Mother Pelican
A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability

Vol. 12, No. 6, June 2016
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
Home Page
Front 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.



2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations

Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Finalized text for adoption, United Nations, 1 August 2015

Historic New Sustainable Development Agenda Unanimously Adopted by 193 UN Members, United Nations, 25 September 2015

Libraries and Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda, International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), 8 December 2015

An Action Plan for the Sustainable Development Goals, Douglas Frantz, OECD, 27 April 2016

For the latest on the SDGs, visit the Post-2015 and Future Goals Tracker and DELIVER2030 websites, and the SDG Targets Tracker.

1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action


Prayer for Social and Ecological Nonviolence


Some stood up once, and sat down.
Some walked a mile, and walked away.
Some stood up twice, then sat down.
“It’s too much,” they cried.
Some walked two miles, then walked away.
“I’ve had it,” they cried,
Some stood and stood and stood.
They were taken for fools,
they were taken for being taken in.
Some walked and walked and walked –
they walked the earth,
they walked the waters,
they walked the air.
“Why do you stand?” they were asked, and
“Why do you walk?”
“Because of the children,” they said, and
“Because of the heart, and
“Because of the bread,”
“Because the cause is
the heart’s beat, and
the children born, and
the risen bread.”

Daniel Berrigan, SJ, + 30 April 2016


Global Warming & Other Climate Change Facts

Analysis by NOAA shows that in 2014, the combined land and ocean surface temperature was 1.24°F (0.69°C) above the 20th century average, making the year the warmest since records began in 1880. The ocean alone was record warm, while the land alone was fourth warmest. Five months set new records for warmth: May, June, August, September, and December. October tied for record warmest. The 20 warmest years in the historical record have all occurred in the past 20 years. Except for 1998, the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2002. This animation shows Earth’s surface temperature from 1880-2014 compared to the 20th-Century Average. The maps and graph are based on the MLOST data from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Source: NOAA Visualizations, 16 January 2015


Take Action for Global Change

Global Catholic Climate Movement
Join as a volunteer!

2. News, Publications, Tools, and Conferences



Sustainability Science (PNAS)

Science of the Anthopocene

The Anthropocene Review


Environmental Research Letters

Progress in Industrial Ecology

Environmental Leader

Sustainable Development Magazine

Monthly Energy Review

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

Environment & Technology
Scholarly Journals

Environment & Society Section
American Sociological Association


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 Trends in
Renewable Energy Investment

UNEP, March 2016

Next Generation Earth System Prediction
NAS, March 2016

World Happiness Report
UNSDSN, 20 March 2016

One Humanity: Shared Responsibility
UN Secretary General
World Humanitarian Summit
May 2016 (Draft)

Global Trends & Opportunities
2016 and Beyond

SustainAbility, February 2016

World Economic
Situation and Prospects

UNDESA & UNCTAD, January 2016

Automation & Connectivity:
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

UBS/WEF, January 2016

Digital Dividends
World Development Report 2016

World Bank, January 2016

Global Risks Report 2016
World Economic Forum (WEF)
January 2016

Dirty Toys Made in China
Global Labor and Human Rights
December 2015

Call for an Ethical Framework for Climate Services
WMO, 12 November 2015

2015 Energy Trilemma Index
World Energy Council, November 2015

Global Wealth Report 2015
Credit Suisse, October 2015

The Challenge of Resilience
in a Globalised World

Joint Research Centre, EU, October 2015

Climate Change and the U.S. Energy Sector
US Department of Energy, October 2015

Pathways to Deep Decarbonization
UN SDSN, October 2015

Playing to Win:
The New Global Competition
for Corporate Profits

McKinsey Global Institute, September 2015

America's Future:
Environmental Research and Education
for a Thriving Century

NSF, September 2015

2015-16 State of the Future
Jerome C. Glenn, Elizabeth Florescu, et al
Millennium Project, 2015

Transforming our World: The 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development
Finalized text for adoption,
United Nations, 1 August 2015

