Global Sustainable Development Report
A first draft of the Executive Summary of the Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report was launched at the inaugural session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on 24 September 2013. Following review and further stakeholder consultations, the Executive summary of the Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report was released on June 2014 and the full report was launched on 1 July 2014.

Please do not hesitate to provide your inputs and suggestions to the Division for Sustainable Development at

Historical context:

There has been a large amount of scientific literature on sustainable development since the late 1960s. Natural and social scientists highlighted a series of sustainable development issues and recommended integrated policy action in many areas, e.g. on development, poverty, hunger, employment, equity between generations and countries, gender equality, environmental pollution, resource scarcity, and on the “means” to achieve policy objectives in these areas, such as technology, finance, capacity building, trade, etc. The Brundtland report of 1987, entitled Our Common Future, defined the concept of sustainable development which was subsequently adopted by Governments at the Earth Summit of 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, together with a set of Rio Principles and a global action plan, Agenda 21, which included many goals and targets.

In 1999, the US National Research Council published a book entitled Our Common Journey. It was the first comprehensive global sustainable development report, albeit with a developed country perspective as a starting point. In 2012, the Secretariat for Rio+20 in collaboration with 178 scientists produced a series of reports under the SD21 project financed by the European Union in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”). The SD21 project documented the range of perspectives among scientists on sustainable development issues with a view to identifying common ground. However, to-date, there exists no comprehensive, authoritative global sustainable development report which would bring together the range of existing assessments, review global progress and future pathways in a truly integrated way, taking into account the range of perspectives in different scientific communities across the world. This is despite the policy prominence and the existence of many topical assessments.

Follow-up to Rio+20:

In 2012, the Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability in its final report in preparation for Rio+20 detailed the importance of basing sustainable development policy-making on the best and most up-to-date evidence and in this regard recommended a Global Sustainable Development Outlook which would bring together assessments across sectors in an integrated manner. The recommendation was considered by Rio+20. In its outcome document, Rio+20 decided to establish a universal, intergovernmental high-level political forum (HLPF) which would, as one of its functions, “strengthen the science-policy interface through review of documentation bringing together dispersed information and assessments, including in the form of a global sustainable development report, building on existing assessments” (§85k).

In response, the Secretary-General tasked the Division for Sustainable Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) to undertake “in-depth analysis and evaluation of trends and scientific analysis in the implementation of sustainable development, including lessons learned, best practices and new challenges, and cross-sectoral analysis of sustainable development issues”. Further details were provided in the revised programme budget endorsed by the General Assembly in 2012.

In early 2013, work began at DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development on a Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report to support Member States’ deliberations in the high-level political forum on the scope and methodology of a global sustainable development report.
Stakeholder Inputs
Response to the questionnaire on the scope and methodology of a global sustainable development report

Responses to the questionnaire on scope and methodology of a global sustainable development report were received from China, Costa Rica, Croatia, the European Union, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Tunisia, and the UK, as well as from CDP, ESCAP, ECLAC, UNEP, UNCTAD, and WMO. In addition, related written inputs were considered from experts and UN partners who participated in expert group meetings that were convened in support of the Report in 2013. .This includes, inter alia, written responses by CBD, ECE, FAO, IAEA, UNEP and UNESCO.

Major Groups and other Stakeholders
Coming soon.
Crowdsourcing Your Ideas
Your ideas
Social and natural scientists, here is your chance to provide your ideas and suggestions for the Global Sustainable Development Report! Your inputs will be fully considered in determining key messages and findings of the Report. The aim is to collect a wide range of views from scientists, especially young scientists, representing scientific communities across the world.

There are one or more questions for each chapter of the Report (see outline). You may rate ideas submitted by other scientists and/or add your own ideas. Please try to be specific and concise, as idea inputs are limited to 140 characters each. There is no limit to how many ideas you submit or how many votes you make for ideas.

Please note that the information below is user generated and does not necessarily represent the views of the United Nations or its senior management, see disclaimer.

In case you encounter technical issues using the widgets below, you may want to try the direct links provided in this PDF file. For your vote to be registered, you need to enable cookies in your browser. Cookies allow us to calculate things like the median number of votes per session and the average number of times voters return to their wiki surveys.

Chapter I: Introduction

Chapter II: Assessments for sustainable development

  • Which sustainable development issue should decision-makers consider for action?
  • Which sustainable development assessment would you like to bring to the attention of decision-makers?
  • Which message on sustainable development assessments do you prefer for Chapter II?

