Journal article

Implementing the "Sustainable Development Goals": towards addressing three key governance challenges-collective action, trade-offs, and accountability

Kathryn J Bowen, Nicholas A Cradock-Henry, Florian Koch, James Patterson, Tiina Hayha, Jess Vogt, Fabiana Barbi

CURRENT OPINION IN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2017

Abstract

Realising the aspirations of the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) to reduce inequality, limit ecological damage, and secure resilient livelihoods is a grand challenge for sustainability science, civil society and government. We identify three key governance challenges that are central for implementing the SDGs: (i) cultivating collective action by creating inclusive decision spaces for stakeholder interaction across multiple sectors and scales; (ii) making difficult trade-offs, focusing on equity, justice and fairness; and (iii) ensuring mechanisms exist to hold societal actors to account regarding decision-making, investment, action, and outcomes. The paper explains each of these thre..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

Thanks to Charles Ebikeme, Johannes Mengel, Teddy Ruge and the convenors of an ISCU, ISSC, DFG and Future Earth workshop on science, policy and the SDGs, in May 2015 where this paper was initiated. An earlier version of the arguments presented in this piece was published by The Conversation, July 2015 as 'How can we prevent the UN's "Sustainable Development Goals" from failing?'. NCH was supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand's Marsden Fund.