World Water Development Report
United Nations, July 2015

World Population Prospects
United Nations, July 2015

Climate Change: A Risk Assessment
Centre for Science and Policy
Cambridge University, July 2015

Democratic Equality, Economic Inequality,
and the Earth Charter

Steven C. Rockefeller
Earth Charter, 29 June 2015

Climate Change in the United States:
Benefits of Global Action

EPA, June 2015

Renewables 2015
Global Status Report

REN21, June 2015

Demographic Vulnerability Report
Population Institute, June 2015

FAO and Post-2015:
Nourishing People,
Nourishing the Planet

FAO, May 2015

Global Financial Stability Report
IMF, April 2015

World Happiness Report
United Nations, April 2015

National Footprint Accounts
Global Footprint Network, March 2015

Health & Fracking:
Impacts & Opportunity Costs

MEDACT, March 2015

Global Sustainable Investment
Clean Technica, 26 February 2015

World Report 2015
Human Rights Watch, 12 February 2015

Short-Term Renewable Energy Outlook
U.S. EIA, 10 February 2015

Global Risks Report 2015
WEF, January 2015

World Energy Outlook 2014
IEA, 12 November 2014

Beyond Downscaling:
A Bottom-Up Approach
to Climate Adaptation
for Water Resources Management
AGWA, October 2014

2014 Global Hunger Index
IFPRI, October 2014

The New Climate Economy
United Nations, September 2014

Living Planet Report 2014
Global Footprint Network, September 2014

Sustainable Development Goals
and Inclusive Development

UNU-IAS, September 2014

Sustainable Development Goals
and Indicators for a Small Planet
Part II: Measuring Sustainability

ASEF, August 2014

The Plain Language Guide
to Rio+20: Preparing for the
New Development Agenda

Felix Dodds et al, 28 July 2014

Human Development Report 2014
UNDP, 24 July 2014

Millennium Development Goals
Report 2014

UNDP, 7 July 2014

Global Sustainable Development
Report (GSDR)

UN DSD, 1 July 2014

Agreeing on Robust Decisions:
New processes for decision making
under deep uncertainty

World Bank, June 2014

Early Childhood Development:
The Foundation of
Sustainable Human Development
for 2015 and Beyond

UN SDSN, 4 May 2014

What’s In A Name?
Global Warming vs Climate Change

Yale Environment, May 2014

World Health Statistics 2014
WHO, 2014

The Arctic in the Anthropocene:
Emerging Research Questions
, National Academy of Sciences, 2014

Annual Energy Outlook 2014
US EIA, 30 April 2014

Global Trends in
Renewable Energy Investment 2014

UNEP-Bloomberg, April 2014

International Human Development Program
Annual Report 2013

IHDP, April 2014

Momentum for Change 2013
UNFCCC, 2014

Global Gender Gap Index 2013
WEF, April 2014

NAPAs and NAPs in
Least Developed Countries

Gabrielle Kissinger & Thinley Namgyel
ECBI, March 2014

Water & Energy 2014
United Nations, 21 March 2014

Inclusive and Sustainable
Industrial Development

UNIDO, March 2014

What We Know:
The Reality, Risks, and Response
to Climate Change

AAAS, March 2014

The State of Natural Capital
UK NCC, March 2014

Women's Lives and Challenges:
Equality and Empowerment since 2000

USAID, March 2014

Climate Change: Evidence & Causes
NAS/RS, 27 February 2014

Beyond 2014 Global Report
ICPD, 16 February 2014

World Youth Report 2013:
Youth Migration and Development

UN-DESA, 14 February 2014

State of the World's Children 2014
UNICEF, January 2014

Global Land Use:
Balancing Consumption
with Sustainable Supply

UNEP-IRP, January 2014

Sustainability Investment Yearbook 2014
RobecoSAM, January 2014



Input-Output Tables for
Regional Footprint Analysis

NTNU/TNO/SERI, January 2015

Sustainable Society Index 2014
SSI, 17 December 2014

CAIT Equity Explorer
WRI, October 20114

WBCSD Tools Box

Post-2015 SDGs Target Database
Project on Sustainability Transformation
Ministry of the Environment, Japan

