Programme / Thematic Sessions I. d. The urgent responsibiltiy of science to support SDGs‹ back to Programme lister
Thursday / 21 NOV
11:30 - 13:00
All presenters have agreed on the importance of science and technology in the fueling and actual implementation of SDGs. Although thus far implementation is lagging behind, and in many aspects the global situation is worse than before, there is still hope. The interlinked nature of targets requires a system’s approach to better understand the interactions, competitive agendas and various transformation methods. There are six entry points in the system that can trigger the whole net and boost the change; these are: (1) human well-being and capabilities; (2) sustainable and just economies; (3) sustainable food systems and healthy nutrition; (4) energy de-carbonisation with universal access; (5) sustainable urban and peri-urban development; (6) securing the global environmental commons.
To secure the success of the implementation of SDGs, science, technology and policy must work hand in hand: the issue is too important and too delicate not to use all sources. Therefore, all stakeholders must strive for cooperation in good faith.
It is not only SDGs that are interconnected, but so too is our world, and so too should science be. Scientific results should be interconnected and partnerships and cooperation mechanisms should be established for better cooperation amongst scientists around the world. There are already good examples of this – academies and young researchers have been founding international partnerships and associations to make their voices heard better. By now it can be said that the ice has broken and science- and technology-related aspects are taken into account to a greater extent when policy decisions are taken, although there is still a long way to go. ‘Why don’t scientists have a seat at the decision making table?’ one of the presenters asked. At the same time, participants have also agreed that this should work the other way around as well; politicians and key stakeholders should be invited to the tables of science to strengthen their cooperation and to ensure better understanding amongst all parties.
Closing the gap between science, government and the people is still an unfinished task. While the scientific community is working on the science-government aspect, its interaction with the people is also very important. People’s assumptions about reality, what they are afraid of and what their real needs are must be kept in mind when providing scientific solutions for the implementation of SDGs. Being practical is also a key element.
The rules that science and technology should follow in all their undertakings include the 3Rs: rigor, relevance and responsibility. And what is the role of science and technology in the implementation of SDGs? Developing new methods of solving problems thorough responsible innovations, defining the best order of actions and showing the right directions to take. One must not forget about the importance of awareness raising at all levels, the need for the inclusion of SDGs in national curricula, the re-orientation of academy goals to meet the challenges of SDGs and, additionally, the need for an ambassador for the goals.
Finally, there should be a huge international fund financed by states and companies. A global fund for SDG studies, to group the world’s best scientists through an open source, to create a knowledge-base for the change.
Rapporteur: Brigitta Hidvéghiné Pulay, Advisor
- Nazar Mohamed Hassan, Senior Science & Technology Regional Advisor, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Sciences in the Arab States
- Eeva Furman, Director, Environment Policy Centre of the Finnish Environment Institute
- Joshua Setipa, Managing Director, UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries
- Teresa Stoepler, Executive Director, InterAcademy Partnership for Policy (IAP)
- Javier García Martínez, President-elect, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
- Hazir Elhaj, TWAS fellow, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sudan University of Science and Technology
- Heide Hackmann, CEO, International Science Council