Global Sustainable Development Report
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.

Drafts of the full report and an extended Technical Summary of the Report will be made available shortly. Following review and further stakeholder consultations, the final version of the report and its summaries will be published by the end of the year 2013.

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

Summary available here (PDF)
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 feel free to also send background material, such as academic articles, briefs, and Web links, to Thank you for your efforts!

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

Chapter III: Review of progress

Chapter IV: Future pathways toward sustainable development

Chapter V: Making and measuring progress

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

Chapter VII: Issues for consideration

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.

Lo invitamos asimismo a enviar material de referencia, tales como artículos académicos, resúmenes y enlaces web, al correo electrónico ¡Muchas gracias por sus contribuciones!

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

Capitulo III: Revisión de los progresos

Capitulo IV: Caminos futuros para lograr el desarrollo sostenible

Capitulo V: Realización y medición del progreso

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

Capitulo VII

社会和自然科学家们,这里是你的机会,为全球可持续发展报告“提供你的想法和建议!您的想法和建议在确定关键信息和报告结论时将被充分考虑。 此份调查的目的主要是收集科学家的,特别是青年科学家的,代表世界各地的科学界的意见。

报告的每个章节有一个或多个问题 (见大纲). 如果您想添加自己的想法,请尽量做到具体,简洁,每条限制为每140个字符.

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For latest updates, download Briefs here:

Global Sustainable Development Report - Brief 1
There has been a large amount of scientific literature on sustainable development since the late 1960s. Natural and soci...

Draft Outline of the Global Sustainable Development Report

Download draft outline here.

Executive Summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Assessments for sustainable development
    1. Mapping of SD assessments and related processes
    2. Science digests
    3. Emerging issues identified by science
  3. Review of progress
    1. Sustainable development trends vs. goals suggested by science
    2. Trends in policy, institutions and implementation of commitments
    3. Making sense of the debate on sustainable development progress
    4. Geography of sustainable development progress
  4. Future pathways toward sustainable development
    1. If we continue like in the past: a dynamics-as-usual scenario
    2. A better world we can achieve: a sustainable development scenario
    3. Note on global scenarios at the science-policy interface
    4. Lessons-learned and policy solutions
  5. Making and measuring progress
    1. Input needs and market potentials
    2. Follow-up to Rio+20 on the “means of implementation”
    3. Measuring and monitoring progress
  6. Special theme: The climate-land-energy-water-development nexus
    1. Rationale and nexus examples
    2. National case studies
    3. Regional case studies
    4. Global case study
    5. Towards coherent policy menus
  7. Issues for consideration
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
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 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs leads the preparation of the Global Sustainable Development Report. Its first edition will be completed in time for the first session of the High-level political forum which is expected to be held from 24-26 September 2013. UN-DESA is reaching out to scientific communities and to colleagues in the UN system to provide focused inputs to the report. As of 12 April 2013, the following UN entities are committed to contribute to the report: CBD, DESA, ECLAC-POS, ESCAP, ECE, FAO, ILO, IMO, IAEA, UNCCD, UNEP, UNESCO, UNCTAD, UN-Habitat, UNFCCC, UNFPA, WFP, and World Bank.

If you are interested in making a contribution to the report, please contact

Check back here for more information on scientists, country experts, and other contributors.
Tools 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.
Meetings & Events
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.

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

The Global Sustainable Development Report will aim to:
  • Map the sustainable development assessments and related processes, provide science digests of issues not contained in assessments, and highlight emerging issues identified by scientists;
  • Review sustainable development progress since 1950 versus goals suggested by science and in terms of trends in policy, institutions and implementation of commitments, and sketch the geography of sustainable development progress;
  • Tell the “stories” of future pathways toward sustainable development based on the literature, contrasted against a dynamics-as-usual scenario;
  • Discuss investment and technology needs to achieve the future pathways outlined above, provide a status report on the global Rio+20 follow-up processes on the “means of implementation”, and discuss the pros and cons of new measures of progress “beyond GDP” and related means of monitoring;
  • Identify lessons learnt and coherent policy menus from national, regional and global case sties of the climate-land-energy-water-development nexus; and
  • Conclude with policy issues for consideration.
High-level Guidance
§85 of the Outcome Document of Rio+20 outlines a number of functions of the High-level political forum. In particular, paragraph §85(k) calls for a Global Sustainable Development Report: “85. The high-level forum could: […] (k) 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;”

The final report of the Secretary General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (entitled Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing), while only an informal recommendation, contains a whole section (V.D) detailing the potential objectives and content of a recommended “Global Sustainable Development Outlook”.

The Secretary General provided further details in his report A/67/591 of 27 November 2012, entitled “Revised estimates resulting from the decisions contained in the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled ‘The future we want'” which was endorsed by the General Assembly at the end of 2012: “64. The Division for Sustainable Development is responsible for the subprogramme. The strategy will include:…(f) Undertaking 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, including means of implementation culminating in a global sustainable development report;…”.

According to the high-level guidance, the ultimate objective is to “strengthen the science-policy interface”. The target audience consists of policy makers. A concise summary should also be of interest to the interested the general public. The scope is the entire sustainable development agenda at global and regional levels.

By its very nature, sustainable development covers a vast area of issues. The table below is the result of a review of definitions of sustainable development. Different perspectives on what is to be sustained and what is to be developed and for how long, ultimately derive from different value sets. Instead of covering all the salient issues in-depth, the Global Sustainable Development Report will focus on inter-linkages and clusters of issues. The focus will be on the global level with regional, national and local levels covered only to the extent that they have a global significance.

Values What is to be sustained? For how long? What is to be developed?
Respect for nature
Shared responsibility
(S1) Nature
5, 10, 20, 50, 100
years, forever, etc.
(D1) People
Child survival
Life expectancy
Equity, Equal opportunity Human security
(S2) Life support
Ecosystem services
(D2) Economy
Productive sectors
(S3) Community
(D3) Society
Social capital

Source: Kates et al, 2005.

The explicit focus on improving the science-policy interface should provide significant value-added. The process will eventually institutionalize a forum for exchange among Governments, scientists, policy analysts and scenario modellers which should be able to provide hitherto unavailable, high quality inputs to international processes, such as the High-level political forum and the SDG process.

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