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA)
Sustainable Development Evaluation Tool

UNDP, 16 September 2014

2014 Global Peace Index (GPI)
Institute for Economics and Peace, 2014

UN CC: Learn Climate Change
United Nations, 2014

Global Consumption Database
World Bank, 2014

LEAP Scenario Explorer:
Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning

Stockholm Environmental Institute, 2014

Momentum for Change Interactive
UNFCCC, 2014

Sustainable Human Development Index (SHDI)
IFMR LEAD, Tamil Nadu, India

Environment & Gender Index (EGI)

Livelihood Strategies
Knowledge Bank

Development Cafe

Global Forest Watch System
World Resources Institute

WomanStats & World Maps
WomanStats Project

Scenario Modelling and Policy Assessment Tool

European Union

OPEN EUOne Planet Economy Network
European Union

Constitutional Gender Database
UN Women

OpenGeoSci Maps
GeoScience World

Earth Data Website


2013 Legatum Prosperity Index
Legatum Institute

Global Slavery Index 2013
Walk Free Foundation

Food Policy Network Resource List
School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

Water Change Modelling System

Earth Charter Virtual Library
Earth Charter Initiative

Resource & Documentation Centre
European Gender Equality Institute

Climate Justice Research Database
Mary Robinson Foundation

Distribution Centre

Climate Data, Simulations, and Synthesis
Data on Related Socio-Economic Factors

Nitrogen Footprint Calculator
ECN & Oxford University

Exploring Oil Data
Open Oil

Sustainability SWOT (sSWOT) Analysis Tool
World Resources Institute

CAIT Climate Data Explorer
World Resources Institute

Sustainable Technologies Databases
EWBI International

Renewable Energy Interactive Map

Global Transition to a New Economy
Interactive Map

New Economics Institute

Map of Climate Think Tanks

Energy Access Interactive Tool

Long Range Energy Alternatives
Planning System (LEAP)

SEI Energy Community

Industrial Efficiency Policy Database

Technology Cost Database for Renewables

Mapping the Global Transition
to a New Economy

New Economics Institute

Open Source Software for
Crowdsourcing for Energy Analysis


Adaptation Support Tool

Terra Populus:
Integrated Data on
Population and Environment

NSF & University of Minnesota

Environmental Performance Index
Interactive Map & Database

EPI, Yale University

Environmental Data Explorer

Clean Energy Information Portal

Mapping the Impacts of Climate Change

Eye on Earth
Global Mapping


Database of Actions on Adaptation
to Climate Change


Climate Scoreboard
Climate Interactive

Calculator of the
Carbon Footprint of Nations


Geospatial Toolkit (GsT) for
Integrated Resource Assessment


Climate Impact Equity Lens (CIEL)
Stockholm Environment Institute

Global Adaptation Index
Global Adaptation Institute

Gridded Population of the World
CIESIN, Columbia University

The New eAtlas of Gender
World Bank

Statistics and Tools
for Gender Analysis

World Bank

Gender Statistics Database
World Bank

Live World Data
The Venus Project

Clean Energy Analysis Software

RETScreen International

IGES CDM Methodology Parameter Data

IGES Emission Reductions Calculation Sheet

OECD Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit

OECD Family Database

OECD Social Expenditure Database

Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services
and Tradeoffs (InVEST)

Natural Capital Project

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

IGES GHG Database

Emission Factors Database

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)
World Bank

Sustainable Society Index
StatPlanet 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


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

12th Annual Global Solutions Lab
United Nations in New York and
Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA
19-27 June 2016
Contact: Medard Gabel

