise; and there is some risk that resources will benefit one class of targets, those within the SDG framework, over the other, regardless of whether target conditions have been achieved.  

The time window to prepare for the earliest-expiring target (2020) is short.  We identify four option-types and summarize their pros and cons.  None is perfect and some blend of them may be preferable.  For all affected targets, monitoring is in hand within the SDG framework and in several cases established or potential processes would facilitate analysis and decision making as to abandonment, renewal, modification or replacement of targets and associated indicators.

“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.” (Ban, 2013)

Introduction

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the predecessors to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were not adopted through a single intergovernmental agreement.  The Millennium Declaration (UN, 2000), adopted at the Millennium Summit in 2000, contained a statement of values, principles and objectives for the international community for the twenty-first century. The UN Administrative Coordination Committee (ACC) of the UN Secretary General, now known as the United Nations System Chief Executives Board (CEB), set up an interagency committee to develop the outcomes from the Millennium Summit into what became the MDGs and their associated targets and indicators (UN, 2001).

The MDGs were established for the period 2001 to 2015 and, according to the final MDG Report: “the 15-year effort has produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history:

·      “Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half.

·      “The proportion of undernourished people in the developing regions has fallen by almost half.

·      “The primary school enrolment rate in the developing regions has reached 91 percent, and many more girls are now in school compared to 15 years ago.

·      “Remarkable gains have also been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

·      “The under-five mortality rate has declined by more than half, and maternal mortality is down 45 percent worldwide.

·      “The target of halving the proportion of people who lack access to improved sources of water was also met.” (UNDP, 2015)

Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the 193-member states of the United Nations in September 2015. It includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), accompanied by 169 targets, 107 of which are considered output targets and 62 are designated ‘means of implementation’. 

One of the critical differences between how the MDGs and SDGs were developed was that the SDGs emerged from a global consultation involving governments, UN Agencies and Programmes, and stakeholders.   The process included two high level panels set up by the UN Secretary General. 

One of these, the High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, established in August 2010 and publishing its report, Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing in January 2012 as input to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development - known as Rio+20, recommended that:

“Governments should agree to develop a set of key universal sustainable development goals, covering all three dimensions of sustainable development as well as their interconnections. Such goals should galvanize individual and collective action and complement the Millennium Development Goals, while allowing for a post-2015 framework. An expert mechanism should be established by the Secretary-General to elaborate and refine the goals before their adoption by United Nations Member States.” (UN, 2012)

The second high-level panel was the Secretary-General's High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, set up in July 2012 and which reported on the 30th of May 2013 put forward some suggestions about what those SDGs might look like and proposed 12 goals which will be found in Table 1.  

 

The Rio+20 Conference held in June 2012 played a critical role in establishing the argument for the SDGs. The establishment of the Open Working Group (OWG) is outlined in the Rio+20 outcome document titled “The Future We Want” was poignant in the creation of the SDGs:

248. We resolve to establish an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process on sustainable development goals that is open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly. An open working group shall be constituted no later than at the opening of the sixty-seventh session of the Assembly and shall comprise thirty representatives, nominated by Member States from the five United Nations regional groups, with the aim of achieving fair, equitable and balanced geographical representation. At the outset, this open working group will decide on its methods of work, including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations system in its work, in order to provide a diversity of perspectives and experience. It will submit a report, to the Assembly at its sixty-eighth session, containing a proposal for sustainable development goals for consideration and appropriate action.” (UN, 2012)

The Open Working Group would have 70 countries sharing the 30 seats and would meet 13 times to agree 17 goals and 169 targets. In 2015 the formal work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) would then absorb these into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which Heads of State would agree to in September 2015.

During this whole process there was also the most extensive input the UN has seen from stakeholder conferences, workshops and reports.  All these informing member States as they started to negotiate. There were a number of key reports that in addition to the High-Level Panel put forward a set of suggested Sustainable Development Goals

Perhaps the most significant event was the United Nations Department of Public Information 64th Non-Governmental Conference held in Bonn in September 2011 called Sustainable Communities Responsive Citizens. The conference occurred only two months after Colombia had proposed the idea of the SDGs at an intergovernmental workshop in Solo Indonesia. The UNDPI NGO Conference proposed 17 sustainable development goals. These can be seen in Table 1.

