GLP News

Messerli at UN for GSDR

Related GLP Member: Peter Messerli

Our GLP Co-chair Peter Messerli, who is also the Co-chair of the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), presented to the UN General Assembly as part of the SDG Summit 2019. He was one of the scientists in the opening session of the forum, speaking on the first GSDR report, The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development. The report was released in September and is now available online on the UN Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform. You can watch the September 11th press conference for the launch of the report on the UN Web TV website. 

On page 108 of the report, Box 2-45 specifically addresses the land systems science perspective on the SDGs. Titled "Equitable land governance as an integrated pathway to sustainable development," it lays out the case for the important of land as the nexus between humans and sustainable development.

As background (from the UN website):

The GSDR originated in the Rio + 20 outcome, when Member States were laying the groundwork for the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The negotiators knew that the Agenda would be complex, and unprecedented in ambition, and that the traditional siloed approach to development would not be adequate. They recognized the power of science to understand and navigate relationships among social, environmental and economic development objectives, and so they called for a report to strengthen the science-policy interface. In 2016, Member States decided that the report should be produced once every four years, to inform the quadrennial SDG review deliberations at the General Assembly, and that it should be written by an Independent Group of Scientists appointed by the Secretary-General. They mandated that the Group would consist of 15 experts representing a variety of backgrounds, scientific disciplines and institutions, ensuring geographical and gender balance.

In addition to his presentation at the UN, Peter also published a comment in Nature Sustainability, in which he argues that dominant research modes are not enough to guide the societal transformations necessary to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Researchers, practitioners, decision makers, funders and civil society should work together to achieve universally accessible and mutually beneficial sustainability science, he writes.