ISEE 2016
Transforming the Economy:
Sustaining Food, Water, Energy and Justice

Washington, DC, 26-29 June 2016

34th International Conference
of the System Dynamics Society

Delft, Netherlands, 17-21 July 2016
Contact: Roberta Spencer

World Social Forum 2016
Montreal, Canada
9-14 August 2016
Contact: WSF 2016

EcoSummit 2016
Ecological Sustainability: Engineering Change
Le Corum, Montpellier, France
29 August - 1 September 2016
Contact: Conference Secretariat

5th International Conference
Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity

Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary
30 August – 3 September 2016

Habitat III:
World Cities at Crossroads

UN Habitat, Quito, Ecuador
October 2016
Contact: Eugénie L. Birch,

Sixth World Sustainability Forum
WSF2017, Cape Town, South Africa
27-28 January 2017

Sustainability Transformations
Future Earth
University of Dundee, Scotland, UK
August 30-September 1, 2017

3. Advances in Sustainable Development

Five Steps Towards Implementing the SDGs

Róisín Hinds

Originally published in Deliver 2030, 17 March 2016

In September 2015, world leaders came together at the United Nations to agree on an ambitious new set of commitments that aim to end poverty and hunger, and secure the future of our planet within a generation.

The resulting agreement, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contains a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goalsand 169 targets that together form a plan of action for people, planet, prosperity and peace.

Reaching agreement on the 2030 Agenda was the first step to creating a more inclusive and equitable society, in which no one is left behind. But the success or failure of the 2030 Agenda will hinge on how it is implemented.

Why do the Sustainable Development Goals matter?

The 2030 Agenda builds on and goes beyond the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), a set of eight development goals that were adopted in 2001 and include quantitative targets to reduce key dimensions of poverty, among other development imperatives, by 2015.

While it is difficult to isolate their impact from other development trends, it is clear that the goals became an important reference point for development policy and helped to channel funds into key thematic areas.

Looking back over the last 15 years, it’s clear we’re able to achieve much for children all over the world. The number of people living in extreme poverty has decreased significantly, and under-five mortality has halved since 1990.

But despite these achievements, there is still much work left to do. Significant numbers of people across the world remain excluded, with many children being left behind. Considered approaches and coordinated efforts are needed to reach the most excluded groups, and the 2030 Agenda provides the framework to make this happen.

The 2030 Agenda has a broader scope than the MDGs, encompassing the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and with a stronger focus on issues such as peace and governance, inequality, and global public goods such as the climate and oceans. It includes commitments to ‘get to zero’ on critical areas, such as ending child mortality, and commits to universal access to services.

If the Agenda is to be as transformative in practice as it is on paper, governments and other stakeholders need to take immediate action.

So what should governments do?

Save the Children has set out an action plan for implementing the 2030 Agenda. Our new report, From Agreement to Action: Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, draws on evidence from across the Save the Children family, including inputs from 12 countries. It draws lessons from the MDGs, to provide guidance to governments and other stakeholders as they design strategies for implementing the SDGs.

The report is primarily aimed at governments – who have the main responsibility for implementing the 2030 Agenda – but also includes lessons for other stakeholders, including donors, UN agencies and the private sector.

As UN Member States begin their journey on the road to 2030, here are five issues that Save the Children would like to see on top on their to do lists:

1 National plans, budgets and strategies

Integrating the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda into national priorities, actions, plans and budgets is a critical first step towards national ownership and implementation. Experience from the MDGs shows us that where goals were integrated in national plans and aligned with existing priorities, they had more traction.

2 Institutions and coordination mechanisms

To translate plans into progress, strong institutions and coordination mechanisms are essential. Public institutions must be given the necessary resources to deliver the SDGs, while coordination mechanisms, particularly within key political ministries, can help drive change.

3 Ensuring no one is left behind

Making sure that everyone benefits from development progress demands targeted approaches, such as stepping stone equity targets to ensure equitable progress across all goals.

