Multi-level governance

Decentralised Development Cooperation—the new driver for SDG implementation

Development cooperation isn’t only a matter between national governments anymore, a recent article by Stefano Marta and Aziza Akhmouch from the OECD finds - collaboration proves to be rather successful between local and regional authorities in different countries too. The process known as “decentralized development cooperation” has become a real driver for regional self-determination and active development work – in particular with regards to the SDGs.

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Integrated Management at local scale to achieve global Sustainable Development Goals

Dimple Roy is Director, Water, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). When it comes to safeguarding the future of our natural habitats, natural resources, livelihoods, and economies for future generations, we now have the guidance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are a set of seventeen aspirational ‘Global Goals’ aimed at ensuring all countries...

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Unlocking the UK’s potential | UKSSD annual conference, 1 Mar 2017

The world’s first universal set of Sustainable Development Goals came into force on 1 January 2016. How do we translate the ambition of 17 Goals and 169 Targets into transformational action in the UK? Save the date The UKSSD Annual Conference will take place on the 1st March 2017, hosted by ICAEW in London. Through...

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The UK under a ‘hard’ and a ‘soft’ Brexit | Expert Review

“Brexit means Brexit,” said Theresa May in one of her first public statements as Prime Minister. But what does that mean – for agriculture, fisheries, the environment and climate change in the UK? These were the leading questions in a recent study by Dr Charlotte Burns (University of York), Prof Andrew Jordan and Dr Viviane...

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Brexit Britain and the SDGs

  One month on and questions are still being asked about how we got here. The only thing that’s clear, it seems, is that Brexit suggests a deep division between inward- and outward-facing worldviews: control our borders and attempt to reduce the strain on our resources, or embrace a spirit of international collaboration that recognises...

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What Future Do We Want?

  As everyone woke up to Brexit on 24 June, there was a dawning realization that we were in uncharted territory. The campaign was focused on what we were trying to avoid, not where we wanted to head. That was true of the Remainers, with their increasingly apocalyptic warnings of what would happen if we...

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SDG implementation in the UK unconvincing new IDC report finds

In September 2015, 193 UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) – an ambitious set of 169 targets that commits all signatory countries to tackle issues from gender inequality to climate change, access to quality education and the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies. The SDGs officially came into force on...

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The EU Referendum and the UK’s Environment: What are the implications for democracy?

Charlotte Burns and Viviane Gravey argue that the EU Referendum debate in the UK has been "surprisingly quiet on the issue of the environment". They look at three options for the UK from the point of view of their impacts on participatory democracy, as well as point to the tension between participation and stable long term rules for environmental protection. They believe that the terms of the current debate are far too narrow. "National sovereignty is essentially a red herring that offers little in the way of genuine democratisation of environmental (or any other) policy area."

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The EU Referendum, Democracy and Sustainable Development

Graham Smith is Professor of Politics at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster and a specialist in democratic innovation and citizen engagement, with a particular interest in climate politics and the representation of future generations. He is the Chair of FDSD’s Board of Trustees. Britain is about to make a fundamental...

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Public health in a changing climate

Whether it’s direct or indirect, climate change will have an impact on public health. A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the New Economics Foundation reviews current local strategies by public health institutions to address climate change. In considering “how shifting public health from primary care trusts to local authorities has affected efforts...

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A bold move toward public problem solving on a global scale? | Anne-Marie Slaughter on the Paris Agreement

In her recent blog for the Project Syndicate, Anne-Marie Slaughter, former president of the American Society of International Law, offers an optimistic take on the non-binding nature of the Paris Agreement. As she argues: “its deficits in this regard are its greatest strengths as a model for effective global governance in the twenty-first century.” She...

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Democracy, SDGs and COP – interview with János Zlinszky

János Zlinksy, one of our longest serving Trustees and an advisor to the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, reflects on the relationship between the Paris COP and the Sustainable Development Goals Interview by Nick Aveling There’s been a lot of debate as to whether Paris COP21 can be considered a ‘success’. As an advisor...

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COP21 – the sound of the bell for system change

“Habemus consensus!” a Huffington Post article reads, summarising the sanguine diplomatic outcome of the COP21 conference in Paris. It might not be as binding as hoped by the hundreds of thousands of people engaging in the climate march; it does, however, signify a much needed paradigm-shift. While French Foreign minister Laurent Fabius was widely praised...

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JRF evidence review on community resilience to climate change

The concept of community resilience to climate change in the UK is multifaceted and comes with a wide range of associated activities. In order to build the evidence base and help support the development of community resilience to climate change, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a review of evidence and practice to explore this varied and contested field. Community...

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Governance the Key to SDG Success

The UN: success of Sustainable Development goals depends very much on process. Image: number10gov/flickr, CC BY-NC James Patterson, Florian Koch, and Kathryn Bowen have written an article examining key governance issues underpinning the success of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals which were adopted in September 2015. In, “How can we prevent the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals from failing?”...

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Sustainable Development Goal 16: Governance

You’re probably familiar with the United Nation’s (UN)Millenium Development Goals (MDG), adopted in 2000, for improving well being for the world’s poorest. They carried the tagline, “we can end poverty.” It’s estimated that roughly 40% of the eight goals, listed at the bottom, will be met by the deadline of 2015. A new set of...

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The State of Europe’s Environment

In March the European Environment Agency  published its State and Outlook Environment Report (SOER) 2015 (available here). The report highlights innovations in governance needed for long term sustainability. In addition, a section of the SOER website highlights global megatrends affecting the European Environment, one of which is Diversifying Approaches to Governance. Authors suggest key factors in diversifying...

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Our foreign pollution from imported goods

How should we account for the fact that a great deal of environmental damage associated with one’s own country actually occurs overseas? For example, Chinese manufacturers making our shoes, electronics and bicycles emit a lot of carbon on our behalf. Are these emissions on our ‘to do’ list in terms of the task of reducing overall global emissions?...

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Aarhus Convention – access to environmental information, public participation and justice

AARHUS convention

The Aarhus Convention (UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters) has been ratified by 46 countries and the EU. It is rights-based, enabling current and future people to access information in government decision-making on any matters concerning the local, national and transboundary environment. It also promotes...

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Wind farms, the national interest and local democracy

Halina argues that a core challenge is to balance national strategic priority-setting with local community engagement. Using the example of on-shore windfarms, she sets out the questions that need answering: what processes of deliberation?, how far can local choice go?, or when and how can central planning provide leadership?

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Intergenerational fairness, housing and planning policy

Following the suggestions of Intergenerational Foundation’s report Hoarding of Housing: the intergenerational crisis in the housing market, Halina argues that the UK Government has no consistent approach to future generations, and that ‘future generation’ arguments are often used to justify taking things away in the present.

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