This week, the IAI is part of the delegation of the Scientific and Technical Community Major Group to the first United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York (11 – 20 July).
The Scientific and Technological Community Major Group is coorganized by the World Science ICSUhttp://www.icsu.org/science-for-policy/, and Social Science ISSC Councils, and the Federation of Engineering Organizations WFEO, to provide governments, policy makers and Society with knowledge on what is scientifically and technologically feasible and what technological tools we have available for achieving sustainable development.
The High Level Forum is the first meeting since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. As Climate Change diplomat Christiana Figueres said at its opening: “we are the architects for the future, we as architects need to ensure that our foundation is strong”. The forum’s main product, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) is designed to strengthen the science-policy interface at the global stage, and at the Forum’s session on Science-Policy, moderated by ICSU’s Lucilla Spini, representatives from member states, UN agencies and other stakeholders discussed new ideas, scientific insights and technological solutions to support the SDGs.
The IAI’s Global Change science cannot be isolated from development, and cuts across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as heard in the messages from IAI scientists. Similarly, the message from panelists and participants at the Forum clearly asked for science-policy dialogues, reorienting research not just towards the economic good but towards inclusive and sustainable societies. The task of science in empowering policy-makers needs to be supported by multi-stakeholder partnerships, and capacity-building focused on the science/policy interface will be important for knowledge-brokers at national, regional and global levels.
IAI is working in partnership with ICSU, ISSC and Future Earth to promote collaboration, contribute to science-policy dialogues and develop regional capacities. Together, these organizations can play a role in developing a platform for capacity-building and dialogues on science-policy, building on the lessons learnt from the 2016 Pilot Global Sustainable Development Report.