The other major contribution was through the Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). The SDSN has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Its report An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development published in June 2013 suggested 10 SDGs – see Table 1.


 

TABLE 1: Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals – 17 Goals September 2015

(UN, 2015)

Sustainable Development Solution Network – 10 Goals June 2013

(SDSN, 2013)

 

High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda - 12 Goals

May 2013

(UN, 2013)

UN Department of Public Information NGO Conference - 17 Goals

September 2011

(UNDPI, 2011)

1.     End poverty in all its forms everywhere

1.     End extreme poverty and hunger

1.     End Poverty

1.         Sustainable Livelihoods, Youth & Education

2.     End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

2.     Increase agricultural production in an environmentally sustainable manner, to achieve food security and rural prosperity

2.     Ensure Food Security and Good Nutrition

2.         Sustainable Agriculture

3.     Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

3.     Achieve health and wellbeing at all ages

3.     Ensure Healthy Lives

3.         Basic Health

4.     Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

4.     Ensure learning for all children and youth

4.     Provide Quality Education and Lifelong Learning

 

5.     Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

5.     Achieve gender equality and reduce inequalities

5.     Empower Girls and Women and Achieve Gender Equality

 

6.     Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

 

6.     Achieve Universal Access to Water and Sanitation

4.         Water:

7.     Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

6.     Curb human-induced climate change with sustainable energy

7.     Secure Sustainable Energy

5.        Clean Energy

8.     Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

 

8.     Create Jobs, Sustainable Livelihoods and Equitable Growth

6.         Subsidies and Investment:

9.     Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

 

9.     Create a Global Enabling Environment

 

10.  Reduce inequality within and among countries

 

 

7.        New Indicators of Progress:

8.        Environmental Justice for The Poor and Marginalised

11.  Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

7.     Make cities productive and environmentally sustainable

 

9.         Green Cities

12.  Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

8.     Achieve development and prosperity for all without ruining the environment

 

10.      Sustainable Consumption and Production

 

13.  Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

 

 

11.      Climate Sustainability

 

14.  Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

 

 

12.      Healthy Seas and Oceans (Blue Economy)

 

15.  Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

9.     Protect ecosystems and ensure sound management of natural resources

10.  Manage Natural Resource Assets Sustainably

13.      Biodiversity

14.      Healthy Forests

16.  Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

10.  Improve governance and align business behavior with all the goals

11.  Ensure Good Governance and Effective Institutions

12.  Ensure Stable and Peaceful Societies

15.     Access to Redress and Remedy

16.      Public Participation

17.     Access to Information

17.  Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

 

 

 

 

 

The 2030 Agenda recognized and honored several processes that were parallel to or preceded the SDG negotiations.  These included the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (UN, 2015); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (UN, 2015); the existing target in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) for the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) (UN, 2002), and targets agreed in the processes around the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets for the period 2011-2020 (CBD, 2010)

While the SDGs are associated with the period 2016 – 2030, twenty-three targets (14%) originating in these other processes have dates for completion before 2030. For twenty it is 2020 and for the remaining three it is 2025.  While processes that will lead to recommendations concerning some of these are underway, there is no consistent approach to decision-making about their continuation, modification, abandonment or replacement within the 2030 Agenda.

In this paper we describe the targets affected; review how analogous circumstances have been handled previously and describe the principal options available to policy makers. The paper is based on consultations with member States, the UN system and stakeholders. We hope to assist member states thinking and options they might have how to address these targets.


Status of affected goals and targets

Table 1 lists the affected goals and targets, summarises associated monitoring and reporting activities, and notes for which targets a process to deliberate on post-target date activity has been identified.  While five of the affected targets are nominally MoI (4b, 8b, 9c, 11b, 13a) their wordings more closely resemble outcome targets (Bartram, Bradley, Muller and Evans, 2018).

All of the affected targets are subjects of monitoring and reporting.  However, baseline information was available on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform to inform the initial formulation of the SDGs and associated targets (UN, 2016). The availability of the associated insights; and of experience accrued with the monitoring efforts themselves, will give Member States baseline data and information on progress to inform discussion and to assist in determining whether these targets and their associated indicators should be continued, modified, abandoned or replaced with new ones.

