Summary and Commentary on Laudato Si':
the Pope's encyclical on the environment and poverty
Arthur Lyon Dahl
International Environment Forum
World Happiness Report 2015
The World Happiness Report 2015, released on 23 April 2015, looks at the changes in happiness levels in 158 countries, and examines the reasons behind the statistics. The WHR demonstrates that well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation’s economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy.
IEF comments on the UN Statistical Commission report
The UN Major Groups Programme Coordinator in the Division for Sustainable Development requested stakeholder feedback regarding the UN Statistical Commission's technical report on indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to be adopted in September. The IEF submitted the following comments on the technical report in the limited space provided.
RESPONSIBLE LIVING: CONCEPTS, EDUCATION AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
ICSU and ISSC release “Review of Targets for the Sustainable Development Goals: The Science Perspective”
The International Council for Science, in partnership with the International Social Science Council, have released a report which provides an independent review of the 169 targets under the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are set to be approved at the General Assembly of the UN in September 2015.
Presentation: “Seeding a New Culture”
By author and sustainability expert, Paul Hanley
On Sunday, 1 February 2015, Paul Hanley, author of the insightful new book, Eleven, presented a webinar lecture in Washington, D.C., USA, hosted by the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs. Drawing on the material in his book, Mr. Hanley discussed how humanity and the world will adjust to support 11 billion people by the end of this century and how we can and are beginning to cure the social and environmental ills currently plaguing humanity and nature. As part of his talk, Mr. Hanley emphasized a solution rooted in local education and capacity-building processes practiced in the Bahá’í community. A recording of the talk with slides was available, but has unfortunately been lost. More than 100 individuals took part in the event and feedback was very positive.
Sponsoring Organization: U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs, http://publicaffairs.bahai.us/
Online Interfaith Course on Climate Change
Indicators and a Monitoring Framework for Sustainable Development Goals:
Launching a data revolution for the SDGs
A report by the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Revised working draft for consultation, 16 January 2015
Download the report (160 p.) at: http://unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/150116-Indicators-and-a-Mo…
As the Sustainable Development Goals and targets go through governmental review and approval this year, one area of unfinished business is to identify the indicators that will be used to measure progress towards the ambitious goals for 2030. The SDSN has taken up the challenge, and its report proposes 100 global indicators for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be calculated for all countries, as well as 141 complementary national indicators to be used on an optional basis depending on the national situation and priorities. All the global indicators are discussed in detail for methodology, data availability, and responsible organizations. The aim is to provide the scientific backing for decisions governments will take this year to adopt the SDGs, to be ready to start implementation in 2016 of at least a partial set of indicators ready for use. The revised working draft was open for two weeks for expert comments, and IEF submitted a short version of its analysis below.
A five week free internet course, Pathways to climate change adaptation: the case of Small Island Developing States, on Coursera running from 26 January to 28 February 2015 includes IEF President Arthur Lyon Dahl as one of the faculty. The course was prepared by the University of Geneva in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme. Details about the course are available at https://www.coursera.org/course/sids, together with an introductory video.
The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet
Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda
The Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda "The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet" was released on 4 December. It is worth looking at this report in some detail, since it aims to provide the vision, one might even say the ethical foundation, for the community of nations for the next 15 years to 2030.