Translate the Global to the Local

GSDR Community of Practice - Latin America and the Caribbean

As practitioners in the field of climate change we believe in our diversity, richness of expertise and experience in a broad range of thematic fields and in the capacity and potential of us as individuals and a collective to bring about change and be a strong voice for the implementation of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). As a Community of Practice we aim to promote collaboration, support the implementation of action plans, and engender co-creative solutions among peers.

29

Participants

The participants come from diverse backgrounds and sectors. They are academics, business leaders, social innovators, policy makers, civil society activists and others.

13

Countries

Brasil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Uruguay, USA

Our Objective

 

The overall theme for the GSDR Community of Practice is: “How can we use the GSDR framework in national and local contexts to accelerate the implementation of sustainable solutions?”

It refers to us as professionals working on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and is being shaped, depending on the support we need, our specific focal topics and challenges.

As the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by nature are indivisible and interconnected systematic action is needed in order to achieve the agenda as a whole, without compromising the achievement of one goal over another.

Jointly, we strive to maximize co-benefits and minimize trade-offs to drive faster implementation toward the “future we want”. Thus, we aim to break down silos between sectors and stakeholder groups and share examples of how to build upon existing co-benefits and leverage synergies.

We want to generate solutions for policy coherence that enable a smoother implementation and foster a culture of working collaboration. All this is key to bring about sustainable change.

 


Our approach

 

The Community of Practice tackles the question of how to use the pathways presented by the GSDR and build connections and capacities among professionals from different backgrounds working on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Participants include governmental officials, academia, NGO representatives, and representatives of educational institutions for public administration. We aim to bring together different perspectives and search for solutions that take into consideration the impacts and interconnections between different SDGs. In doing so, the Community of Practice not only supports the implementation of action plans along the 2030 Agenda, but also generates co-creative solutions among peers and facilitates systemic approaches.

How can we support each other to improve our practice?

What do we already know as a group?

What are we struggling to know?

Where can we experiment?

What is our personal practice?

Which other networks and communities have undertaken similar journeys to inspire us?

Are there opportunities for mentorship etc. from those into our work?

How we work

 

The Community of Practice (CoP) was born as an outcome of the dissemination workshop for the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019, held virtually in December 2020.

During the workshop, the participants were acquainted with the concept and the approach of the GSDR. Related actions – maximise synergies, minimise trade-offs, apply levers – were contextualised and initial ideas for concrete steps to address identified issues at local, national and/or regional levels were developed. To ensure systemic interaction, the participants started building partnerships across different stakeholder groups and agreed to join a Community of Practice in order to allow for continuous collaboration beyond 2020.

In 2021 monthly meetings and an online platform provided safe spaces for learning, exchange and collaboration built on trust and equality among CoP members. The CoP members decided to share both their good practices and the challenges they face, and as such started to serve as coaches and drivers of the discussion for each other. To this end, we use co-creation and peer learning methods to draw out interests, insights, and learning from practice.

Further individual formats like stakeholder mapping and case studies invite guests for participation and joint learning. In 2021 the Community of Practice has concentrated on questions of stakeholder engagement and involvement in order to give inputs from a diversity of practical experience to the GSDR 2023. In 2022 new members joined, enriching the diversity of perspectives within the CoP, as the focus continues to be on work-related challenges, brought to the group by the members themselves.

The GSDR Dialogues for Sustainabilty are closely connected to the Community of Practice. This format is open to the public. Experts speak on topics centered around operationalizing the key messages of the GSDR and invite participants to join in for lively discussions.

Projects and Impact created

Contributing to the intercorrelation among the 17 SDGs and not one in particular

In 2021, the Brazilian National School of Public Administration (Enap) had a great experience of implementing the training program called 'Leading for the Development' designed to more than 200 Brazilian Mayors. One of the modules of the program was about 'how to make my city sustainable'. When we started to explain how cities can implement sustainable actions, we saw that more than 70% of mayors have never heard about the 2030 Agenda and their SDGs. And those who have hard about it told us that the reality of the Agenda is too far from the reality of their cities. As the SDGs were explained, more the participants got confused. We found that the empowerment process of facing the global challenges of our time requires a better communication for local level on the narrative for sustainability. The way in which the goals, targets and indicators are arranged in the Agenda is not enough to communicate with those who work with public policy at the cutting edge and local level. The absence of fundamental examples for mayors and cities with high levels of social inequalities was identified in this one year of program. They need a simple global communication. Understanding climate change, for example, in the reality of very poor cities in Brazil represents something ethereal in the lives of the community. There is an increasing need for proposals that simplify communication about the 2030 Agenda for greater a greater applicability in local contexts. This project comes to face this challenge.

