IGES SDGs Project "Aspiration to Action"


IGES SDGs project, "Aspiration to Action," will examine and suggest essential "means of implementation (MOI)" so that global SDGs can be put into action through active engagement with various stakeholders and partners.

About IGES SDGS Project

Governments and stakeholders the world over are in the process of developing a new set of goals to guide global development until 2030. At the point of this writing, this process has generated a large set of potential goals matched by an even larger number of targets. The goals and targets concern many areas of critical importance to human wellbeing and ecological sustainability – from access to safe drinking water and renewable energy to gender equality, quality education, economic transformation and others. If all of these goals and targets are met, the world will have made genuine progress.


Anticipating this new development agenda, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) is embarking on a new cross-area collaborative project on the future sustainable development goals (SDGs). The point of departure for the project is the well-known ‘implementation gap’. Many treaties and agreements exist on environment and development on paper. Unfortunately, most of them have failed to register notable results on the ground. Therefore, this IGES Flagship project on the SDGs will focus on "means of implementation (MOI)". In so doing, it will examine both the barriers and enablers for the successful implementation of development goals and targets.

Given the fact that the international community has not yet agreed on a package of goals (and is not expected to do so before the end of 2015) the political process to decide on a new development agenda and the SDGs may surprise or even fail to deliver any concrete outputs. Most likely, the negotiation process ahead will deliver a framework containing a number of goals and targets to guide sustainable development. In this regard, IGES aims to work with its partners and networks to contribute to a post 2015 development agenda that is not merely aspirational but also actionable.


The key is a well-conceived and coherent approach to identifying essential MOI, including barriers and potential enablers for implementation. IGES will contribute by examining aspects of MOI for water, energy, forests, cities, sustainable consumption and production, and education. The input will be provided through a series of discussion papers on these specific goal areas, as well as cross-cutting contributions on financing for development, complemented by a synthesis paper on MOI.

To be sure, future development goals will have to be put into action by a broad range of actors from governments, private sector, civil society and regular citizens. It will therefore become all the more important to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders to solicit their views, understand their priorities and harness capacities for action. Findings from this research project will also be grounded in active engagement with stakeholders and partners.


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