Browsing by Subject "Sustainable Development Goals"

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  • Hanspach, Jan; Haider, Lisbeth Jamila; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Olafsson, Anton Stahl; Gulsrud, Natalie M.; Raymond, Christopher M.; Torralba, Mario; Martin-Lopez, Berta; Bieling, Claudia; Garcia-Martin, Maria; Albert, Christian; Beery, Thomas H.; Fagerholm, Nora; Diaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Drews-Shambroom, Annika; Plieninger, Tobias (2020)
    Current sustainability challenges demand approaches that acknowledge a plurality of human-nature interactions and worldviews, for which biocultural approaches are considered appropriate and timely. This systematic review analyses the application of biocultural approaches to sustainability in scientific journal articles published between 1990 and 2018 through a mixed methods approach combining qualitative content analysis and quantitative multivariate methods. The study identifies seven distinct biocultural lenses, that is, different ways of understanding and applying biocultural approaches, which to different degrees consider the key aspects of sustainability science-inter- and transdisciplinarity, social justice and normativity. The review suggests that biocultural approaches in sustainability science need to move from describing how nature and culture are co-produced to co-producing knowledge for sustainability solutions, and in so doing, better account for questions of power, gender and transformations, which has been largely neglected thus far. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
  • Kopra, Jasmin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis examines how urban sustainability is constructed in the local implementation plans of Sustainable Development Goals, and whether a common discourse can be outlined of them. Cities and other local authorities are increasingly assuming the global responsibility for sustainable development actions alongside the nation-states. In this case, the commitment is demonstrated by voluntarily committing to monitoring progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals as part of a global city network. The potential reasons for cities to engage in such global city networks for sustainability are a disappointment to global cooperation efforts by nation-states, a possibility for peer learning, sharing new practices, and seeking branding possibilities. A sample of local commitments, Voluntary Local Reviews, are analysed in terms of their discursive construction. The analysis is based on the theoretical constructions of environmental policy discourses by Maarten Hajer and John Dryzek. By focusing on policy discourses, it becomes possible to understand how certain issues are organized into politics while others are organized out. The research focuses on nine Voluntary Local Reviews released in 2019 by Bristol, Buenos Aires, Hamamatsu City, Helsinki, Los Angeles, Oaxaca, Mannheim, New York City and Taipei City. The research shows that although cities have internalized the common principles of sustainable development, mainly deriving from the Agenda 2030, many of them are interpreted in various ways. The common framework by Voluntary Local Review offers only a vague guideline for the reviews which leads to cities rather resorting to copying the models from each other or developing their own. The inherent ambiguity that is connected to the term sustainable development is not addressed in any of the reviews, nor is an explicit definition of the used sustainability concept offered in any of them. This supports the notion that cities engage in the discursive construction of (urban) sustainable development with the reviews. Based on the reviews, the following Sustainable Development Goals are considered as most relevant for cities: goal 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), goal 8 (Decent work and economic growth), goal 10 (Reduced inequalities) and goal 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions). Cities also actively position themselves as global sustainability actors in their reviews. They position themselves as eager to bear a global responsibility and as most relevant actors for citizens, close to their everyday lives. Furthermore, they express an urge to inspire other cities nationally and globally to also join in reporting and commit to sharing their progress on global arenas, such as in the United Nation’s High-Level Political Forum. In their connection to national sustainable development reporting, broadly two approaches can be identified. In some situations, national reporting is not mentioned in a review at all and, consequently, its role is highlighted. This applies mostly in situations where national actors are not considered as active as city actors. In other situations, cities see their reporting as complementary to the national one and even consider cooperation as their duty thanks to shared values with national actors. Voluntary Local Review reporting offers an interesting case of voluntary bottom-up commitment by cities to engage in global sustainability spheres and its significance is likely to only increase in the future. Based on results, reporting on the local level requires a careful balancing between adapting goals and indicators to locally relevant form, on one hand, and ensuring that they are general enough to allow for comparison, on the other hand. As sustainable development and Sustainable Development Goals are characterized by ambiguity concerning their precise definitions, the current local reporting offers considerable judgement for cities in terms of what to include in the reporting. More precise frameworks and indicators would allow that also cities with lesser resources could engage in this sustainability reporting.
  • Lehtinen, Nadja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This Master’s thesis explores sustainability indicators intended for corporations and how conceptual, policy related and methodological aspects are visible in the indicators. Sustainability has gone from being a marginal ecological idea, to a mainstream movement and can today be seen as one of the leading aspirations of the 21th century. Sustainability is apparent in political discussions, business actions and our everyday lives. One of the challenges of sustainability is that there are hundreds of definitions, the term is overused, and new indicators and measurements are created continuously. Based on the aforementioned facts, I wonder if it is even possible to measure this global concept and phenomena that has hundreds of different definitions. However, many definitions of sustainability are similar in the way that they are based on the three pillars: Economy, Environment and Society. The case study explores SDG Compass, which is a collaboration project between the international organizations United Nations (UN), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The project has gathered hundreds of business tools and thousands of business indicators in to a database that can be used by corporations. All the data included in the project are based on the framework of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations in 2015. With a mixed-methods approach I have conducted a thematic content analysis and quantitative analysis focusing on studying the conceptuality, policy relevance and methodology of the data. The aim of the study is to add to the transparency around sustainability indicators and show the complexity of a selection of indicators current indicators intended for businesses. When it comes to conceptuality the analysis showed that the three pillars Economy, Environment and Society are all visible in the data and balanced with equal amounts of indicators. When it comes to policy relevance the analysis showed that private, public and civil society institutions are all visible as indicator issuing organizations in the SDG compass. However, I argue that the role of The UN is the most relevant and powerful when it comes to sustainability indicators. When it comes to methodology the SDG compass data follows the general criterions recognized in the literature as criterions for good indicators, and the results suggests SDG compass indicators are of a high quality.  
  • Ingutia, Rose Anyiko (2021)
    This paper set out to show the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change on smallholders through the lens of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ways to keep smallholders on the 2030 agenda. Descriptive statistical analysis of quantitative secondary data is applied to investigate the issues in question across world regions. Increasing energy and food demand have triggered greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with effects on the environment, socio-economic and related sectors. If unchecked climate change will jeopardize progress towards SDGs’ agenda of ending hunger and poverty by 2030. COVID-19 exacerbates the underlying climate change impacts compromising food and water security. The widespread famines of Biblical proportions caused by COVID-19 effects are likely to cause more deaths than the virus. Improvement of water availability and food production is crucial to ending hunger and poverty. There is a need to strengthen smallholders’ adaptation and mitigation capacity through cooperatives’ platforms thereby reach out to smallholders who are the furthest first. International cooperation is urgent to support smallholders’ adaptation of climate-smart agriculture to reduce GHG emissions thereby subdue climate impacts resulting in higher productivity, food security, poverty reduction and sustainable development. Cooperatives need support to facilitate adaptation and mitigation by applying site-specific technology to local needs and possibilities.