Adoption of indicators for SDG targets was overseen by the United Nations Statistical Commission which “created the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), composed of Member States and including regional and international agencies as observers. The IAEG-SDGs was tasked to develop and implement the global indicator framework for the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda. The global indicator framework was developed by the IAEG-SDGs and agreed upon, including refinements on several indicators, at the 48th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission held in March 2017.” (UN 2018).  This framework was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UN, 2018).  The indicators are classified into three tiers:

Tier 1: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.

Tier 2: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.

Tier 3: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.  (UN, 2017)

There are 244 indicators however nine of the indicators are repeated under two or three targets so there are only 232 unique indicators. Of the 232 indicators associated with the affected targets 93, 66 and 68 are Tier I, II and III respectively; and


TABLE 2: SDG Goals and targets with target dates for completion other than 2030; associated monitoring and reporting and plans for management of the interim period


GOAL

TARGET

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

PROCESS PLANNED AS OF JANUARY 2018

INDICATOR TIER

 

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

2.1       By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.

 

Nothing planned

TIER I

 

2.1.1 Prevalence of undernourishment

 

 

2.1.2 Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)

2.2       By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons

 

Nothing planned

TIER I

 

2.2.1 Prevalence of stunting (height for age <-2 standard deviation from the median of the World Health Organization (WHO) Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age

 

 

2.2.2 Prevalence of malnutrition (weight for height >+2 or <-2 standard deviation from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age, by type (wasting and overweight)

 

 

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well- being for all at all

3.6       By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents

 

 

The new United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution reiterates the call to intensify national, regional and international collaboration, with a view to meeting the ambitious road safety-related targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNGA resolution A/72/L.48

TIER I

 

3.6.1 Death rate due to road traffic injuries

 

 

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

 

4.b       By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in  higher education, including  vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries.

 

Nothing planned

TIER I

 

4.b.1 Volume of official development assistance flows for scholarships by sector and type of study

 

 

 

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

6.6       By 2020, protect and restore water related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

 

 

TIER II

 

6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

 

 

 

 

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

8.6       By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

 

Nothing planned

TIER I

 

8.6.1 Proportion of youth (aged 15–24 years) not in education, employment or training

 

 

 

8.7       Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms

 

Nothing -planned

TIER II

 

8.7.1 Proportion and number of children aged 5–17 years engaged in child labour, by sex and age

 

 

8.b       By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

 

Nothing planned

TIER III

 

8.b.1 Existence of a developed and operationalized national strategy for youth employment, as a distinct strategy or as part of a national employment strategy

 

 

 

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

 

9.c       Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

 

Nothing planned

TIER I

 

9.c.1 Proportion of population covered by a mobile network, by technology

 

 

 

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

 

11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels

 

Nothing planned

TIER I

 

11.b.1 Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030

 

 

 

TIER II

 

11.b.2 Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies

 

 

 

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

 

12.4           By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

 

Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Conference in 2020

 

The second meeting of the intersessional process was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 13 to 15 March 2018, hosted by the Government of Sweden. In this meeting, the Strategic Approach towards 2020 and beyond was discussed the third meeting will be in early 2019.

TIER I

 

12.4.1 Number of parties to international multilateral environmental agreements on hazardous waste, and other chemicals that meet their commitments and obligations in transmitting information as required by each relevant agreement

 

 

 

TIER III

 

12.4.2 Hazardous waste generated per capita and proportion of hazardous waste treated, by type of treatment

 

 

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

 

13 a. Implement the commitment undertaken by developed country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible

UNFCCC Paris text  

53. Oceans Conference is 2020?

TIER III

 

 

13.a.1 Mobilized amount of United States dollars per year between 2020 and 2025 accountable towards the $100 billion commitment

 

 

 

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

14.1     By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land- based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 8: “Goal 8. Maintain capacity of ecosystems to deliver goods and services and support livelihoods

-       Target 8.1: Capacity of ecosystems to deliver goods and services maintained

-       Target 8.2: Biological resources that support sustainable livelihoods, local food security, and health care, especially of poor people maintained.”