4 Data

To eradicate poverty we need to know who is living in poverty, where they live and what they need. Strengthening data systems and producing high-quality disaggregated data is essential for tackling group-based inequalities and ensuring no one is left behind.

5 Accountability

Successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda depends on governments being held to account for goals and targets, and people, including children, having an active role in accountability processes. Governments must report on progress in open, accessible and participatory ways, supporting the active engagement of all, including children and marginalised groups.

Róisín Hinds is a Senior Policy and Research Adviser at Save the Children. This piece first appeared on the Save The Children blog.

4. Advances in Integral Human Development

2015 Human Development Report

Launched 14 December 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ehiopia

From a human development perspective, work, rather than jobs or employment is the relevant concept. A job is a narrow concept with a set of pre-determined time-bound assigned tasks or activities, in an input-output framework with labour as input and a commodity or service as output. Yet, jobs do not encompass creative work (e.g. the work of a writer or a painter), which go beyond defined tasks; they do not account for unpaid care work; they do not focus on voluntary work. Work thus is a broader concept, which encompasses jobs, but goes beyond by including the dimensions mentioned above, all of which are left out of the job framework, but are critical for human development.

Work is the means for unleashing human potential, creativity, innovation and spirits. It is essential to make human lives productive, worthwhile and meaningful. It enables people to earn a living, gives them a means to participate in society, provides them with security and gives them a sense of dignity. Work is thus inherently and intrinsically linked to human development.

But it is important to recognize that there is no automatic link between work and human development. Nor does every type of work enhance human development. Exploitative work, particularly exploitation of women and children, robs people of their fair share, their rights and their dignity. Likewise, work that is hazardous - work without safety measures, labour rights, or social protection - is not conducive to human development.

More importantly, the linkages between work and human development must be seen in the context that over time the notion of what constitutes work has changed, areas of work have shifted and the modus operandi of work has evolved. What used to mean work three decades ago is no longer valid, and work is defined differently now. Now, some of these changes may contribute positively to various dimensions of human development, but some aspects of these new phenomena may have negative impacts for human development.

In the context of all these changes, time has come to relook at the issue of work in its various dimensions and dynamics through a human development lens. Thus the 2015 Human Development Report (2015 HDR) will be on Rethinking Work for Human Development.

To be launched in December 2015, the Report will zoom in on the fundamental question – how work can be rethought for human development –– to enrich human development. Given this broader perspective, the focus of 2015 HDR will be based on five building blocks:

  • Rethinking the linkages between work and human development identifying the positive intrinsic relationship between work and human development - Work provides livelihoods, income, a means for participation and connectedness, social cohesion, and human dignity - but also those situations where linkages are broken or eroded - child labour, human trafficking, etc.
  • Revisiting the new world of work, where the notions of work, areas of work and modus operandi of work have changed and the implications for human development. ICT and mobile devices are revolutionizing work. People can work anywhere. There is an e-economy. We ask the question – are these changes enhancing human development? And how may they best be harnessed to promote equitable opportunities?
  • Recognizing the worth of care work and its impact on human development. For instance care for those who cannot care for themselves is important in itself for human survival but there are other connections to human development: from an intergenerational perspective, care work is crucial for the cognitive development of children.
  • Refocusing on the notion of sustainable work to be incorporated into the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. This will include, among other issues, the environmental value of green and low carbon emission jobs and so on. And also the quality of work that can be sustained over long periods.
  • Recommending policy options for reorienting, reinventing and reorganizing work so that it enriches human development

Several targeted issues will be taken up throughout the report– youth employment, gender aspects of work, agriculture and rural development, the informal sector, and work during crisis and in post-crisis situations. In realizing the post2015 international agenda it will be critical to enable youth, who make up 50 per cent of the global population, and women, holding up half the sky, to find work opportunities that enable them to participate constructively, creatively and equitably in society.

