1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action
Prayer for Ecological Sustainability
Creator God, you have given us|
a vision of a new heaven and earth,
Nations at peace,
Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer,
Alert the nations, rouse the churches,
Receive our commitment to you.
Earth and heaven will then sing
of your glory. Amen
Source: Christian Ecology Link
Root Cause of the Ecological Crisis
LINK TO THE BOOK
"The ecological crisis is a moral crisis."
So said Pope John Paul II, an unexpected and fierce advocate for ecological responsibility throughout his papacy. Rather than seeing environmental concerns as "earthly" or "political," he showed that they are in fact at the heart of the covenant between human beings and their Creator. In dozens of addresses, sermons, and encyclicals, Pope John Paul II made specific recommendations on twelve interconnected ecological issues, including climate change, ocean destruction, water scarcity, poverty, the role of women, and war. He showed that each could become a source of spiritual, social, and economic transformation.
Do Something for Solidarity & Sustainability
2. News, Publications, Tools, and Conferences
TOOLS & DATABASES
CONFERENCES & JOURNALS
3. Advances in Sustainable Development
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGs)
"With some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) already met, more targets are within reach by the 2015 target date, while challenges to achieving others must be urgently addressed, according to a new report launched on 1 July by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Based on comprehensive official statistics, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013 shows that the combined actionsof national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are making the achievement of the MDGs a reality." For links to annual MDG reports and data, 2005 to 2013, click here.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)
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."
PRELIMINARY DEFINITION OF THE SDGs
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
2014 Human Development Report
The 2014 Human Development Report - "Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience" provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.
"Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable.
"According to income-based measures of poverty, 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day. However, the latest estimates of the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index reveal that almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. And although poverty is declining overall, almost 800 million people are at risk of falling back into poverty if setbacks occur.
"By addressing vulnerabilities, all people may share in development progress, and human development will become increasingly equitable and sustainable," stated UNDP Administrator Helen Clark today.
"The 2014 Human Development Report comes at a critical time, as attention turns to the creation of a new development agenda following the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
"Zeroing in on what holds back progress, the report holds that as crises spread ever faster and further, it is critical to understand vulnerability in order to secure gains and sustain progress.
"It points to a slowdown in human development growth across all regions, as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). It notes that threats such as financial crises, fluctuations in food prices, natural disasters and violent conflict significantly impede progress.
"Reducing both poverty and people's vulnerability to falling into poverty must be a central objective of the post-2015 agenda," the Report states. "Eliminating extreme poverty is not just about 'getting to zero'; it is also about staying there."
"A human development lens on who is vulnerable and why. "Reducing vulnerability is a key ingredient in any agenda for improving human development," writes Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in a contribution to the Report. "[We] need to approach it from a broad systemic perspective."
"The 2014 Report takes such an approach, using a human development lens to take a fresh look at vulnerability as an overlapping and mutually reinforcing set of risks. It explores structural vulnerabilities - those that have persisted and compounded over time as a result of discrimination and institutional failings, hurting groups such as the poor, women, migrants, people living with disabilities, indigenous groups and older people. For instance, 80 percent of the world's elderly lack social protection, with large numbers of older people also poor and disabled.
"The Report also introduces the idea of life cycle vulnerabilities, the sensitive points in life where shocks can have greater impact. They include the first 1,000 days of life, and the transitions from school to work, and from work to retirement.
"Capabilities accumulate over an individual's lifetime and have to be nurtured and maintained; otherwise they can stagnate and even decline," it warns. "Life capabilities are affected by investments made in preceding stages of life, and there can be long-term consequences of exposure to short-term shocks."
"For example, in one study cited by the Report, poor children in Ecuador were shown to be already at a vocabulary disadvantage by the age of six. Timely interventions-such as investments in early childhood development-are therefore critical, the Report states.
5. Advances in Integrated Sustainable Development
For over a decade, the Great Transition Initiative has advanced a visionary scenario of a future rooted in human solidarity, well-being for all, and ecological sustainability. It now enters a new phase with renewed energy and heightened sense of urgency. Its reimagined website — www.greattransition.org — serves as a platform for exploring bold visions and change strategies.
The new site features:
- An open-access journal of ideas publishing new essays, book reviews, and interviews.
- A MacroScope highlighting current developments that carry long-term global significance.
- Educational material such as videos, an overview of critical ideas, and archival literature.
- A GT Network Space for those seeking more intensive engagement.
GTI offers a unique and valuable resource for understanding our present moment and shaping our collective future.
6. Sustainability Games, Databases, and Knowledgebases
Trend Charts, Statistics, and Databases
IEA World Energy Outlook Facts & Graphs
Corporate Sustainability Research, Analysis, and Tools
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
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
7. Sustainable Development Measures and Indicators
Sustainable Development Goals|
and Indicators for a Small Planet
Part II: Measuring Sustainability
ASEF, August 2014
The report, Sustainable Development Goals and Indicators for a Small Planet - Part II: Measuring Sustainability is the second in a three-part series. It complements the first publication which focused on a Methodology and Goal Framework.
This innovation study, consists of a set of illustrative Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) that reflect individuals countries’ respective priorities, goals and targets with regard to sustainability.
The official launch of the study will take place during the ENVforum conference on 29-30 September in Brussels, Belgium. The conference will focus on the means of implementation for SDGs.
8. Sustainable Development Modeling and Simulation
"C-ROADS is an award-winning computer simulation that helps people understand the long-term climate impacts of policy scenarios to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It allows for the rapid summation of national greenhouse gas reduction pledges in order to show the long-term impact on our climate." For more information, click
Click here to view a larger version of the video.
9. Fostering Sustainability in the International Community
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.
Indicators for Sustainable Development Goals
SDSN, 14 February 2014
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
Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5)
"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." To download the report, click here.
Promotion of the Post-2015 Development Agenda
How the United Nations Should Promote the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Kara Alaimo, Center for Governance and Sustainability, University of Massachusetts - Boston