Conference on Germany’s Role in the Implementation of the SDGs
17 goals and 169 targets: the Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 is as ambitious as it is complex. The UN member states now face the task of translating the 2030 Agenda into national targets without losing sight of its ambitious global goals and the myriad links that tie the countries of the world together. The Agenda’s practical implementation and the associated challenges will be the focus of the conference “Jump-starting the SDGs in Germany: Natural Resources and Sustainable Consumption and Production”, which will be held in Berlin on 2–4 May 2016. The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the IASS have invited national and international representatives of governments, science, civil society, and private sector organisations to attend the conference and to discuss the particular role of Germany in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The German government has announced that it intends to work towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals on multiple levels:
- In Germany through the ongoing development of a national sustainability strategy.
- Through Germany abroad: our consumption and production patterns have huge impacts on land use (e.g. the high level of meat consumption in Germany is enabled by feedstock production in other countries), labour conditions, and the environment in other countries.
- With German assistance abroad: future development cooperation and financing must be guided by the SDGs.
New partnerships and the need to use resources sustainably – in particular through the adoption of new patterns of consumption and production – will rank high on the conference agenda.
Fostering knowledge flows through learning partnerships
The creation of “learning partnerships” between individual countries is an essential element of the 2030 Agenda. These partnerships will engage a broad spectrum of actors and provide diverse opportunities for mutual learning to drive the transformation process forward. Special attention will be given at the conference to the Swedish Government’s initiative on “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, A Call to Action”, a partnership of nine countries (Brazil, Germany, Colombia, Liberia, Sweden, South Africa, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, and Tunisia). This initiative strives to actively support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, promotes the sharing of experiences and best practices, and encourages ongoing efforts to support the Agenda at the highest political level.
Natural resources are indispensable for sustainable development
The 2030 Agenda emphasises that natural resources, such as fertile soils, safe drinking water and healthy ecosystems, are an indispensable basis for sustainable development. At the same time, the SDGs and their related targets place additional demands on our environment, particularly with respect to land, food, and water resources. For example, the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources (Goal 15) is closely linked to sustainable food production systems and agricultural practices, to an increase in the share of renewables in the energy mix and to halting deforestation and land degradation. These competing demands must be reconciled with each other and implemented within an integrated perspective in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda as a whole.
Experts from a broad range of science and development backgrounds will discuss these challenges at the conference. Interactive panel discussions and dialogue forums will offer opportunities to explore in depth a range of key issues, including efficient resource use, food security and nutrition, bioenergy and land use.
The conference will be held in English. Interpretation services will be available for the plenaries and the dialogue session on resource efficiency and planetary boundaries on Tuesday, 3 May. For more information, please visit the conference website: sdgsgermany.de