About the Conference

Background

The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS) and the conference partners invite national and international representatives of governments, science, civil society and businesses to discuss in plenaries and dialogue forums and to contribute ideas and approaches to move forward with SDG implementation in Germany and internationally. The conference will focus on partnerships and the need to sustainably manage natural resources and change consumption and production patterns:

The key role of partnerships

Partnerships to catalyze action will be a recurring theme of the conference. Learning between countries will be an essential element of the 2030 Agenda. Countries have committed in the framework of the 2030 Agenda to contribute to the renewed Global Partnership for Sustainable Development but they also need to live up to the agreement reached in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and go beyond ODA to allow for mutual learning and collaboration. New partnerships will be necessary at all levels and including a wide range of stakeholders to include everyone’s contributions to a transformational 2030 Agenda. Therefore, the conference features the Swedish government’s initiative ‘Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, A Call to Action’, which represents a partnership by nine countries, including Germany. The initiative pledges to work actively to rally support for the implementation of the Agenda, to promote the sharing of experiences and best practices and to promote a continuous engagement at the highest political level around the world. Along these lines, emerging and existing initiatives aiming at providing strategies for an effective SDG implementation will be involved in the conference and we are happy to count on inputs by partners of the Independent Research Forum.

Sustainably managing natural resources and changing consumption and production patterns

The 2030 Agenda strongly emphasizes that natural resources such as fertile soils, safe drinking water and healthy ecosystems are indispensable for sustainable development. At the same time, the SDGs and their related targets place additional demands on our environment. These demands need to be balanced, if the goals are to be achieved in their integrity. Focusing on natural resources and sustainable consumption and production in this conference allows addressing the inter-linkages between the different SDGs and the related targets. The SDGs and targets linked to natural resources and sustainable consumption and production are in many cases supporting, enabling or relying on each other. They also do have influence and are influenced by other SDGs. For example, the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources is highly linked to sustainable food production systems and agricultural practices, to increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix and to halting deforestation and land degradation. Agriculture is the key: The way food and bioenergy are produced strongly influences the progress towards achieving the SDGS. This not only refers to the way land and related resources are managed but also to the way access to resources is organized in rural and urban areas.

During the negotiations of the 2030 Agenda, it was a widely shared view that developed countries should take the lead on implementing the SDG on Sustainable Consumption and Production but implementation must acknowledge the impact of countries’ domestic policies in other countries recognizing the complex globalized system of present-day consumption and production patterns. The conference will therefore aim at addressing the topic from these two dimensions.