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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Leadership Meeting on Environmental Sustainability in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

18-19 March 2013 | San José, Costa Rica

Highlights from 18 March

The Leadership Meeting of the Global Consultation on Environmental Sustainability in the Post-2015 Development Agenda opened on Monday, 18 March, at the Real Intercontinental Hotel in San José, Costa Rica. Around 100 representatives from international, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, and civil society, as well as government representatives, met with the objective of reviewing the results of the first phase of the Global Thematic Consultation on Environmental Sustainability. The Consultation is co-led by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and is co-hosted by the Governments of France and Costa Rica.

In the morning opening plenary, Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, underscored lack of progress in implementing some aspects of MDG 7 (Environmental Sustainability), and called for a shift in discourse from focusing on tradeoffs among growth, poverty and environment, to a “triple win approach” that advances all three dimensions of sustainable development. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, via video, highlighted that the challenge in moving towards the post-2015 agenda is not to fixate on a date, but rather to devise a clear analysis of what has worked, a direction for facing future challenges, and catalytic opportunities to add to the global development agenda to “let us move forward faster.” Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of France for the Protection of the Planet, Nicolas Hulot, highlighted the need to work on a model of change, stating that environmental protection, inequality and poverty eradication have thus far been addressed separately and must be considered in an integrated manner. René Castro Salazar, Costa Rican Minister of Environment, highlighted local challenges in implementing sustainable development, stressing the need for moving from consensus on what “not” to do, to building upon agreement on “what to do.” Participants also exchanged views on expectations about the meeting. In the afternoon, participants engaged in a working session on capitalizing on the MDGs and MDG7 achievements and addressing the gaps, specifically addressing: framing/achievements of the MDGs; content of the MDGs; and application of the MDGs. Participants split into breakout groups, and addressed key questions with the aim of seeking to validate the results from e-discussions and find common ground on important elements of the MDGs and how they relate to national development agendas. Later on, rapporteurs from each of the breakout groups reported back on the various questions discussed in the working session. In the evening, participants attended a reception hosted by the Government of Costa Rica at the National Museum. The meeting will resume on Tuesday.
View of the Real San José - Costa Rica, venue of the meeting (photo courtesy of the Real San José - Costa Rica)
View of the Real Intercontinental in San José, Costa Rica, venue of the meeting (photo courtesy of the Real Intercontinental San José - Costa Rica)
 

Carlos Roverssi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Costa Rica, Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of
France for the Protection of the Planet, and Yoriko Yasukawa, UN Resident Coordinator, Costa Rica

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark
Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of
France for the Protection of the Planet

Participants during the opening session

Costa Rica Minister of Environment René Castro Salazar

Carlos Roverssi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Costa Rica, and Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of
France for the Protection of the Planet

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner addressed participants via video

Aniket Ghai, UNEP, Veerle Vanderweerd, UNDP, George Bouma, UNDP, and Zehra Aydin, UNEP

Yasmine Chatila Zwahlen, Switzerland, and José Emilio Suadi, Food and Agriculture Administration
Wael Hmaidan, Climate Action Network

Participants during the discussions

Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
SDC
Related Links
Consultation resources
*Meeting website
*Background material
*Summary report of submitted discussion notes
*Environmental Sustainability issue highlighted in national reports for Rio+20
*Additional background on outcomes of Rio+20
*Joint UN Development Programme - UN Environment Programme Poverty-Environment Initiative - Stories of Change
*Thematic consultation website

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the High-Level Meeting of the Global Thematic Consultation on Conflict, Violence and Disaster in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, 13 March 2013, Helsinki, Finland
*IISD RS summary report of the Global Leadership Meeting on Population Dynamics in the Context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, 12-13 March 2013, Dhaka, Bangladesh (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the Final Meeting of the Post-2015 Thematic Consultation on Governance, 28 February - 1 March 2013, Midrand, South Africa (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Post-2015 Development Agenda Consultation on Water: Water Resources Management and Wastewater Management and Water Quality, 27-28 February 2013, Geneva, Switzerland
*IISD RS summary report of the Public Dialogue and Leadership Meeting on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, 18-19 February 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark (HTML - PDF)
*SDG - A mailing list focused on internationally-relevant activities related to setting the post-2015 development agenda
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Post-2015 Development Agenda Activities
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