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER III

 

14.1.1 Index of coastal eutrophication and floating plastic debris density

 

 

14.2     By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans

Combined elements from CBD 6,11,15

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER III

 

14.2.1 Proportion of national exclusive economic zones managed using ecosystem-based approaches

 

 

14.4     By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics

Elements from CBD 2,3,4,6,7,12,19

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER I

 

14.4.1 Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels

 

 

14.5     By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information

Elements from CBD 5,11

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER I

 

14.5.1 Coverage of protected areas in relation to marine areas

 

 

14.6     By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation

Elements from CBD 3,4

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER II

 

14.6.1 Progress by countries in the degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

 

 

 

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

15.1     By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

Elements from Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 4,5,7,11,14,15

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER I

 

15.1.1 Forest area as a proportion of total land area

 

15.1.2 Proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type

 

 

15.2     By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally

Elements from CBD 4,5,7,14,15

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER I

 

15.2.1 Progress towards sustainable forest management

 

 

15.5     Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species

Elements CBD Target 4,5,15

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER I

 

15.5.1 Red List Index

 

 

 

15.8     By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species

Elements from CBD 11,14,15

 CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER II

 

15.8.1 Proportion of countries adopting relevant national legislation and adequately resourcing the prevention or control of invasive alien species

 

 

15.9     By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts

Elements CBD 5,12

CBD in 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt will discuss preparation for the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The new targets will be set at the CBD meeting in China in 2020.

TIER III

 

15.9.1 Progress towards national targets established in accordance with Aichi Biodiversity Target 2 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020

 

 

 

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts

17.18   By 2020, enhance capacity building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts

 

Nothing planned

TIER III

 

17.18.1 Proportion of sustainable development indicators produced at the national level with full disaggregation when relevant to the target, in accordance with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

 

TIER II

 

17.18.2 Number of countries that have national statistical legislation that complies with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

 

 

TIER I

 

17.18.3 Number of countries with a national statistical plan that is fully funded and under implementation, by source of funding

 

 


To help in the development and assimilation of new forms of data to support better indicators and monitoring, the UN Secretary General set up an Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.  It presented its report “A World That Counts” in November 2014. One of its recommendations was the establishment of a “World Forum on Sustainable Development Data to bring together the whole data ecosystem to share ideas and experiences for data improvements, innovation, advocacy and technology transfer.” (UN, 2014). 

This initiative was embraced by the UN Statistical Commission as a platform for intensifying cooperation with professional groups, such as information technology, geospatial information managers, data scientists, and users and stakeholders. 

The first United Nations World Data Forum was hosted from 15 to 18 January 2017 by Statistics South Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. The second will be hosted by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority of the United Arab Emirates from 22 to 24 October 2018 in Dubai. 

Comprehensive review of indicators will happen in stepwise, in 2020 and in 2024 after the Heads of State Reviews of progress in delivering the SDGs in 2019 and 2023 (Institute for European Environmental Policy, 2018).

Options Analysis

Identifying a future course of action for each affected target will depend in part on SDG-wide policies and approaches; and in part on target-specific context, such as the existence of a treaty or other process.  Alignment between these two influences will vary target-by-target. 

One of us (FD) consulted the UN Agencies and Programmes listed in Table 2 and presented an earlier version of this table to the government Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development (FGSD, 2017) workshop on November 2nd 2017 to solicit their thinking on what to do with the affected targets. The four-principal option-types, there and associated principal advantages and disadvantages, and target-specific options described here are synthesized from that process.

 

Option 1: That no updated targets will be added to the SDGs to replace those that have expired and monitoring and reporting will conclude at the date of the target.

Pros: The agreement on the SDGs and their targets was one that had balanced the interests of all member states and reopening this could cause that balance to be fractured

Cons: Some of the targets will be updated by other forums and so then there will be refection of progress reported to the HLPF in line with the new target. This will be particularly relevant to the CBD and SAICM targets

 

Option 2: That no updated targets will be added to the SDGs to replace those that have fallen but there will be continued monitoring of the indicators, and reporting on progress if the target conditions have not been achieved.

Pros: the agreement on the SDGs and their targets was one that had balanced the interests of all member states and reopening this could cause that balance to be fractured. It also allows reporting on the targets even if other forums have changed them

Cons: These not updated targets will not have been absorbed into the SDG targets and so it creates two classes of targets. One which is in the SDGs and one that isn’t. In particular this is true for the CBD and SAICM targets. It may impact on the level of commitment to the new targets if they are not absorbed into the SDGs

 

Option 3: Any updated target would need to be agreed through the UN General Assembly if it was to replace an expiring target.

