Maria Ivanova Speaks at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
Professor Maria Ivanova spoke as an invited panelist at the 2015 Meeting of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at the UN Headquarters in New York. This panel was created at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development Conference Rio+20 with the purpose of reviewing the implementation of sustainable development obligations and offering political leadership, guidance, and recommendations. This year’s meeting, organized by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), started on June 26th and will continue through July 8th with the theme of “Strengthening integration, implementation and review – The HLPF after 2015.”
On June 29th, the morning session covered different issues around “How science can inform policy making.” Discussions continued in the afternoon on the themes of “Supporting national action through HLPF outcomes”; “Keeping science involved in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation”; and “The Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) as a bridge between the SDGs and the scientific communities.”
Prof. Ivanova is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board. She was a panelist in the roundtable discussion on “Keeping science involved in SDG implementation” moderated by Paul Shrivastava, Executive Director of the Future Earth Secretariat. Prof. Ivanova discussed the relevance of the science-policy interface and the need to identify the connection between natural and human systems. Explaining some of the aspects of the Environmental Conventions Initiative, one of the core projects at the UMass Boston Center for Governance and Sustainability, she reflected on the importance of information, monitoring and assessment. Specifically, she highlighted the role that secretariats have in promoting national reporting and in supporting member states in this process, guaranteeing that reports are viewed, accounted for, and useful. Prof. Ivanova highlighted the Environmental Conventions Initiative as a tool to promote reporting, accountability, and implementation improvements.
The HLPF will also discuss its role in assessing the implementation of the Post-2015 Development agenda and serve as a follow up to Rio+20 and to the Samoa Conference on Small Island Developing States. As the negotiations for the Post-2015 development agenda enter in their final stage, the HLPF is expected to bring new issues to the attention of policy makers and consolidate a platform for debate between governments, international organizations, scientists, academia, major groups, and other stakeholders. Moreover, the meeting will reflect on the integration of policies to promote sustainable development paths and enhance the integration of economic, social, and environmental issues. Finally, there will be a ministerial segment for discussions on the sustainable development agenda, specifically its communication and implementation, the reinforcement of major groups and stakeholder participation.