Mother Pelican
A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability

Vol. 9, No. 8, August 2013
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
Home Page


Advances in Sustainable Development


This supplement attempts to be a radar screen for recent/emerging/forthcoming advances in sustainable development. In selecting items for this supplementary page, priority is given to information about publications and tools with an educational and human-centric focus. This update includes the following reminders that sustainable development has a human face:

1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action
2. News, Publications, Tools, and Conferences
3. Advances in Sustainable Development
4. Advances in Integral Human Development
5. Advances in Integrated Sustainable Development
6. Sustainability Games, Databases, and Knowledgebases
7. Sustainable Development Measures and Indicators
8. Sustainable Development Modeling and Simulation
9. Fostering Sustainability in the International Community
Note: Items in this page are updated as information is received and as time permits. If the reader knows about new pubs/tools that should be announced in this page, please write to the Editor.


2015 Millennium Development Goals
2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Rethinking Global Goals

John W. Mcarthur, White Paper Magazine, Issue 1, 2013

KEY IDEA: "The post-2015 successors to the Millennium Development Goals must take advantage of the increasing power of NGOs, companies, and technologically enabled citizens." (link to the article)

1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action



Source: Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center
"Be a gardener.
Dig a ditch,
toil and sweat,
and turn the earth upside down
and seek the deepness
and water the plants in time.
Continue this labor
and make sweet floods to run
and noble and abundant fruits
to spring.
Take this food and drink
and carry it to God
as your true worship."
Julian of Norwich



Download Report (2.35 MB)

The world is faced with challenges in all three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. For instance, more than 1 billion people are still living in extreme poverty, income inequality within and among many countries has been rising and, at the same time, unsustainable consumption levels and production patterns have resulted in huge economic and social costs and may endanger life on the planet.

The World Economic and Social Survey 2013 contributes to the deliberations on addressing sustainable development challenges with a focus on three important cross-sectoral issues identified for action and follow-up at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development: sustainable cities, food security and energy transformation.

Sustainable development strategies need to be inclusive and take special care of the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. Strategies need to be ambitious, action-oriented and collaborative. They will need to change consumption and production patterns systemically, which might entail, inter alia, significant price corrections; encourage the preservation of natural endowments; reduce inequality; and strengthen economic governance.




After Earth Day ...

22 April 2013 ...

What have I done?
What am I doing?
What shall I do?

See how many people are participating ...

Earth Day 2013: Highlights from The Face of Climate Change


2. News, Publications, Tools, and Conferences



Science of the Anthopocene

Environmental Research Letters

Progress in Industrial Ecology

Environmental Leader

Monthly Energy News

The Environment Nexus

Energy and Climate News

BURN Energy Journal

Environmental News Network

Planet Ark
World Environmental News

Mother Earth News

Climate Action News

Sustainable Development Media

World Pulse


Environmental Science & Technology


WiserEarth News

New Internationalist

The Global Journal

Trade & Environment Nexus

Yes! Magazine

Human Development News

Science Daily
Earth & Climate News
Sustainability News
Science & Society News

International Institute for
Sustainable Development (IISD)
Reporting Services

Policy-Strategy Coverage

Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Sustainable Development - Small Islands
Biodiversity Policy & Practice
Climate Change Policy & Practice
Energy Policy Issues
Multilateral Environmental Agreements
Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Theme Coverage

Sustainable Development
Biodiveristy & Wildlife
Chemicals Management
Climate & Atmosphere
Forests - Deserts - Land
Human Development
Intergovernmental Organizations
Trade & Investment
Water - Oceand - Wetlands

Regional Coverage

Lating America & Caribbean
Near East
North America
South West Pacific

Rio+20 Coverage

Sustainable Development Conference
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4-6 June 2012

United Nations News Service
Rio+20: Making it Happen
UN Sustainable Development News
UN Gender Equality News

Value News Network

Catholic News Service

Anglican Communion News Service

Ekklesia Christian News Bulletin

Religion News Service

LiveScience News

Inter Press Service (PSI)

Triple Bottom Line
CSR News

The Progress Report

Global Health News

Kosmos Journal


Eldis Development Newsfeeds

General - all subjects

Newsfeeds by Subject

Ageing populations
Aid and debt
Children and young people
Climate Change
Climate adaptation
Corporate responsibility
Finance policy
Food security
Health systems
ICT for development
Influencing policy
Jobs, Events and Announcements
Manuals and toolkits
Trade policy

Newsfeeds by Region

East Asia and Pacific
Latin America and Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
South Asia