Lead: Mr. João Vitor Faria Domingues (Brazil)

Contributing to SDG 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 17

The last couple years the public resources available for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the public sector in México have been drastically reduced. Untouchable sectors such as indigenous women, environmental projects or culture were affected by budgetary resource measures owing to the austerity brought about by the pandemic. As a result, CSOs had to reduce staff, modify existence projects and seek for new ways of funding in an environment of little confidence in their social contributions.

Civil Society Organizations CSOs in México had found only a few spaces of dialogue with government authorities in relation to the SDG progress. For instance, there was no representation of Civil Society in the National Committee for the 2030 Agenda. Beyond the formal rhetoric, progress in the 32 states and several municipalities for establishing bodies for the follow-up and implementation of the 2030 Agenda with a deep understanding of its key elements is still lacking behind.  CSOs have reported that the implementation of public policies often shows a different logic and does not have a sustainable approach.

It is becoming evident that the implementation of the SDGs needs to consider multi-stakeholder perspectives. Especially with the recognition that the pandemic has had a stagnant effect on certain objectives and that for now the means are not enough, the complex challenges need the contributions of CSOs that can build on their long history and experience of work with vulnerable populations, in order to leave no one behind.

Lead: Ms. Flor Maria Ramirez (México)

Contributing to SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 11 and SDG 13

There are SDG issues in the LAC region that need to be treated and implemented within a short time span. To approach them individually will not attract the attention of policy makers. This is why we need to come together as a movement with a strong voice that can raise these issues with policy makers of countries of the region. Proposed here is the creation of a network of individuals and NGOs promoting the application of knowledge and know-how derived from science, engineering and technology. Ideally this network is to be convened by GIZ through the linkage of its various country offices in the region. The network can raise issues in the form of position papers, meetings with local authorities or other forms of expression to act as an advisory body to policy makers. The network will get its conceptual arguments by promoting lectures and discussions with experts from scientific and engineering schools and organizations, as well as from technological development enterprises.

Lead: Mr. Jorge Spitalnik (Brazil)

Contributing to SDG 1, SDG 8, SDG 12, SDG 14 and SDG 15

Shorebirds play a key role since they connect biodiversity on a global scale, they are primarily migratory and breed in the United States and Canada. At a global level, 45% of Arctic shorebird populations are decreasing. Although the ultimate reasons behind this overall decline are unknown, the loss and alteration of wetlands seem to be one of the main causes. Large areas of mangroves and salt flats have been transformed mainly in shrimp Farming.

In the last 30 years conservationists criticized the industry, which opened a gap of mistrust between them, as a result for decades there was no access to the shrimp farms and the natural wetlands around. However, information generated recently demonstrates that shrimp farms play a vital role in the survival of shorebirds by offering roosting sites during their stopover or during the wintering season. This interaction between shorebirds and production is not covered in existing certification and standards, and is very limited in regulations and laws in both producer and consumer countries. It is necessary to disseminate and share the importance of shrimp farms for shorebirds, the good practices identified and document the response of the birds to the pilot practices.

The challenge is complex and has multiple stakeholders in different geographical regions, however, the shrimp farms provide a concrete opportunity to contribute to the fulfillment of several of the sustainable development goals with concrete action.

Lead: Ms. Salvadora Morales (Nicaragua)

Contributing to the SDG 8, SDG 10 and SDG 11

Rapid urbanization and our traditional pattern of linear consumption (take-make-dispose) have generated a global problem of urban solid waste management. In Panama, only 74% of the national population's waste enters the country's landfills, and the rest ends up in the environment, rivers, and oceans. Only 5% of the recoverable material is recycled, and since the country lacks the capacity to transform it locally, it has to export most of it. The problem gets exacerbated in urban areas such as Panama City, where the main landfill has reached its maximum capacity and represents a public health hazard. Thus, there is a growing need to design waste out of the system in urban settings in Panama. Managed appropriately, waste can be a source of opportunity if a circular economy lens is applied to maintain resources in the loop, creating new opportunities for green businesses and jobs.