Source: Selim Jahan, Director of the Human Development Report Office, UNDP

5. Advances in Integrated Sustainable Development

Integral Human Development and Subsidiarity

The Principle of Subsidiarity

Source: EZFord, YouTube, 23 February 2013

See also

"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

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

An Integrated Framework for Sustainable Development Goals
David Griggs et al, Ecology & Society, 19(4): 49, 2014

Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development
Planning and Implementation

Capacity Building Workshop, United Nations, May 2015

6. Sustainability Games, Databases, and Knowledgebases

The nexus approach to the sustainable management of water, soil, and waste integrates environmental management and governance across sectors and scales. This approach requires a holistic understanding of the interlinkage of all related environmental processes, while also taking into consideration global change and socioeconomic aspects.

Exploring these interlinkages and advancing a nexus-oriented management approach requires integrated modeling tools. However, no single modeling tool is available or conceivable that can cover all processes, interactions and drivers related to the management of water, soil and waste resources.

To help overcome this challenge, the UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) has developed an interactive Nexus Tools Platform (NTP) for comparison of existing modelling tools related to the water-soil-waste nexus. Currently, the NTP database consists of 60 models from around the world. The platform provides detailed model information and advanced filtering based on real-time visualizations, and will continuously grow with the input and feedback from model developers and model users.

For more information see the UNU-FLORES website and the Nexus Tools Platform.

7. Sustainable Development Measures and Indicators

Sustainable Development Goals ~ Targets Tracker

Source: Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the guiding framework for international development until 2030 and are intended to provide a reference for setting national policy priorities.

This unique, searchable database provides a snapshot of what those national priorities are. Users can compare existing national targets with the ambition of the SDGs. We intend this to be a living document, supplemented and kept up to date by crowdsourcing, and we encourage others to send us new information on national goals to update the tracker.

This research report: Mind the gap? A comparison of international and national targets for the SDG agenda, ODI, June 2015, documents the gaps and data issues that must be resolved if the SDGs are to be attained by 2030.

Please send any new information on national level targets in any of the areas covered by the SDGs to


Global Footprint Network's National Footprint Accounts 2015 Public Data Package

Ecological Footprint Infographics

Footprint Calculator


Links to Global Partnership Data for the SDGs:

1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being
4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6. Ensure availability of water and sanitation
7. Ensure access to affordable and clean energy for all
8. Promote economic growth and decent work
9. Build resilient industrial infrastructures
10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
11. Make cities resilient and sustainable
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production
13. Take urgent action to combat climate change
14. Conserve the oceans and marine resources
15. Protect terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity
16. Promote peace and inclusive societies
17. Strengthen global partnership for sustainable development

8. Sustainable Development Modeling and Simulation

Integrated Model for Sustainable Development Goals Strategies (iSDG)

Millennium Institute, 13 January 2016

"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 here.

Click here to view a larger version of the video.
Visit Climate Interactive for updates and announcements.

9. Fostering Sustainability in the International Community

SDGs Indicators: What are they and why do they matter?

Jenna Slotin and Jenni Lee

Originally published in Deliver 2030, 16 March 2016

Last week, the United Nations Statistical Commission agreed to the indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals. So what exactly is an indicator, and why does it matter? To learn more, I talked to Jenna Slotin, the United Nations Foundation’s Post-2015 Initiative Director and Interim Program Manager for the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. 

Our conversation covered a lot of ground, but one thing became clear: the importance of data to achieving the global goals and the crucial role of the indicators in ensuring we’re collecting the right data.

– We need data to fully understand people’s lives and the problems we’re grappling with.

– We need data to make informed decisions about policies and programs.

– And we need data so we can measure whether we’re making progress toward the goals, and where to make changes if we’re not.

The challenge is that many countries don’t have robust, reliable data (or any data, in some cases) on many issues. So part of our work to achieve the global goals will be sharing data and strengthening the systems to collect and analyze data. Getting the indicators right will help ensure efforts to improve data are directed to the right things. 

