Building upon the 2014 Prototype report,the current Report responds to the Rio+20 mandate to contribute to strengthening the science-policy interface (SPI) for sustainable development, particularly in the context of the High-level political forum (HLPF).
Sustainable Development Goals Targets 17.6 and 17.8 respectively aim to
“Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism“ and
“fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology”.
The Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report defines a set of potential content, alternative approaches, and various ways of participation, in order to support Member States' deliberation on the scope and methodology of future editions of the Report.
It maps sustainable development assessments and related processes and highlights emerging issues identified by scientists;
assesses sustainable development progress;
tells the “stories” of future pathways toward sustainable development based on the literature and discusses investment and technology needs;
assesses various approaches to measuring sustainable development progress;
identifies lessons learnt from national, regional and global case studies of the climate-land-energy-water-development nexus;
presents illustrative science digests for decision-makers and summarizes various views of Member States and others on the process, methodology and scope of future reports.
Decisions related to science were adopted by the Commission on Sustainable Development at its sixth session in 1998.
As determined at UNGASS, the economic, sectoral and cross-sectoral themes considered were industry, strategic approaches to freshwater management, and technology transfer, capacity building, education, science and awareness raising.
In 1995, the Commission in its third session took note of the report of the Secretary-General on science for sustainable development (E/CN.17/1995/16), including the initiatives taken by national Governments, the United Nations system, other international organizations, major groups and the scientific and technological community to implement science-related policies and programmes.
The Commission also welcomed the proposals for action contained in section III, which identified areas for priority actions that should be taken by countries and regional and international organizations, with a view to further enhancing the contribution of science to sustainable development, in particular in developing countries.
"As main outcome of the UN Earth Summit held in Rio in 1992, Agenda 21 calls for a global partnership able to address the problems of the present and prepare the International Community for the challenges of the upcoming century."
Chapter 35 of Agenda 21 is devoted to science for sustainable development and calls for: strengthening the scientific basis for sustainable management; enhancing scientific understanding; improving long-term scientific assessment and building up scientific capacity and capability.