The international symposium “Developing Research Towards Achieving the SDGs in the Post COVID-19 Era” was held on 10 November 2020. The aim of the symposium was to discuss future directions for the research project “Inclusive Research on Integrated Implementation Methodology towards Achieving SDGs” by sharing interim outcomes with a wide range of stakeholders, including those from academia, policymakers, private sector, and civil society representatives. The symposium was organised by the University of Tokyo Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI), The Japan Committee for International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Future Earth Japan, and National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan (NIES), with support from UNU-IAS, Keio University, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)-Japan and Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (JPMEERF 20181001).
During the opening remarks, Kensuke Fukushi (Academic Programme Officer, UNU-IAS/ IFI) introduced the academic and policy challenges while identifying solutions to achieve transformative change for the SDGs. Tomohiro Kondo (Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Ministry of the Environment Japan (MOEJ))shared information on a new pledge from Japan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and highlighted the re-design of society for decarbonisation, circular economy and decentralisation.
Leena Srivastava (Deputy Director-General for Science, IIASA), provided the first keynote lecture on the topic of “Pathways to Sustainability in a Post-COVID World: Re-defining the Research Agenda to achieve the SDGs”, highlighting the importance of transformations in global cooperation and evidence-based decision making, the need to re-design the whole system, and ways in which to strengthen the role of the science system and research community.
Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi (Secretary-General of the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC)), delivered the second keynote lecture on the topic of “The Role of Local Governments towards Achieving the SDGs during Post- COVID-19 Era”, introducing UCLG and local governments’ initiatives and best practices in aligning local COVID-19 response and recovery with the SDGs, including alternative financing for the SDGs and data management. She stressed the need to transform research findings to inform policymaking processes.
During the panel session moderated by Kazuhiko Takemoto (UNU-IAS/IFI), attention was drawn to the objectives to discuss the future direction of the research project “Inclusive Research on Integrated Implementation Methodology towards Achieving SDGs” by sharing its interim outcome and receiving feedback from the discussions during the panel. Prof. Panelists included Tsuyoshi Fujita (NIES/University of Tokyo), who introduced the research project to identify SDGs key indicators and its development, applying to the model case in Shinchi Town of Fukushima, Norichika Kanie (Adjunct Professor, UNU-IAS/Keio University) presented the overall trends around the SDGs, stressing the need to evaluate progress and share the development of SDGs advanced models and standard making mainly for private sectors, and Hiromi Masuda (Programme Coordinator, UNU-IAS) presented research findings focusing on the governments’ actions towards the SDGs at the national and local levels, identifying qualitative criteria and key findings of the SDGs progress. Furthermore, Kanako Morita (UNU-IAS/FFPRI) addressed the need to identify and disseminate information on best practices including the role of research towards transformative change. Takeshi Minoshima (SDGs Ambassador of Shimokawa Town, Hokkaido) highlighted the challenges facing local governments, including quantifiable indicators in the review framework considering the local contexts.
The moderator concluded the panel discussion with his remarks, wishing the research team a successful completion of the research project by reflecting the insights from keynote remarks and dynamic discussions during the symposium. To view presentations from the symposiums, please click on the Related Files tab.