Pros: This option recognizes that the UN General Assembly had agreed the SDGs and their targets so is the only ‘official body’ that can update them

 Cons: This could see the whole agreement reopen unless member states agree to recognize the agreements made in other forums. This still doesn’t address the targets that do not have other forums to set new targets. In these cases, option 2 could continue

 

Option 4: That any updated target agreed by a relevant UN body substitutes the old target without going through renegotiation in the UN General Assembly. Where there is no authoritative UN body then it is done through the UN General Assembly.

Pros: This would address all of the targets that are going to finish in 2020 and 2025

Cons: This would open up the SDG targets negotiations to Committee 2 of the UNGA to address those that have no plans to be replaced and this could be a difficult negotiation

 

 

 


 

TABLE 3: Target-specific competencies (UN, 2018) (UN, 2015)

GOAL

TARGET

TARGET DATE

COMPETENT AGENCY

Goal 2

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.a, 2.b, and 2.c

 

2020 and mostly 2030

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2021 and The World Health Organization (WHO)

Goal 3

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.a, 3.b, 3.c, and 3.d

 

2020 and mostly 2030

WHO, UN Population Division, The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Bank, The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS

(UNAIDS), The Vaccine Alliance

(GAVI), UN Habitat, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Goal 4

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.a, 4.b, and 4.c

 

2020 and mostly 2030

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Governing Conference 2019 or 2021, UNICEF and World Bank

Goal 6

Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.a, and 6.b 

 

2020 and mostly 2030

WHO/UNICEF (Joint Monitoring Programme), CBD, the Conference of the Parties (COP), FAO, and UNEP

Goal 8

Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 8.10, 8.a, and 8.b

 

2020 and mostly 2030

International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), and the International Labor Organization (ILO)

Goal 9

Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.a, 9.b, and 9.c

 

2020 and mostly 2030

World Bank, International Telecommunication Union

(ITU), The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and Inter Agency Expert Group on the SDGs and the Statistical Commission

Goal 11

Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 11.7, 11.a, 11.b, and 11.c

 

2020 and mostly 2030

UN-Habitat, Global City Indicators Facility, World Bank, The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), FAO, WHO, CRED and World Conference on Disaster Relief (Possibly in 2025)

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7, 12.8, 12.a, 12.b, and 12.c

 

2020 and mostly 2030

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

(UNCTAD), UN Global Compact, FAO, UNEP´s Ozone Secretariat, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development

(WBCSD), The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICEM)

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.a, and 13.b

 

2020

The International Energy Agency (IEA), OECD´s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), and The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

(UNFCCC)

Goals 14

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, marine resources

14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, 14.5, 14.6, 14.7, 14.a, 14.b, and 14.c

 

2020, 2025, and 2030

The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), FAO, CBD, and UNFCCC´s Conference of the Parties

Goal 15

sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4, 15.5, 15.6, 15.7, 15.8, 15.9, 15.a., 15.b, and 15.c

 

 

 

 

Goal 17

Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 17.4, 17.5, 17.6, 17.7, 17.8, 17.9, 17.10, 17.11, 17.12 17.13, 17.14, 17.15, 17.16, 17.17, 17.18, and 17.19

 

Several steps to be undertaken until 2030

IMF, OECD, OECD- DAC, The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), The International Accounting Standards Board

(IASB), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), IMF, The World Intellectual Property Organization

(WIPO), WTO, United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), World Bank, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the Inter-Agency Expert Group on the SDGs and agreed through the Statistical Commission

 

 

 


Conclusions

 

The existence of diverse target dates within the SDG package is a consequence of a process that recognized and honoured the diversity and richness of inputs to the SDG process and long-established mechanisms that pursue the SDG ambition.  In most cases, there are processes that will recommend continuation, modification, abandonment or replacement of expiring targets. If this is outside the SDG machinery, it will see the emergence of two classes of indicators. This has the potential to threaten the overall cohesion of the SDG enterprise.

 

There is some risk that resources will benefit one class of targets over the other, regardless of whether target conditions have been achieved. Inaction will tend to favour this and the time window before preparations towards the earliest-expiring target (2020) is short.  We identify four option-types and summarize their pros and cons.  None is perfect and some blend-determined cased-by-case may be preferable.  For all affected targets monitoring is in hand and in several cases established or potential processes would facilitate analysis and decision making as to abandonment, renewal, modification or replacement of targets and associated indicators.

 

References

 

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