Cities are now gaining recognition as potential drivers for circular economy agendas, but this mission can only be made possible through active citizen participation. Our approach aims to empower citizens to take ownership of the waste management challenge and find solutions that unlock economic, social, and environmental benefits. The recycling movement began a cultural shift, but there is now a need to figure out what to do locally with that waste. With our program, we aim to tap into citizens’ creative capacity by bridging the gap of access to resources and knowledge to transform waste locally. such as traditional and new technological fabrication tools and methods to create products and services. Our process guides citizens from an ideation stage where an initial concept is defined, to an experimentation stage where the source of waste chosen is iteratively transformed into a value-added product, and finally, to defining a functional prototype they can test.

Lead: Ms. Carolina Rojas Echeverri (Panama)


Global Sustainable Development Report 2019

Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019 

Overview

The Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019 was drafted by an independent group of scientists from a range of disciplines appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, following the request conveyed in the Ministerial Declaration from the 2016 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). It emphasizes a systemic understanding of the various goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda in order to arrive at transformative pathways, explicitly acknowledging ways in which multiple stakeholders can support and sustain such transformations.

In the past, thematic sessions of the HLPF have focused on a sub-set of "in-focus goals", which ensured that the progress and ongoing challenges around each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) would be considered once within a four-year cycle. In 2019, the HLPF progress review clearly stated that while some SDGs had made progress, others had reversed course and were lagging behind. Therefore, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Decade of Action to boost implementation. During the transition year 2020, as member states deliberated options for holding the High-Level Political Forum, the GSDR provided a useful framework for applying an integrated understanding of the various goals and targets to accelerate progress on the SDGs.

Meanwhile, a new expert group has been formed for the preparation of the GSDR 2023. The participants of the Community of Practice will also have the opportunity to exchange with this team.

Trade-offs and Co-benefits

With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs have been brought together within one framework as an indivisible and universal whole. Therefore, not only the goals and targets, but also the interactions among them, are brought into focus in the 2030 Agenda.

The GSDR identifies the biggest transformative potentials of the 2030 Agenda, not through the pursuit of individual goals and targets but rather by explicitly considering their interlinkages and resultant co-benefits and trade-offs. In an increasingly globalized and hyper-connected world, any intervention on behalf of just one goal can lead to unintended consequences for the achievement of other goals nearby or faraway, today or tomorrow. Those interactions often imply trade-offs, but also give rise to co-benefits and the significant potential for transformations towards sustainable development. The key to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda thus lies in leveraging interactions among the SDGs away from trade-offs and towards co-benefits, from vicious to virtuous circles.

In dealing with such complex synergies and trade-offs, planners and decision-makers should adopt systemic approaches, following different pathways to sustainable development that offer multiple solutions and drivers, across different sectors and jurisdictions. Moreover, activities need to be undertaken by a diverse group of stakeholders and organizations, other than the governments of United Nations Member States alone. The success of the 2030 Agenda strongly depends on the cooperation of governments, institutions, agencies, the private sector and civil society across different sectors, locations, borders and levels.

Entry points

The GSDR identifies six entry points representing systems where strategic interventions can harness synergies across goals and targets, and also help mitigate the trade-offs or tensions between them. These systems are essential to constructing durable solutions for narrowing inequalities and ensuring that no one is left behind: 


1. Strengthening human well-being and capabilities
2. Building sustainable food systems and nutrition patterns
3. Achieving energy decarbonization with universal access
4. Promoting sustainable urban and peri-urban development
5. Shifting towards sustainable and just economies
6. Securing the global environmental commons.

 

Source: GSDR 2019

How to get engaged

  • Are you from the Latin America and Caribbean region?
  • Do you have a project idea or challenge in the realm of the GSDR or Agenda 2030?
  • Are you an expert/professional aiming to break down silos between sectors and stakeholder groups?
  • Do you want to generate co-creative solutions among peers and facilitate systemic approaches?

Then contact us!


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