Global Innovation Index 2013
GII, 30 July 2013

International Energy Outlook 2013
U.S. EIA, 25 July 2013

Towards a Green Economy in Europe
EEA Report, 25 July 2013

Psychological and Behavioral
Aspects of Sustainability

Special Issue of Sustainability, July 2013

Future Earth:
Research for Global Sustainability

Alliance for Future Earth, July 2013

Corruption Barometer 2013 Report
Transparency International, 10 July 2013

World Economic & Social Survey 2013:
Sustainable Development Challenges

UN DESA, 2 July 2013

A Post-2015 Action Agenda
for Sustainable Development

UN SDSN, 6 June 2013

Climate Change
and Financial Instability
Seen as Top Global Threats

Pew Research Center, 24 June 2013

Science in Society:
Caring for our Futures
in Turbulent Times

ESF, June 2013

2012 Annual Report
Stockholm Environment Institute

SEI, June 2013

2012 Annual Report
Global Biodiversity Information Facility

GBIF, June 2013

2012 Science Review
Global Biodiversity Information Facility

GBIF, June 2013

Global Information Technology
Report 2013

WEF, 4 June 2013

A New Global Partnership:
Eradicate Poverty
and Transform Economies
through Sustainable Development

UN, 30 May 2013

A Guidebook to
Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform

GSI, 13 May 2013

Tracking Clean Energy Progress
IEA, May 2013

International Human Development Program
Annual Report 2012

IHDP, May 2013

Navigating Sustainable Development
in the 21st Century

UN IHDP, 9 May 2013

Reframing Sustainable Development:
A Critical Analysis

CIWEM, April 2013

Natural Capital at Risk:
The Top 100
Externalities of Business

TEEB, 15 April 2013

Fatal Fashion
SOMO, March 2013

Global Domestic Politics:
A Citizen's Guide to
Running a Diverse Planet

John Bunzl, ISPO, 28 March 2013

A Summary of
Current Climate Change
Findings and Figures

World Meteorological Organization
March 2013

The Wealth Report 2013
Knight Frank, March 2013

Environmental Pressures from European
Consumption and Production

EEA, 4 March 2013

Eco-justice Impacts and Opportunities
NCC, 1 March 2013

Environmental Decisions
in the Face of Uncertainty

NAS, 2013

Guide to Social Innovation
European Commission, February 2013

A World Connected:
Globalization in the 21st Century

Nayan Chanda & Susan Froetschel, Editors
YaleGlobal, 1 February 2013

Corruption Perceptions Index 2012
Transparency International, 28 January 2013

USA National Climate Assessment
Executive Summary
Full Report
USGCRP NCADAC, January 2013

Global Risks 2013
World Economic Forum, January 2013

Renewables Global Futures Report
REN21, January 2013

A Framework for Sustainable Development
Draft, UN SDSN, 19 December 2012

Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now
OECD, 17 December 2012

Global Energy Assessment (GEA)
WBGU, Germany, 12 December 2012

Guidebook to the Green Economy:
Common Green Economy Principles

UNDESA, November 2012

Climate & Development Research Review
CKND Global, 13 November 2012

Global Education Digest 2012
UNESCO, November 2012

Global Gender Gap Report 2012
World Economic Forum, November 2012

Back to Our Common Future
UN, SD21 Project, September 2012

Feeding a Thirsty World:
Challenges and Opportunities
for a Water and Food Secure Future

Stockholm International Water Institute, 2012

Climate Action Book 2011-2012
Climate Action/UNEP, 2012

Early Warning Systems
UNEP, 2012

2012 World Population Data Sheet
Population Reference Bureau, 20 July 2012

Trends in Global CO2 Emissions:
2012 Report

PBL Netherlands, 18 July 2012

Pervasive Gloom About the World Economy
Pew Research Center, 12 July 2012

Inside Stories on
Climate Compatible Development

CDKN, July 2012

Inclusive Wealth Report 2012
UN IHDP, June 2012

The Future We Want
UNCSD, 22 June 2012

Renewables 2012 Global Status Report
REN21, 11 June 2012

Beyond 2012:
The Future We Want "To Create"

UN CSD Education Caucus
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
June 2012

Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5)
UNEP, 6 June 2012

Inclusive Green Growth:
the Pathway to Sustainable Development

World Bank, May 2012

Inclusive Green Growth
in Latin America & the Caribbean

World Bank, May 2012

Ending the Suffering of Millions of Women
UnCUT Voices Press, May 2012

Country Reports
on Human Rights Practices for 2011

US Dept of State, May 2012

International Economic Trends
FRB St. Louis, May 2012

World of Work Report 2012:
Better Jobs for a Better Economy

ILO, May 2012

Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas
IEA, May 2012

Ecosystem Services:
Charting a Path to Sustainability

NAS, May 2012

Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development
ISFD Brochure, ISDB, May 2012

Global Integrity Report 2011
Global Integrity, 7 April 2012

World Development Indicators 2012
World Bank, April 2012

Tracking Clean Energy Progress
IEA, 25 April 2012

Global Monitoring Report 2012:
Food Prices, Nutrition, and the
Millennium Development Goals

Peggy Garvin, World Bank, April 2012

Measuring Financial Inclusion:
The Global Findex Database

Heather Negley, World Bank, April 2012

2012 Global Cities Index
and Emerging Cities Outlook

Peggy Garvin, World Bank, April 2012

GLAAS 2012 Report:
UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment
of Sanitation and Drinking-Water

Adrian Janes, WHO, 15 April 2012

Global Report for Research
on Infectious Diseases of Poverty

TDR WHO, April 2012

A strategy for restoring confidence
and economic growth through green
investment and innovation

Dimitri Zenghelis
Grantham Research Institute
in Climate Change and the Environment
London School of Economics, April 2012.

