A milestone in financing sustainable development

IUCN welcomes the results of a recent international conference on financing for development which agreed on practical measures to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, due to be adopted by the international community at a summit at the UN in September.

Watering a school vegetable garden on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. IUCN and partners are promoting water education so that future generations can benefit from development based on sustainable and equitable use of water.

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, resulted in the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda which will help mobilise financial resources for sustainable development. Initiatives were also launched to fund the achievement of specific SDGs, including on social welfare and access to clean energy.

The SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals which expire this year. The new goals, running from 2015 to 2030, and their underlying targets are a transformation in recognising how the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social, and environmental – are interconnected. Progress in one dimension requires progress in the other two.

“The adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is a major achievement. It is critical for the rest of the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda, and the prospects of reaching an agreement in Paris at the COP21 climate summit,” says Cyriaque Sendashonga, IUCN’s Global Director of Policy and Programme.

The action agenda includes strong reference to global biodiversity targets, landscape restoration, marine issues and climate change concerns. Gender equality is also reflected as a key principle.

In its statement to the conference, IUCN says Official Development Assistance (ODA) is important as a catalyst to mobilise additional sources of funding including from the private sector and other partners. At the same time there are already alternative avenues of innovative financing that can be explored for mobilising additional resources, such as redirecting environmentally harmful subsidies to promote sustainable development initiatives.

IUCN believes strongly in the role that nature plays in addressing some of the most pressing global challenges. Funding sustainable development should include investing in nature-based solutions to challenges such as poverty and food security.

The organisation believes that government, civil society and the private sector all have an important role to play in achieving sustainability. Government and business must move beyond ‘short termism’ and fully account for the costs and benefits of environmental protection.

“The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is a major step forward in building a world of prosperity and dignity for all,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, adding that the agreement “points the way for all stakeholders for smart investments in people and the planet where they are needed, when they are needed and at the scale they are needed.”

“Member States have now passed this first hurdle,” said Mr Ban. “Let us keep ambition high and work to realise the great potential of 2015 to be a year of transformation in leaving no one behind and ensuring lives of dignity for all.”

Work area: 
Business
Global Policy
Members
Location: 
East and Southern Africa
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