Chapter III: Review of progress

  • Which message on global sustainable development progress do you prefer for Chapter III?
Chapter IV: Future pathways toward sustainable development

  • What do you think the world will be like in 2050?
  • What kind of world would you like to see for yourself, your children and grandchildren in 2050?

Chapter V: Making and measuring progress

  • What "means of implementation" are needed more for achieving global sustainable development? "Means of implementation" are, for example, finance, technology, trade, and capacity building.
  • What policies or actions are needed more for achieving global sustainable development?
  • What is a more suitable, overall measure of progress toward sustainable development?

Chapter VI: Special theme: The climate-land-energy-water-development nexus

  • Which message or idea should we include in the Climate-Land-Energy-Water-Development Nexus chapter?

Chapter VII: Issues for consideration

  • Which overall finding or policy recommendation should we highlight in the Global Sustainable Development Report?

This question will be opened for inputs as soon as we will have received a significant amount of inputs for chapters I to VI. Please check back later to make your contribution.
Sus ideas
Estimados científicos del área de las ciencias sociales y naturales, ¡ésta es la oportunidad de ofrecer sus ideas para el Informe Mundial sobre el Desarrollo Sostenible! Sus aportes serán muy relevantes en la determinación de los mensajes y conclusiones clave del Informe. El objetivo es reunir un amplio abanico de puntos de vista de los científicos, especialmente los jóvenes científicos, de las comunidades científicas de todo el mundo.

Hay por lo menos una pregunta relacionada con cada uno de los capítulos del Informe (véase el esquema). Usted podrá votar en las ideas presentadas por otros científicos y/o añadir sus propias ideas. Le rogamos ser específico y conciso en sus aportes, ya que cada campo de entrada tiene un límite de 140 caracteres. No hay límite de aporte de ideas o de votos.

Por favor, tenga en cuenta que la información que sigue es generada por los usuarios y no representa necesariamente la opinión de las Naciones Unidas o de su dirección; véase el aviso legal.

En este momento las pestañas abajo funcionan mejor con Microsoft Internet Explorer. Si encuentra incompatibilidades con su navegador, puede utilizar los enlaces directos en el siguiente archivo PDF .

Capitulo I: Introducción

Capitulo II: Evaluaciones del desarrollo sostenible

  • ¿Qué tema de desarrollo sostenible debe ser tomado por los tomadores de decisiones para su acción?
  • ¿Qué evaluación del desarrollo sostenible quisiera traer a la atención de tomadores de decisiones?
  • ¿Qué mensaje de las evaluaciones del desarrollo sostenible elegiría para el Capítulo II?
Capitulo III: Revisión de los progresos

  • ¿Qué tema sobre el progreso global hacia el desarrollo sostenible elegiría para el Capítulo III?

Capitulo IV: Caminos futuros para lograr el desarrollo sostenible

  • ¿Cómo cree que será el mundo en 2050?
  • ¿Qué clase de mundo le gustaría para sí mismo/a, sus hijos y sus nietos en el 2050?

Capitulo V: Realización y medición del progreso

  • ¿Qué "medios de implementación" más se necesitan para lograr el desarrollo sostenible globalmente? "Medios de implementación" son, por ejemplo, las finanzas, la tecnología, el comercio y la creación de capacidades.
  • ¿Qué políticas y acciones más se necesitan para lograr el desarrollo sostenible a nivel mundial?
  • ¿Qué medida global de avance hacia el desarrollo sostenible es más adecuada?

Capitulo VI: Tema especial: El nexo clima-tierra-energía-agua-desarrollo

  • ¿Qué mensaje/idea debería figurar en el capítulo sobre el nexo clima-tierra-energía-agua-desarrollo?
  • Capitulo VII

    • ¿Qué conclusión general o recomendaciones sobre políticas deberían ponerse de relieve en el Informe Mundial sobre el Desarrollo Sostenible?

    Esta pregunta estará abierta para recibir aportes en cuanto se haya recibido una cantidad importante de insumos para los capítulos anteriores. Por favor, siga verificando esta página para que pueda hacer su contribución en cuanto se habilite.
????????????????????????????“????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????

??????????????? (???). ?????????????????????????????140???.

???????????????????????????????????? ????.

?????????????????????????? PDF ???????????????????Cookie, ???????????.



  • ???????????????????????????
  • ????????????????????????????
  • ??????????????????????