World Happiness Report 2012
Earth Institute, April 2012

The human factor in the
global environmental debate

IHDP UNU, Spring 2012

Map of the Global Transition
to a New Economy

GTNE, 17 March 2012

World Atlas of
Gender Equality in Education

UNESCO, 8 March 2012

Electricity from Renewables
ECLAREON, Berlin, 13 March 2012

Themed Edition on
The Geography of Sustainabilty
Journal of Sustainability Education, March 2012

Role of Policy and Institutions
in Local Adaptation to Climate Change

ICIMOD, March 2012

Global Outlook on Sustainable
Consumption and Production (SCP) Policies

UNEP, March 2012

Sustainable Insight:
Expect the Unexpected

KPMG, February 2012

State of the World’s Children 2012:
Children in an Urban World

UNICEF, 27 February 2012

Greening Development:
Enhancing Capacity for Environmental
Management and Governance
OECD, 10 February 2012

World Development Report 2012:
Gender Equality and Development
The World Bank, 2012

Development without Carbon as Climate Policy,
Elizabeth A. Stanton, Stockholm Environment Institute, January 2012

Sustainable Energy for All:
A Framework for Action
The Secretary-General’s High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All, January 2012

Green Energy for a Billion Poor,
Nancy Wimmer, World Council of Renewable Energy, 2012

(Responses to Environmental & Societal
Challenges for our Unstable Earth)
Synthesis Report
European Science Foundation,
Brussels, 16 February 2012

Research and Education:
Drivers of Transformation
German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), Berlin, February 2012

Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5), UNEP, 6 June 2012"> Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5),
Summary for Policy Makers,
UNEP, 20 February 2012

The State of Renewable Energies in Europe,
Adrian Janes, EurObserv'ER, 20 February 2012

21 Issues for the 21st Century:
UNEP Foresight Report
Peggy Garvin, United Nations, 20 February 2012

2012 Environmental Performance Index
EPI, Yale University, 26 January 2012

Resolving the Food Crisis:
Assessing Global Policy Reforms
Since 2007

ITAP, 25 January 2012

Human Rights Watch World Report 2012
HRW, 24 January 2012

Global Employment Trends 2012:
Preventing a deeper jobs crisis

ILO, 24 January 2012

ASEAN in the Global Economy:
An Enhanced Economic and Political Role

ERIA, 23 January 2012

Global Go-To Think Tanks Report 2011
TTCSP, 19 January 2011

Global Economic Prospects 2012
World Bank, 18 January 2012

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012
United Nations, 18 January 2012

Ecumenical Women Advocacy Guide
Ecumenical Women, 10 January 2012

Human Rights Report 2011
Odhikar, Bangladesh, 7 January 2012

Global Risks 2012
World Economic Forum, January 2012

Poor People's Energy Outlook 2012:
Energy for earning a living

Practical Action, January 2012

Climate Change and Development Strategy
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), January 2012
One Pager ~ Full Report



Global Sustainability
Assessment System (GSAS):
A sustainability rating system
for the built environment

Bonnie James, Gulf Times, 26 May 2013

Nitrogen Footprint Calculator
N-Print, 15 May 2013

Exploring Oil Data
Johnny West, Open Oil, May 2013

Sustainability SWOT (sSWOT) Analysis Tool
WRI, April 2013

Sustainable Technologies Databases
EWBI, 2013

Renewable Energy Interactive Map
REN21, January 2013

Global Transition to a New Economy
Interactive Map

New Economics Institute, January 2013

Map of Climate Think Tanks
ICCG, January 2013

Sustainability SWOT Analysis Tool
WRI, December 2012

Energy Access Interactive Tool
IIASA, September 2012

Long Range Energy Alternatives
Planning System (LEAP)

