Evidence-based navigation of SDG synergies and conflicts: Renewing Environmental Monitoring and Assessment for a more effective role in Agenda 2030

The advantages of a circular bioeconomy are shaping plans for a sustainable future as defined by the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These plans need to navigate synergies and conflicts between different SDGs. This implies political challenges for coherent management strategies.

This project is based on two premises. The first is that evidence-based assessments can help manage the challenges and opportunities created by simultaneous pursuit of multiple SDGs. The other premise is that the evidence base provided by Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (EMA) can be improved to better support implementation of Agenda 2030. That, however, requires moving EMA beyond its origins in the environmental issues of previous generations into a more holistic component of evidence based sustainable development as defined by the SDGs.

The goal of this project is to help realize the potential of EMA to better support fulfillment of the SDGs in a global context. It will do this using the nexus of issues surrounding forests as a source of intensified biomass production in future bioeconomies - more specifically the synergies and conflicts at the intersection of SDGs 6, 7,13, and 15 with respect to climate, water, energy and biodiversity. This will be done in three regional settings, Sweden, Ethiopia and C hile to illuminate different aspects of developing EMA to more fully support Agenda 2030.

SWEDESD is responsible for conducting a number of interviews with relevant stakeholders to generate insights on rethinking Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (EMA) in order to deal with “wicked” situations connected to the SDG implementation. These insights will be used to develop a concept note on how EMA could be improved to better support the navigation of conflicts and synergies among different SDGs.