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  • on 25.07.2014
  • at 12:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

Science struggles to see its place in final drafting of SDGs 0

Political pragmatism threatens to sideline scientific advice in the final stages of UN negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), experts say.

http://www.afronline.org/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gifAs the efforts of the Open Working Group (OWG) on the SDGs drew to a close — with the end point marked by the release last week (19 July) of a definitive list of recommended overall goals and related targets — scientific leaders say the proposed framework has become increasingly vague.

While the OWG has done a “fantastic job” to create such a comprehensive report, leaving too many blanks in the document means these target figures will ultimately be decided without scientific input, says David Griggs, director of the Monash Sustainability Institute at Australia’s Monash University.

“The concern is that governments will agree those ‘x’s and ‘y’s out of political pragmatism rather than scientific reality,” he tells SciDev.Net.

“Going forward, I don’t see a means by which scientific opinion is going to be imposed on the negotiations.”

The report, the end product of 13 OWG meetings over some 16 months, lays out 169 targets spread across 17 SDGs for the UN General Assembly to consider in at meeting in New York in September.

Many of the quantified targets based on scientific evidence that appeared in earlier documents that laid out the SDGs have been replaced by blanks or removed entirely in the final document.

continue reading on SciDev

By Jan Piotrowski – SciDev

Photo credit: ISTG

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