SEI Energy Community, July 2012

Industrial Efficiency Policy Database
IETD, July 2012

Technology Cost Database for Renewables
NREL, July 2012

Mapping the Global Transition
to a New Economy

New Economics Institute
July 2012

Open Source Software for
Crowdsourcing for Energy Analysis

UNIDO, June 2012

Planet under Pressure 2012
Debate Graph

Adaptation Support Tool

Nitrogen Footprint Calculator

Terra Populus:
Integrated Data on
Population and Environment

NSF & University of Minnesota
March 2012

2012 Environmental Performance Index
Interactive Map & Database

EPI, Yale University, January 2012

Environmental Data Explorer

Clean Energy Information Portal

Mapping the Impacts of Climate Change

Eye on Earth
Global Mapping

EEA, December 2011

Database of Actions on Adaptation
to Climate Change

UNFCCC, December 2011

Climate Scoreboard
Climate Interactive, 2011

REN21 Renewables Interactive Map
REN21, 2011

Calculator of the
Carbon Footprint of Nations

NTNU, 2011

Geospatial Toolkit (GsT) for
Integrated Resource Assessment

NREL, November 2011

Climate Impact Equity Lens (CIEL)
Stockholm Environment Institute
November 2011

Global Adaptation Index
Global Adaptation Institute
Fall 2011

Gridded Population of the World
CIESIN, Columbia University, 2011

The New eAtlas of Gender
World Bank, 2011

Statistics and Tools
for Gender Analysis

World Bank, 2011

Gender Statistics Database
World Bank, 2011

Live World Data
The Venus Project, 2011

Clean Energy Analysis Software

RETScreen International, 2011

IGES CDM Methodology Parameter Data
IGES, 2011

IGES Emission Reductions Calculation Sheet
IGES, 2011

OECD Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit
OECD, 2011

OECD Family Database

OECD Social Expenditure Database

Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services
and Tradeoffs (InVEST)

Version 2.1, Natural Capital Project, 2011

Interactive Map and Rankings for the 2011 Failed States Index
Foreign Policy and Fund for Peace, August 2011

Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)
NASA & Columbia University

IGES GHG Database

Emission Factors Database

Renewables Interactive Map

Forestry Industry Carbon Assessment Tool
Green Resources, Tanzania

Agent-based Computational Economics
of the Global Energy System

Climate Hot Map
Union of Concerned Scientists

Solar Thermal Barometer


Forest Monitoring for Action

Water Evaluation And Planning System

Global Land Tool Network

UN-Energy Knowledge Network
Multi-dimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI)
and Energy Development Index (EDI)

Measuring Energy Poverty
Visualization Platform


United Nations Data
UN Statistics Database
UN MDG Indicators
UN Human Development Index (HDI)

Humanity's Footprint Data
Ecological Footprint
Footprint for Nations
Footprint for Cities
Footprint for Business
Carbon Footprint
Personal Footprint
Footprint & Biodiversity
Footprint & Human Development

Earth Policy Institute Data Sets
Population, Health, and Society
Natural Systems
Climate Change
Energy Resources
Transportation Systems
Food and Agriculture
Economics & Development

World Bank
World Development Indicators (WDI)

Data for the Social Sciences

STAR Database Beta-Test Now in Process
Invitation to Participate

Links Government Investment,
Science, Technology,
Firms, and Employment

Sustainable Society Index
Interactive Map

Interactive Mapping of
Population and Climate Change

Population Action International

Global Advocates Toolbox
Population Action International

Teaching and Learning
for a Sustainable Future:
Dissemination and Training Toolbox

UNESCO Education for
Sustainable Development

Economic Input-Output
Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA)

Green Design Institute
Carnegie Mellon University



Conference Alerts
Find Conferences Worldwide
by Topic, Country, or Keywords.

Calls for Papers
Find Calls for Papers Worldwide
by Specialization, Country, or Keywords.

Journal Articles
The latest Tables of Contents
from thousands of scholarly journals
Search by journal title, ISNN, or keywords

Selected Announcements

European And Latin American Conference
On Climate Change Management

Antigua, Guatemala, Central America
29-30 August 2013

CFP on Gender and Society
SOCREL, 1 September 2013

World Association for
Sustainable Development
Annual Conference

London, UK
2-4 September 2013

EfS 2013:
Sustainable Cities:
Designing for People and the Planet

Coimbra, Portugal
8-10 September 2013

ESSA 2013:
9th Conference of the
European Social Simulation Association

Warsaw School of Economics,
Warsaw, Poland
16-20 September 2013

"Religion and the Environment"
Special Issue of Journal of the
Sociology and Theory of Religion (JSTR)
Submission Deadline: 1 October 2013

Family Planning Conference
Addis Ababa, Ehiopia
12-15 November 2013

Liberating Power:
Asian Feminist Theological Perspectives

EWA, Bangalore, India
14-18 November 2013

International Conference on
Globalization, Governance
and Sustainable Development

MDRF Academy of Politics & Governance
New Delhi, India, 8 December 2013

Climate Leadership Conference
San Diego, California
24-26 February 2014

Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature
Joint Workshop of the
Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the
Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
Vatican, 2-6 May 2014

Resilience 2014
Resilience and Development:
Mobilizing for Transformation

Montpellier, France
4-8 May 2014

Basic Income Earth Network
Fifteenth International Congress

Montreal, Quebec
26-29 June 2014

2014 Norwich Conference
on Earth System Governance:
Allocation and Access
in the Anthropocene

University of East Anglia
Norwich, UK, 1-3 July 2014

3. Advances in Sustainable Development


"In a lecture delivered at Stanford University, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the current state of the world and "the future we must shape together." He outlined three ways to navigate our way through this "Great Transition," namely by advancing sustainable development, helping people meet their aspirations for democracy and dignity, and empowering women and young people.

