Applying the Sustainable Development Goals to the Arctic - Contributions from EU-PolarNet

Theme 5. Other
Session Name 5.10 The UN Sustainable Development Goals: A signpost for societal relevant polar research?
Location IT112
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek
Author(s) Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland)
Abstract text

In 2015, the global community adopted Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and set 17 goals to guide global efforts in that direction. Whereas the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) focused predominantly on the global South, the Agenda 2030 intends to guide the work towards sustainability for all countries and has already mobilized concerted efforts aimed at, among other, concretization of the SDGs via more specific targets and concrete indicators. The importance of this global framework has been recognized by polar communities and since the adoption of the SDGs, discussions about their application to the Arctic have involved policy-makers, scholars and practitioners alike. The SDGs emerged prominently in preparations of a series of white papers aimed to inform future integrated European Polar Research Program. Within one of the five key thematic areas of those discussions named “People and Societal Issues" attention was given to considering roads to the desired states of socio-ecological systems (SES) in the polar regions, and within this theme to novel methods of assessment of healthy polar SES. Those debates confirmed the existence of a major gap in how global community measures progress toward sustainable development, which does not account for the state of polar social-ecological systems. Drawing on the results of this thematic group, the presentation sketches possible easy ways of addressing this matter and includes broader conclusions of the set of white papers developed within EU-PolarNet. 

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