Knowledge Sharing for Sustainable Development in the Asia Pacific Region
By admin May 13, 2019

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As a region, Asian Pacific countries are coming together to evaluate their progress in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. From 27-29 March 2019 more than 850 participants from governments, inter-governmental organizations, United Nations bodies, and civil society organizations convened for the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in Bangkok, Thailand. This 6th forum has grown into a useful multi-stakeholder platform for Asia Pacific member states to share experiences and network.

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) organized the forum under the same theme of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), “empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” Many governments highlighted the importance of strengthening governance and the need for inclusive approaches that address inequalities. Civil society representatives argued that the root causes of inequality are based in systemic problems, highlighting the need for change in financial measures naming illicit financial flows, unequal trade mispricing, and tax evasion as some of the reasons for widening inequality. Civil society called for government partnerships with people underpinned by a human rights-based approach and that the quality of engagement informs and empowers everyone involved.

Roundtable discussions on SDGs 4 (quality education), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), 13 (climate action) and 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) at the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development will be reviewed at this year’s HLPF. In particular, SDG 13 (climate action) is featured in a new United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) handbook for journalists. Getting the Message Across: Reporting on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific is a free handbook to help journalists with limited time and resources improve their coverage on climate change. Media coverage of climate change at the local level can save lives, formulate plans, change policy and empower people to make informed choices according to the handbook. It is also important to bring Asia Pacific stories to global audiences and help encourage the rich and powerful countries to act in solidarity with climate-vulnerable communities.

Climate change specialists in the region wish to have more media coverage on key themes including gender dimensions and human rights, the legal responsibilities of carbon emitters, climate finance, and success stories. Imelda Abano, Pacific Region content coordinator for Internew’s Earth Journalism Network, thinks we need more stories highlighting the human face of climate change. She said in the Philippines, the people living and working in coastal communities, including farmers and marginalized groups are greatly affected by rising sea levels. The handbook said Nepalese radio programs Jeevan Rakshya and Sajhanepal are examples of effective collaboration airing every Tuesday and Saturday, respectively, since 2009 through the Community Information Network. Local reporters contribute to helping people from other communities learn how to deal with similar kinds of problems.

On May 9, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from 13 countries across the region wrapped up a four-day regional UN training in Cambodia. The ‘Regional Training on Appropriate Scale Mechanization for Conservation Agriculture’ was organized by the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) and ESCAP, in collaboration with the General Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia, the French Agricultural Research Institute for International Development and Swiss contact. The hands-on training served to enhance knowledge, exchange good practices, and build strong linkages and networks with other stakeholders, including the private sector to enhance the collective scale and impact of their work. Adoption of conservation agriculture in the region can contribute to the plan of action for ‘people, planet and prosperity’ embodied in the 2030 Agenda. Successful practices can increase agricultural productivity, restore degraded land and soil, alleviate rural poverty, and strengthen adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards. Platforms dedicated to sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region will continue to increase collaborations necessary for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

For more information:

Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Developing into a Useful Multi-stakeholder Platform for Experience Sharing and Networking

UNESCO releases new handbook on climate change reporting in Asia Pacific

Regional UN training promotes conservation agriculture to address land degradation and declining yields

ADB renews Sustainable Development Goals agreement

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