On the sustainable development challenge, Ban underscored that he has made sustainable development the leading priority of the UN. He stressed the need to urgently "change course" to build the clean energy, low-carbon

"At the current rate, we will soon need two planet earths. But we have only one planet. There can be no Plan B because there is no planet B. Both science and economics tell us that we need to change course – and soon."

economy of tomorrow that will address the challenge of climate change. Noting the size of the economy of California, he noted that the state has "a special role" to play in spurring the on-going climate negotiations in order to reach a global, legally binding agreement on climate by 2015.

Ban also mentioned his Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), stressing that California can contribute to efforts made to reach the goals set by the Initiative, namely to ensure universal access to modern energy services, double energy efficiency, and double the renewable energy share in the overall global energy mix. In concluding, Ban stated that "this time of Great Transition is also a period of great opportunity." [UN Secretary-General's Statement] [UN Press Release]


The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), due to expire in 2015, are being reformulated into a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a renewed attempt to address the global scale and complexity issues involved in sustaining both people and planet. Six interconnected goals are under consideration: thriving lives and livelihoods, food security, water security, clean energy, healthy and productive ecosystems, and governance for sustainable societies. Reportedly, "the targets beneath each goal include updates and expanded targets under the MDGs, including ending poverty and hunger, combating HIV/aids, and improving maternal and child health. But they also define a set of planetary "must haves": climate stability, the reduction biodiversity loss, protection of ecosystem services, a healthy water cycle and oceans, sustainable nitrogen and phosphorus use, clean air and sustainable material use."


1. End Poverty
2. Empower Girls and Women and Achieve Gender Equality
3. Provide Quality Education and Lifelong Learning
4. Ensure Health Lives
5. Ensure Food Security and Good Nutrition
6. Achieve Universal Access to Water and Sanitation
7. Secure Sustainable Energy
8. Create Jobs, Sustainable Livelihoods, and Equitable Growth
9. Manage Natural Resource Assets Sustainably
10. Ensure Good Governance and Effective Institutions
11. Ensure Stable and Peaceful Societies
12. Create a Global Enabling Environment and Catalyze Long-Term Finance
Source: UN MDGs SDGs HL Report, 30 May 2013

4. Advances in Integral Human Development

2013 Human Development Report

The 2013 Human Development Report (HDR) – "The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World" – was launched 14 March 2013 in Mexico City. It examines the profound shift in global dynamics that is being driven by the fast-rising powers of the developing world - and the implications of this phenomenon for human development. Excerpts:

"The rise of the South is radically reshaping the world of the 21st century, with developing nations driving economic growth, lifting hundreds of millions of people from poverty, and propelling billions more into a new global middle class, says the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2013 Human Development Report. "The rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale," the 2013 Report says. Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast."

"The 2013 Human Development Index (HDI) Report shows major gains since 2000 in most countries of the South. Over the past decades, countries across the world have been converging towards higher levels of human development, as shown by the Human Development Index," says the 2013 Report. "All groups and regions have seen notable improvement in all HDI components, with faster progress in low and medium HDI countries. On this basis, the world is becoming less unequal."

"Environmental inaction, especially regarding climate change, has the potential to halt or even reverse human development progress."

HDR 2013 Brief     HDR HDI 2013 Brief     HDR Summary Report     HDR Full Report     HDI Statistics


See also the
International Human Development
Program Annual Report 2012

IHDP Secretariat, Bonn, Germany
May 2013

"The comprehensive report presents IHDP's scientific and policy research on the most pressing challenges and opportunities of the human dimensions of global environmental change. In 2012, with the new Future Earth beginning to take shape, IHDP strived to ensure a leading role for the social sciences throughout the ongoing transition, while maintaining its proactive efforts in the science-policy sphere."

Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Sustainability
Special Issue of Sustainability, July 2013

5. Advances in Integrated Sustainable Development

Integral Human Development and Subsidiarity

The Principle of Subsidiarity

Source: EZFord, YouTube, 23 February 2013

See also

Integral Human Development and Subsidiarity: A Closer Look
by Matthea Brandenburg & Carolyn Woo, PovertyCure Voice, 10 January 2013

"An issue or problem should be dealt with by the people who are closest to it"
Rudy Carrasco, PovertyCure Voice, 20 March 2012

Cardinal Reinhard Marx on Subsidiarity vs. Solidarity
Berkeley Center, Georgetown University, 20 June 2012
Future Earth: Research for Global Sustainability
Alliance for Future Earth, July 2013

6. Sustainability Games, Databases, and Knowledgebases

World Resources Institute (WRI)
Sustainability SWOT (sSWOT) Analysis Resource Website
SWOT = "Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats"

Source: Wikipedia

Trend Charts, Statistics, and Databases

IEA World Energy Outlook Facts & Graphs
McKinsey Resources & Urban World
OECD Country Statistics & Outlooks
UNDP Human Development Database
UNEP Issues for the 21st Century
UNEP Global Environmental Outlook
UNEP Environmental Data Explorer
World Bank Country Statistics

Corporate Sustainability Research, Analysis, and Tools

WRI: Aqueduct Water Resource Maps
WRI: Corporate Ecosystem Services
WRI: Greenhouse Gas Protocol
WRI: Stories to Watch
WRI: Profits & Sustainability Alignment
BCG & MIT Sustainability Tipping Points
Sustainable Business Modeling Tool
KPMG: Expect the Unexpected
Oxfam, CERES, and Calvert Investments
Physical Risks from Climate Change
WBCSD Vision 2050

Land Temperature Anomaly Video
Berkeley Earth

Berkeley Earth video representation of the land surface temperature anomaly, 1800 to the present. The map of the world shows the temperature anomaly by location over time. The chart at the bottom, shows the global land-surface temperature anomaly. The Berkeley Earth analysis shows 0.911 degrees Centigrade of land warming (+/- 0.042 C) since the 1950s.

Source: Berkeley Earth and YouTube

7. Sustainable Development Measures and Indicators

Set of Eco-Economy Indicators by the Earth Policy Institute:

HUMAN POPULATION - World Population Hitting 7 Billion
GLOBAL ECONOMY - Expanding Slower than Expected
GRAIN HARVEST - Global Stocks Dropping Dangerously
FISH CATCH - Wild vs. Farmed Fish Catch Trendds
FOREST COVER - World Forest Area Keeps Declining
WATER RESOURCES - Water Resources Facing Mounting Pressure
CARBON EMISSIONS - Fossil Fuel Use Pushes Carbon Dioxide Emissions into Dangerous Territory
GLOBAL TEMPERATURE - Warmest Decade on Record Brings Record Temperatures and Weather Extremes
ICE MELTING - Where Has All the Ice Gone?
WIND POWER - After Record 2012, World Wind Power Set to Top 300,000 Megawatts in 2013
BICYCLE PRODUCTION - Bicycles Pedaling Into the Spotlight
SOLAR POWER - Solar Photovoltaic Production Setting Records

2013 Human Development Index (HDI)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is based on four indicators: life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling, expected years of schooling, and gross national income per capita; and three dimensions: health, education, and living standards

Data Tools and Visualizations
Country Profiles, Public Data Explorer, StatPlanet World Map, HDI 2012 Rankings

Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2013

European Union
Gender Equality Index

Six core domains:

Two satellite domains:
Intersecting Inequalities
For definitions and data, click here

Source: European Institute for Gender Equality, (EIGE) and YouTube, 13 June 2013

Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) vs. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Beyond GDP:
Measuring and Achieving Global Genuine Progress

Ida Kubiszewski, Robert Costanza, Carol Franco, Philip Lawn,
John Talberth, Tim Jackson, Camille Aylmer
Ecological Economics, Volume 93, 2013

GPI takes income distribution into account, along with household and volunteer work and the costs of natural, social, and human capital depletion. This is the first synthesis of national GPI studies to get a global estimate.

This analysis shows that global GPI/capita peaked in 1978. This means that globally the external costs of economic growth have outweighed the benefits since 1978. Globally, GPI/capita does not increase beyond a GDP/capita of around $6,500/capita.

Bringing the “Missing Pillar” into Sustainable Development Goals:
Towards Intersubjective Values-Based Indicators

Gemma Burford et al., Sustainability, 12 July 2013

8. Sustainable Development Modeling and Simulation

NASA Study Projects Warming-Driven Changes in Global Rainfall

A NASA-led modeling study provides new evidence that global warming may increase the risk for extreme rainfall and drought.

Model simulations spanning 140 years show that warming from carbon dioxide will change the frequency that regions around the planet receive no rain (brown), moderate rain (tan), and very heavy rain (blue). The occurrence of no rain and heavy rain will increase, while moderate rainfall will decrease. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

The study shows for the first time how rising carbon dioxide concentrations could affect the entire range of rainfall types on Earth.

Analysis of computer simulations from 14 climate models indicates wet regions of the world, such as the equatorial Pacific Ocean and Asian monsoon regions, will see increases in heavy precipitation because of warming resulting from projected increases in carbon dioxide levels. Arid land areas outside the tropics and many regions with moderate rainfall could become drier.