The Millennium Development Goals showed that global monitoring works. But we also know that a lot more needs to be done to make that monitoring meaningful. Like the consultations and negotiations to develop the global goals, the discussion on the indicators touches many groups, including the public and private sectors and all of the communities whose work touches on the 17 global goals.

Here is a 101 on the indicators for the global goals.

Jenni Lee: What are the indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals?

Jenna Slotin: The indicators are a critical foundation of the Sustainable Development Goals – they tell us what to measure to track whether we’re reaching the goals and targets in the agenda.

For example, the first goal in the sustainable development agenda is to: “End poverty in all its forms everywhere.” Under that goal, the first target is to: “By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.” The indicator to let us know if we are approaching this target is to measure the “proportion of the population below the international poverty line.”

Another example is that by measuring the percentage of the population using safely managed drinking water services (indicator 6.1.1), we’ll know whether we’re approaching our goal of achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, as set in Sustainable Development Goal 6. 

By checking on how we’re doing on these indicators every year, we’ll know whether progress is fast enough and whether we need to make course corrections to meet the global goals.

JL: Why do the indicators matter?

JS: The indicators make the global goals operational. They provide important guideposts to tell us whether we’re on the right path to achieve our goals. If we don’t measure the right things, we won’t know if our policies and programs are having any effect, which makes it harder to reach the goals. 

If designed correctly, the indicators should highlight real people’s experiences and whether their lives are getting better or worse. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to ensure no one is left behind, and the indicators will help capture the experience of the most vulnerable and marginalized people so we can make this vision a reality. 

JL: What is the process to decide them? Where are we in that process, and what are the next steps?

JS: Because indicator development is very technical, the UN’s Statistical Commission was asked to develop the indicators. The commission set up an expert advisory group made up of country representatives from national statistical offices and expert observers. This group developed the indicators through a series of consultations with each other and with civil society and outside experts. 

At its meeting last week, the UN Statistical Commission decided on the indicators that were proposed by this expert group. Now, the indicators will be discussed by all countries in the General Assembly and the UN Economic and Social Council. 

Although the Statistical Commission has agreed on the indicators, many of them are still controversial with experts disagreeing on the formulation, methodology, and data sources for some indicators. The expert group that developed the indicators has acknowledged that more work needs to be done and the Statistical Commission calls them a “practical starting point.” How the data will be disaggregated to show the experience of all groups, particularly those that are furthest behind like adolescent girls and marginalized ethnic groups, is still a work-in-progress. This issue gets very technical very quickly, but it really matters if we’re going to make good on our promise to leave no one behind.

The expert advisory group will continue to exist and support the refinement of the indicators over the 15-year life of the global goals because we know that methods and technologies can change during this period. They have a particularly intense work program for the next year to address some of basic disagreements on formulation, methodology and data sources.

JL: How will the indicators be used?

JS: As I mentioned earlier, the indicators tell us what to measure so we can see progress toward the targets and goals.

The formal monitoring process involves every country reporting on the indicators through UN specialized agencies. These agencies will compile and harmonize the data, and it will then be reported in an annual report of the Secretary-General showing global and regional progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

But the indicators can and should be used by everyone to hold leaders accountable. They will help us track progress and advocate for renewed commitments and course corrections.

JL: What are some of the big opportunities and risks going forward? 

JS: We have very serious data gaps across the goals, particularly on people that are the furthest behind. Many countries don’t even know how many babies are born there each year. If we’re going to achieve our goal of ending extreme poverty and improving the lives of the poorest and most marginalized we need to better understand their needs and experiences as well as empower them to demand that their needs are met. Data and information are critical tools make that happen.

The world we live in today is exploding with data and technology – a “data revolution.” We have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage data from new sources combine these with traditional or official sources like census and survey data for new insights. This will require bringing a range of stakeholders together across sectors and data communities to collaborate, innovate, and solve problems related to data access, quality, and use. That’s why the UN Foundation is so excited to host the new Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data at the UN Foundation, which provides a platform to do just that.


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Pope Francis, 10 November 2015


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