  • ??????????????????????????


  • ???2050??????????
  • ?????2050?????????????????


  • ???????????????????“????”?
  • ??????????????????????
  • ???????????????????????


  • ???-??-??-???-??-?????????????????????


  • ??????????

National Reports
The Global Sustainable Development Report will aim to provide a simple guide to map out salient regional and national assessments on sustainable development, and highlight their features for policy makers' easy references. If you have questions or are interested in making a contribution to the section on national assessments, please contact

Title Publisher Year
Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report UN-DESA 2014
China Sustainable Development Report 2013 - the road to ecological civilization: the next decade China 2013
Synthesis of National Reports for RIO+20 UN DESA/UNDP 2012
Turkey’s Sustainable Development Report – Claiming the Future 2012 UNDP 2012
Vietnam: Implementation of Sustainable Development: National Report at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) Vietnam 2012
India: Sustainable Development in India: Stocktaking in the run up to Rio+20 India 2011
Ukraine: OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Ukraine 2011 OECD 2011
Brazil Low-carbon - Country Case Study The World Bank 2010
Mexico: Low-carbon Development for Mexico ESMAP 2010
Russia: The 13th Human Development Report for the Russian Federation, Energy Sector and Sustainable Development UNDP 2010
Argentina: Foreign Investment and Sustainable Development in Argentina Tuft 2008
Indonesia: Low Carbon Development Options for Indonesia The World Bank 2008
Iran: Energy and Sustainable Development in Iran Helio International 2006
Thailand: Supporting Sustainable Development in Thailand: A Geographic Clusters Approach World Bank 2006
South Africa: The Challenge of Sustainable Development UNDP 2003
The preparation of the Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report was coordinated by UN-DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development and involved the collaboration of multiple UN entities including the CBD, ECLAC, ESCAP, ECE, ESCWA, FAO, ILO, IAEA, IMO, OHRLLS, UNCCD, UNCTAD, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFCCC, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, UNIDO, WFP and The World Bank. The IMF participated as an observer. Preparation of the Prototype Report also involved a wide network of natural and social scientists, including scenarios and other modelling communities.

If you are interested in making a contribution to the future editions of the report, please contact us.
Tools and resources for the Global Sustainable Development Report
A number of quantitative and qualitative tools are being used in the preparation of the Global Sustainable Development Report. They will be described here in due course. One example of the tools developed specifically for this report is an open-source, global model of the climate-landuse-energy-water-development nexus (CLEW).

Global CLEW model

An integrated systems approach is used to find innovative solutions to the simultaneous achievement of multiple objectives. When interconnections are being taken into account between activities to address objectives in the climate, land-use, energy, water, materials and development areas, better solutions can be identified that resolve important trade-offs building on synergies. In order to provide a firm basis for the emerging, national-level CLEW assessments and planning exercises, the United Nations works with the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) to develop a global model. Such model may also support decision-making on the planned Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), as the areas covered by the model overlap with those typically highlighted as priority areas by Governments in the SDG process. The model will allow for the visualisation of the effects of policy decisions in key sectors of relevance for sustainable development. The tool allows for direct economic comparison between policy options and illustrates environmental consequences and social implications. In fact, it is a mini-SDG model. It is being developed as an open-source tool (using OSeMOSYS) with input data derived from an open-process.

Key References

Chapter 1:

  • Deep roots – A conceptual history of ‘sustainable development’ (Nachhaltigkeit), 2007. [more]
  • Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability, 1999. [more]
  • Sustainable Development in the 21st century study, 2012. [more]
  • Wiki surveys: open and quantifiable social data collection, 2012. [more]
  • What is sustainable development? 2005. [more]
  • Interpreting Sustainability in Economic Terms, 2003. [more]

Chapter 2

  • Changes in the global value of ecosystem services, 2014. [more]
  • International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, 2009. [more]
  • Knowledge systems for sustainable development, 2003. [more]
  • How Do Scientific Assessments Learn? 2002. [more]
  • Evolution and structure of sustainability science, 2011. [more]
  • Global Energy Assessment, 2012. [more]
  • Institutions, Climate Change and Cultural Theory: Towards a Common Analytical Framework, 1999. [more]
  • Global Environmental Outlook 5, 2012. [more]
  • Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, 2010. [more]
  • GSDR Background Paper: A review of national sustainable development assessments, 2013. [more]
  • Integrated analysis of climate change, land-use, energy and water strategies, 2013. [more]
  • Applying Strategic Environmental Assessment: Good Practice Guidance for Development Co-operation, 2006. [more]
  • The art of science advice to government, 2014. [more]
  • Global Risks 2014, Ninth Edition. [more]
  • New and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, 2014. [more]
  • 21 Issues for the 21st Century, 2012. [more]

