The Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG), having held meetings between March 2013 and July 2014, submitted a final report to the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly containing a proposal for a set of SDGs for consideration and appropriate action.

Since January 2015, the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the post 2015 development agenda are taking place in New York. Eight sessions are scheduled between January and July 2015 to bring together the different elements of the post-2015 agenda, such as the declaration, the goals and targets, the means of implementation, and the follow up an review mechanism.

While negotiations are taking place in New York, there are two additional tracks ongoing relevant for this agenda; the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa in June 2015 and the Inter Agency Expert Group on SDGs of the UN Statistical Commission, which develops the indicators framework by March 2016.

The United Nations General Assembly is due to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September 2015.

The Environmental Dimension

Sustainable development has an economic, social and environmental dimension. In elaborating its proposal for SDGs, the OWG scheduled eight thematic sessions of which many issues discussed are closely related to environmental topics. For example, the OWG had a session in February 2014 dedicated to Oceans, Seas, Forests and Biodiversity. Other topics discussed on its agenda such as sustainable consumption and production, disaster risk reduction, food security and sustainable agriculture, all have relevant connections to biodiversity.

IUCN participated in most of the dicussion of the OWG and highlighted nature's dimension. Please check out our section on IUCN's work for continuously updated information.

2015 - A Critical Year

This year marks in some respects the culmination of intense discussions and hard work to define the post-2015 development agenda, to be launched in September. The SDGs have now entered a critical phase: the negotiations concerning the outcome document (the Declaration - currently under consultation- and the SDGs themselves); the reporting and monitoring system (an Indicators framework);and the means of implementation (financial mechanism, transfer of technology and capacity building).

In the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: "The year 2015 offers a unique opportunity for global leaders and people to end poverty and transform the world to better meet human needs and the necessities of economic transformation, while protecting our environment, ensuring peace and realizing human rights".    

IUCN is dedicated to seizing this opportunity through its work to achieve the goal of sustainable development in a finite world in which we depend on its natural resources and their sound management for the survival of our societies and the planet.

More on IUCN's work on the SDGs process here.