SDGs

CEP author British Council report on SDG16

New report by CEP on how the British Council is contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16

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In 2017 the British Council commissioned Collingwood Environmental Planning (CEP) to provide a baseline assessment of how it is contributing to the achievement of a sub-set of ten SDGs. The Council has now published a new report by CEP: SDG 16 – A cultural relations approach to peace, justice and strong institutions.

The British Council is interested in understanding how its work contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 16 is a strategic goal which is fundamental to the achievement of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The research drew on international literature about the SDGs, reports on British Council projects and programmes, including inception reports, progress reports and internal and external evaluation; the research team also conducted interviews with selected project managers, stakeholders and/or participants. A set of 12 British Council programmes and projects spanning the breadth of the organisation’s work areas and its geographical spread, were selected for detailed review. Six of the 12 projects and programmes specifically targeted children and young people. Working with young people, especially in regions affected by conflict such as the Middle East and North Africa, is a priority for the British Council.

The report can be found at Sustainable Development Goals Report

For more information, contact: Paula Orr (Technical Director)

Why are Cities Good for Sustainability?

Why are Cities Good for Sustainability?

Blog post by Rolands Sadauskis

Is this the new “age of the City”? Millions of people are moving to cities every week[1] and the growing numbers of megacities (with populations of over 10 million) have the capacity to rival nation states in power and influence.  The importance of the city to achieve sustainability outcomes is increasing by the day.  

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In the urban curriculum cities are viewed as a double edged sword. They epitomise the social, economic and technological achievements of modern day societies. For policy makers, having people in a concentrated space can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of policy implementation, whereas urban citizens enjoy the benefits of more accessible education, health and work opportunities than their rural counterparts. However, there is a down side – cities generate the majority of the global carbon emissions[2] and consume the majority of energy resources[3]. Pollution and mobility challenges, social inequality, inadequate housing, and exposure to climate change impacts (e.g. floods, sea level rise, tropical cyclones etc.) are among many pressing issues that urban populations are facing globally.

Urban governance is a critical part of any urban sustainability solution that seeks to address these challenges. Urban policies are highly interdependent on each other. In this context, it is crucial to identify suitable governance arrangements to take these interdependencies and possible trade-offs into account. Further, cities are also profoundly connected to their suburban and rural hinterland and so their policies and activities can have a wide-ranging impact, especially on resource demand (consumption) and waste management.

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In recent decades, numerous cities have actively taken the path towards sustainability and increasingly are acknowledging the efforts required to achieve their ambition by being part of international organisations committed to sustainable development (e.g. c40, ICLEI etc[4].). These cities have been implementing international standards and often applying and moving beyond existing national standards. A good example is the international response to climate change where cities are actively taking the lead in climate action and inspire deeper commitments from national governments and each other, in support of the 2015 Paris Agreement. More recently a new initiative is bringing together mayors from global cities to develop a collective message and engage in a G20 dialogue process with an urban perspective on key sustainability issues. The inaugural Urban 20 Mayors Summit (October 2018) will be the first ever international summit for cities with such a focus on global sustainability issues.

There are numerous benefits from cities taking the required actions and embracing sustainability. A global effort by cities would likely contribute significantly towards the achievement of various global agendas including the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate agreement. It would also bring many social, economic and environmental benefits both in cities and their hinterland. 

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Achieving sustainability outcomes (such as highlighted in UN SDGs) requires a collective effort from all levels of policy making. In these efforts cities must and can be part of sustainable solutions on pressing global issues. Existing global trends in their increasing political influence and willingness to take the initiative in addressing the pressing needs of their citizens strongly suggest that cities provide a good platform for enhancing sustainability. Consequently, one should not question the importance of cities in achieving sustainability outcomes, but rather ask - do cities get the power they need to bring about the change required to address them?

by Rolands Sadauskis, Senior Consultant, CEP, 26 October 2018


[1] https://graylinegroup.com/urbanization-catalyst-overview/

[2] https://www.c40.org/why_cities

[3] https://unhabitat.org/urban-themes/energy/

[4] C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change, https://www.c40.org/; ICLEI is the leading global network of 1,500+ cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future, https://www.iclei.org/. 

CEP explore global megatrends in Slovenia

CEP COMMISSIONED TO UNDERTAKE A STUDY ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF GLOBAL MEGATRENDS IN SLOVENIA

CEP has been commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and Slovenian Environment Agency to undertake a study to understand the implications of global megatrends (GMTs) on the state of the environment in Slovenia.

The study will involve adapting and implementing a methodology and toolkit previously developed by CEP on understanding the impacts of global megatrends at the national level. This work will particularly consider the implications of two specific GMTs identified by the European Environment Agency in their assessment of global megatrends published in 2015: Intensified global competition for resources (GMT 7); and Increasingly severe consequences of climate change (GMT 9).

CEP's work will involve undertaking desk-based research and assessment of how these two GMT’s might impact the national environmental priorities and efforts to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals, focussing in particular on the aims of the Slovenia National Environment Action Programme and Slovenian Development Strategy.  As part of this study CEP will organise and facilitate two national expert workshops to discuss potential GMT impacts and assess risks and opportunities for the environment and environmental policy in Slovenia.

The project will run from September 2017 until September 2018.

For further information contact Owen White (Project Director) or Rolands Sadauskis (Project Manager). 

* For more information on megatrends see here