Chapter 3:

  • Long-Term Trends and a Sustainability Transition, 2003. [more]
  • Readings in Sustainability Science and Technology, 2010. [more]
  • World Population Prospects, 2013. [more]
  • International shortfall inequality in life expectancy in women and in men: 1950–2010, 2013. [more]
  • Global Health Risks, 2009. [more]
  • Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, 2012. [more]
  • World Economic Outlook, 2013. [more]
  • Beyond GDP: Measuring and achieving global genuine progress. Ecological Economics, 2013. [more]
  • Global Wealth Databook, 2013. [more]
  • Global Income Inequality by the Numbers: in History and Now - An Overview, 2012. [more]
  • Lessons from the history of technology and global change for the emerging clean technology cluster, 2011. [more]
  • Global patterns of material use, 2010. [more]
  • A national and international analysis of changing forest density, 2011. [more]
  • Global human appropriation of net primary production doubled in the 20th century, 2013. [more]

Chapter 4

  • Environment Outlook for 2050, 2012. [more]
  • Roads from Rio+20 – Pathways to achieve global sustainability goals by 2050, 2012. [more]
  • Energy Pathways for Sustainable Development, GEA, 2012. [more]
  • Energy for a Shared Development Agenda: Global Scenarios and Governance Implications, 2012. [more]
  • Human Capital, Innovation, and Climate Policy: An Integrated Assessment, 2013. [more]
  • Global resource modelling of the climate, land, energy and water (CLEWs) Nexus using the open-source energy modelling system (OSEMOSYS), 2013. [more]
  • Living Planet Report 2012: Biodiversity, biocapacity and better choices, 2012. [more]
  • Vision 2050: The new agenda for business, 2010. [more]
  • Global Risk Report, 2012. [more]
  • Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, 2000. [more]
  • 2052: A global forecast for the next 40 years, 2012. [more]
  • A safe operating space for humanity, 2009. [more]
  • Financing for sustainable development: Review of global investment requirement estimates, 2013. [more]
  • GSDR Background Paper: Financial approaches to support implementation of global goals and targets, 2014. [more]

Chapter 5

  • Indicators of Sustainable Development, Guidelines and Methodologies, 2007. [more]
  • A policy scenario analysis of sustainable agricultural development options: a case study for Nepal, 2000. [more]
  • Millennium Development Report, 2013. [more]
  • Report of Sponsorship Group on Measuring Progress, Well-being and Sustainable Development, 2011. [more]
  • GDP and beyond – Measuring progress in a changing world, 2009. [more]
  • A theoretical foundation to support the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), and other related indexes, 2003. [more]
  • A summary of ISEW and GPI studies at multiple scales and new estimates for Baltimore City, 2011. [more]
  • Manual for calculating adjusted net savings, 2002. [more]
  • Measuring sustainable development, 2009. [more]
  • Framework and suggested indicators to measure sustainable development, 2013. [more]
  • How’s Life? Measuring Well-being, 2011. [more]
  • Human Sustainable Development Index, 2010. [more]
  • Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space, 2012. [more]
  • Estimation of Gross Domestic Product at Sub-National Scales using Nighttime Satellite Imagery, 2007. [more]
  • A global poverty map derived from satellite data, 2009. [more]
  • Measuring Progress Towards Sustainable Development Goals, 2013. [more]
  • Monitoring of SDG Implementation Infrastructure and Methodology – Proposal for Action, 2014. [more]

Chapter 6

  • Considering the energy, water and food nexus, 2011. [more]
  • Planetary Boundaries?: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity, 2009. [more]
  • The social cost of carbon?: what does it actually depend on? 2006. [more]
  • World Energy Outlook 2012. [more]
  • Perspectives on Sustainable Energy for the 21st Century, 2012. [more]
  • Climate volatility deepens poverty vulnerability in developing countries, 2009. [more]
  • Climate and energy-water-land system interactions, 2012. [more]
  • Global resource modelling of the climate, land, energy and water (CLEWS) nexus using the open source energy modelling system (OSEMOSYS), 2013. [more]
  • Integrated analysis of climate change, land use, energy and water strategies, 2013, [more]
  • A scoping study on the macroeconomic view of sustainability, 2010. [more]
  • 2050 Pathways Calculator, 2013. [more]
  • Adding value with CLEWS – Modelling the energy system and its interdependencies for Mauritius, 2014. [more]
  • Bioenergy Development in Thailand: Challenges and Strategies, 2013. [more]

