Think-tank alliance identifies eight shifts for sustainable development

Business_buildingA new international alliance of research institutes has identified eight major shifts that must take place for humanity to achieve sustainable development, according to a release from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

The recommendations come in a paper published by the Independent Research Forum (IRF) on a Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, whose members include IIED and other think tanks in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America and South America.

The research institutes joined forces to provide expert analysis to inform the on-going international policy processes that will shape both the Sustainable Development Goals (which nations agreed to create at the Rio+20 Summit last year) and the ‘post-2015’ development agenda, which is set to replace the Millennium Development Goals.

The new paper says that sustainable development can only be achieved if four foundations exist.

They are economic progress, equitable prosperity and opportunity, healthy and productive ecosystems and stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

But Independent Research Forum says eight shifts would be essential.

They are ‘development assistance’ to a universal global compact, top-down to multi-stakeholder decision-making processes, economic models that increase inequalities and risks to ones that reduce them and business models based on shareholder value to those based on stakeholder value.

Others are meeting ‘easy’ development targets to tackling systemic barriers to progress, damage control to investing in resilience, concepts and testing to scaled-up interventions and multiple discrete actions to cross-scale coordination.

The paper describes each of these shifts in more detail and then outlines the Independent Research Forum’s recommendation for how policymakers should set the goals and targets that would make up the post-2015 development agenda.

“This has been a joint effort by 12 think tanks from around the world, and we are very happy with the result,” says Dr Tom Bigg of IIED.

“We believe this framework will be useful to all those charged with agreeing a coherent set of goals that meet the challenges the world is facing.”

Source: GNA

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