The analysis provides a new assessment of global warming's impacts on precipitation patterns around the world. The study was accepted for publication in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"In response to carbon dioxide-induced warming, the global water cycle undergoes a gigantic competition for moisture resulting in a global pattern of increased heavy rain, decreased moderate rain, and prolonged droughts in certain regions," said William Lau of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and lead author of the study.

The models project for every 1 degree Fahrenheit of carbon dioxide-induced warming, heavy rainfall will increase globally by 3.9 percent and light rain will increase globally by 1 percent. However, total global rainfall is not projected to change much because moderate rainfall will decrease globally by 1.4 percent.

Heavy rainfall is defined as months that receive an average of more than about 0.35 of an inch per day. Light rain is defined as months that receive an average of less than 0.01 of an inch per day. Moderate rainfall is defined as months that receive an average of between about 0.04 to 0.09 of an inch per day.

Areas projected to see the most significant increase in heavy rainfall are in the tropical zones around the equator, particularly in the Pacific Ocean and Asian monsoon regions.

Some regions outside the tropics may have no rainfall at all. The models also projected for every degree Fahrenheit of warming, the length of periods with no rain will increase globally by 2.6 percent. In the Northern Hemisphere, areas most likely to be affected include the deserts and arid regions of the southwest United States, Mexico, North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and northwestern China. In the Southern Hemisphere, drought becomes more likely in South Africa, northwestern Australia, coastal Central America and northeastern Brazil.

"Large changes in moderate rainfall, as well as prolonged no-rain events, can have the most impact on society because they occur in regions where most people live," Lau said. "Ironically, the regions of heavier rainfall, except for the Asian monsoon, may have the smallest societal impact because they usually occur over the ocean."

Lau and colleagues based their analysis on the outputs of 14 climate models in simulations of 140-year periods. The simulations began with carbon dioxide concentrations at about 280 parts per million -- similar to pre-industrial levels and well below the current level of almost 400 parts per million -- and then increased by 1 percent per year. The rate of increase is consistent with a "business as usual" trajectory of the greenhouse gas as described by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Analyzing the model results, Lau and his co-authors calculated statistics on the rainfall responses for a 27-year control period at the beginning of the simulation, and also for 27-year periods around the time of doubling and tripling of carbon dioxide concentrations. They conclude the model predictions of how much rain will fall at any one location as the climate warms are not very reliable.

"But if we look at the entire spectrum of rainfall types we see all the models agree in a very fundamental way -- projecting more heavy rain, less moderate rain events, and prolonged droughts," Lau said.

Kathryn Hansen
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA, 3 May 2013

9. Fostering Sustainability in the International Community

UN launches
Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
to help find solutions to global problems

The scale of the global sustainable development challenge is unprecedented. The fight against extreme poverty has made great progress under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but more than 1 billion people continue to live in extreme poverty. Inequality and social exclusion are widening within most countries. With the world at 7 billion people and current annual GDP of US$70 trillion, human impacts on the environment have already reached dangerous levels. As the world population is estimated to rise to 9 billion by 2050
and global GDP to more than US$200 trillion, the world urgently needs a framework for sustainable development that addresses the challenges of ending poverty, increasing social inclusion, and sustaining the planet.

Under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, and in line with the recently launched High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was announced on August 9, 2012 and will provide global, open and inclusive support to sustainable-development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. The SDSN will work together with United Nations agencies, other international organizations, and the multilateral funding institutions including the World Bank and regional development banks, to mobilize scientific and technical expertise to scale up the magnitude and quality of local, national and global problem solving, helping to identify solutions and highlighting best practices in the design of long-term development pathways.

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network: Mobilizing scientific and technical expertise for local, national, and global problem solving

Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General on the MDGs, will direct the project with the core aim of creating an open, inclusive, and world-class global network of expertise and problem solving. The network will comprise mainly universities and scientific research institutes, but will also tap technical expertise within technology companies, science foundations and academies of sciences and engineering. Columbia University's Earth Institute will serve as the Secretariat for the Network.

The global network will accelerate joint learning and help to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated approaches to the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world.

The network should therefore spawn a new kind of sustained problem solving, in which experts, leaders, and citizens in all parts of the world work together to identify, demonstrate, and implement the most promising paths to sustainable development.

ABOUT SDSN: Link to the SDSN Website

DRAFT REPORT: An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development, Draft SDSN Report for Public Consultation, 7-22 May 2013

POINT OF CONTACT: Erin Trowbridge,

Sustainable Energy for All

Three broad objectives to be achieved by 2030:

  • Ensuring universal access to modern energy services
  • Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency
  • Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • Sustainable Energy for All: Actions and Commitments

    Sustainable Energy for All

    Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5)
    Summary Report, UNEP, 20 February 2012
    Full Report, UNEP, 6 June 2012

    Three highest priorities:

  • Aligning governance to the challenges of global sustainability
  • Transforming human capabilities for the 21st century
  • Ensuring food safety and food security for 9 billion people

  • GEO5UNEP2012.jpg
    Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5)

    Post-2015 Action Agenda
    for Sustainable Development

    Post-2015 Action Agenda
    for Sustainable Development

    6 June 2013

    "A new report issued today by a top-level United Nations knowledge network under the auspices of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lays out an action agenda to support global efforts to achieve sustainable development during the period 2015-2030.