Chapter 7

  • The Experience of ISLANDS in Deploying System Dynamics Modeling as an Integrated Policy Tool, 2014. [more]
  • A proposed approach to assessing the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus under the UNECE Water Convention, 2013. [more]
  • Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problem, 2009. [more]
  • Ocean acidification: The newest threat to the global environment, 2011. [more]
  • Taking action against ocean acidification: a review of management and policy options, 2013. [more]
  • Trends in the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, 2009. [more]
  • Is a New Multilateral Environmental Agreement on Ocean Acidification Necessary?, 2012. [more]
  • Ocean acidification and climate change: synergies and challenges of addressing both under the UNFCCC, 2012. [more]
  • Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity, 2009. [more]
  • Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system, 2008. [more]
  • First Census of Marine Life 2010, 2010. [more]
  • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. [more]
  • Climate change and sustainable food production, 2013. [more]
  • Options to reduce the environmental effects of livestock production – Comparison of two economic models, 2013. [more]
  • The state of food insecurity in the world, 2010. [more]
  • A Framework for Sustainability Transition: The Case of Plant-Based Diets, 2013. [more]
  • Can carbon footprint serve as an indicator of the environmental impact of meat production?, 2013. [more]
  • Integrated sustainability assessment: what is it, why do it and how?, 2006. [more]

Disclaimer for Fraudulent Conference Invitations: Note that fraudulent emails are currently being circulated, inviting individuals or groups to UN DESA conferences in London, United Kingdom or similar conferences. Please be aware that the United Nations is not involved in the arrangement of such conferences, and the use of the name of the UN or DESA in this instance is not authorized. Accordingly, we suggest that you do not respond to the email or take any further action in relation to the invitation. For more information, please visit the United Nations Fraud Alert website
To support the report preparation, a series of expert group meetings and consultation meetings are being organized to review and complete draft chapters. Please check back for updated meeting information.

Launch of the Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR)
17 Sep 2014 - 17 Sep 2014
Room XXV, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
HLPF Side Event on Discussion of the Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report
1 Jul 2014 - 1 Jul 2014
New York, UNHQ
High-level Political Forum 2014 (under the auspices of ECOSOC)
30 Jun 2014 - 9 Jul 2014
New York, Conference room 1
The HLPF 2014 (under the auspices of ECOSOC) will be held from Monday, 30 June, through Wednesday, 9 July 2014 with evening meetings on 30 June-, and 1 July. The ministerial meeting of the forum will be held from 7 to 9 July 2014.
High-level Expert Group Meeting for the Global Sustainable Development Report - Engaging National Assessments
12 Dec 2013 - 13 Dec 2013
Beijing, China
Expert Group meeting for the Global Sustainable Development Report - Future directions and formalization of network of scientific contributors
21 Oct 2013 - 22 Oct 2013
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Expert Group Meeting on the evolution of assessments for sustainable development
3 Sep 2013 - 4 Sep 2013
New York, USA
Expert Group Meeting on CLEWS case studies
29 May 2013 - 30 May 2013
Expert Group Meeting on innovative ways of measuring sustainable development progress
26 May 2013 - 27 May 2013
DESA-ICSU-ISSC meeting on Sustainable Development Goals
20 Mar 2013 - 21 Mar 2013
New York
OSEMOSYS scenario modellers meeting
19 Mar 2013 - 19 Mar 2013
New York
Topical Assessments
The Global Sustainable Development Report will, inter alia, aim to bring together dispersed sustainable development assessments and related processes. To this end, assessment initiatives are called upon to share brief descriptions (1-4 pages) which will be featured on the Website. Briefs provided by third parties may also be considered. The briefs should ideally address the following elements:

  • scientific or thematic topic(s) addressed by the assessment
  • geographical scope of the assessment
  • time period covered by the assessment
  • total number of editions completed
  • methodology employed to prepare this assessment
  • funding arrangements
  • peer review arrangements

In addition, academic articles reviewing the landscape of assessments for sustainable development may also be submitted. To make a contribution or for further information, please contact us at

Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development | Contact | Terms of use | Site map