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Global Sustainable Development Report 2019
In July 2016, Member States agreed on the creation of an independent group of scientists to draft the quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report. The independent group of scientists comprising 15 experts representing a variety of backgrounds, scientific disciplines and institutions, appointed in open, transparent and inclusive consultations with Member States, including the possibility of taking nominations from Member States. The Report represents the result of an ongoing dialogue among scientists in all relevant fields on sustainable development worldwide, ensuring geographically balanced participation and assessing existing assessments, including the relevant reports on sustainable development from a variety of sources, including the United Nations system, as well as bringing together dispersed information. It relies on the key principles: seeking to reflect multiple perspectives, being policy-relevant, based on scientific evidence, and interdisciplinary. The content of the report constructed by developing linkages between areas of transformation, means and levers, and how pathways represent their combinations in order to achieve transformative changes of the areas. The Report identified six critical areas for transformations: economy, human potential, urban and peripheral-urban, access to energy, food, water and nutrition, global commons and four levers: governance, responsible consumption and sustainable production and financing, behaviour and societal contract, science & technology. An important part of human wellbeing is driven by consumption and production of goods and services, and considerable effort and ingenuity go into further increasing, availability, variety and access, for instance, generates jobs and work, improves material standards of living, and, through tax revenue, provides public resources for providing basic services. To tackle the pressing challenges of a sustainable future, transformations need to introduce changes at the core of the business model to eliminate unsustainability at its source rather than as an add-on to counter-act negative outcomes and proactive strategies appear most impactful and welcomed. As sustainable economies do not match with the mainstream economic thinking business will hardly be the key driver for such a transformation. Better governance and governmental leadership as well as stronger engagement of civil societies needed. The presentation presents content of the Report including renewed understanding of sustainable development, global trends and local impacts, knowledge-based transformations, levers and means for change, pathways to transformations and role of science. Authors argue that the value and transformative potential of the 2030 Agenda is more than the sum of 17 Goals and its 169 Indicators, but it also represents a vision of how natural resources, goods and services best be shared for the well-being of the people that will populate this Earth. While the Report as a product focus on producing knowledge for transformations to sustainable development, we see it also as a process that can advance the collaboration between science, policy and society.