    "The post-2015 process is a chance for the global community to work towards a new era in sustainable development," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "The latest report from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the result of a collaboration between top scientists, technologists, businesses, and development specialists, is a critical input to the work we are doing to shape an ambitious and achievable post-2015 agenda."

    "The report, entitled "The Action Agenda for Sustainable Development," was delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (or SDSN). It outlines 10 sustainable development priorities, covering the four main dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth and the end of poverty, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and good governance.

    "The Secretary-General created the SDSN to bring together academia, civil society, the private sector, and development practitioners from all parts of the world. The Leadership Council of the SDSN consists of dozens of top global thinkers and development leaders from all regions, rich and poor countries alike.

    "It is a great honor for the Leadership Council of SDSN to deliver this new report to the UN Secretary General," said Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the SDSN and head of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, which hosts the secretariat of the network.

    "The report is available online, and an earlier draft has already received thousands of comments from around the world. The council welcomes worldwide discussion of the report, and particularly invites comments from young people. "This report, after all, is about their future," Sachs said.

    "UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is mobilizing global action around the greatest challenge of our time: sustainable development," Sachs said. "It is no longer good enough for economies to grow. We must also end extreme poverty, a goal within reach by 2030. We must manage the economy to protect rather than destroy the environment. And we must promote a fairer distribution of prosperity, rather than a society divided between the very rich and very poor."

    "By many measures, the world is a long way from sustainable development. Many poor countries do not grow adequately, and extreme poverty remains widespread. Humanity is dangerously changing the climate, depleting fresh water supplies, and poisoning the air and water. Most economies are becoming less equitable as well, with widening gaps between the rich and poor. And conflicts remain widespread, with the world’s poorest regions being most vulnerable to violent outbreaks.

    "To help get the planet back on course, the world’s governments agreed last year at the Rio+20 Summit to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals. The world’s governments asked the UN Secretary-General to coordinate the preparation of these goals by the year 2015 to make a seamless transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A crucial meeting of the UN General Assembly will take place on Sept. 25, 2013 for this purpose.

    "Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has put into motion several high-level processes to help devise the SDGs that will have maximum benefit for humanity during the years 2015-2030. First, there is a large outreach of global discussion being led by the UN itself. Second, there are intensive negotiations among governments as called for by the Rio+20 Summit. Third, there is a High-Level Panel of political leaders that has recently issued its report.

    "In its report, the SDSN has identified 10 priority challenges of sustainable development:

    • End extreme poverty and hunger
    • Achieve development and prosperity for all without ruining the environment
    • Ensure learning for all children and youth
    • Achieve gender equality and reduce inequalities
    • Achieve health and wellbeing at all ages
    • Increase agricultural production in an environmentally sustainable manner, to achieve food security and rural prosperity
    • Make cities productive and environmentally sustainable
    • Curb human-induced climate change with sustainable energy
    • Protect ecosystems and ensure sound management of natural resources
    • Improve governance and align business behavior with all the goals

    "These 10 priorities can form the basis for the SDGs that would apply to all countries during the years until 2030.

    "Well-crafted Sustainable Development Goals will help guide the public’s understanding of complex sustainable development challenges, inspire public and private action, promote integrated thinking, and foster accountability, the report said. The SDGs will complement the tools of international law, such as global treaties and conventions, by providing a shared normative framework. Children everywhere should learn the SDGs, Sachs said, to help them understand the challenges that they will confront as adults. The SDGs will also mobilize governments and the international system to strengthen measurement and monitoring for sustainable development.

    "The world has at its disposal the tools to end extreme poverty in all its forms by the year 2030 and to address the sustainable development challenges outlined in this document," Sachs said. "If the world mobilizes around a shared agenda for sustainable development and ambitious, time-bound Sustainable Development Goals, then rapid, positive change on the required scale is feasible, thanks to rising incomes and unprecedented scientific and technological progress. And, we can indeed be the generation that ends extreme poverty, ensures that all people are treated equally, and stems the dangerous climate and environmental risks facing our planet."

    World Centre for Sustainable Development
    launched in Rio

    UN, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 24 June 2013


    U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development
    Replaced with a New Forum

    EcoSeed, 12 July 2013

    Multilateral Development Institutions Support
    a Robust Vision for Sustainable Development in Post-2015

    World Bank, 17 July 2013

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