CHANGES IN THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PARADIGM 39
international community beyond 2015. As such they will represent an important entry point for mainstreaming sustainable development. The reaffirmation by the General Assembly of the validity of the MDGs and the progress that has been made over the past decade mean that MDGs will remain an important focus for the international community after 2015. The MDGs are based on goals, targets and indicators that the international community has agreed to through numerous conferences, pro cesses and conventions. Moreover, they were initially developed on the basis of available statistics as much as fundamentally important goals. They are therefore a product of political and practical compromise and are not necessarily complete or final. Important gaps in the MDGs are goals or targets for good governance, cultural rights and economic equality for women. Also, a number of targets have been overtaken by developments since 2000 and need revision. One example is Target 7.B: “Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss”. This is now obsolete in light of the new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted at COP10 (Target 6.B also refers to 2010). The two new biodiversity targets that the MDGs will have to take into account are (CBD, 2010b): A world . . . where . . . “[b]y 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people”. “[T]o halt the loss of biodiversity in order to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services.”
Indicator 7.3 on ozone-depleting substances is also obsolete: owing to the success of the Montreal Protocol, ODS were banned as of 2010. There is a need for a target on the use of chemicals to reflect the developments of the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the WSSD target to “use and produce chemicals by 2020 in ways that do not harm human health and the environment”. Targets or indicators addressing renewable energy, organic pollutants, nitrogen pollution, desertification and/or degraded ecosystems, the elimination of illegal fishing (as called for in WSSD) and illegal trade in endangered species (i.e. the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), as well as planning indicators such as Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action, National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans and REDD+, could all be included to reflect developments in international law and policy over the past decade.
Published on Mar 6, 2013
Debates on green growth and environmental governance tend to be general in nature, and are often conceptual or limited to single disciplines...