My New Book

Felix Dodds latest book is out

FROM RIO+20 TO A NEW DEVELOPMENT AGENDA by Felix Dodds, Jorge Laguna-Celis & Liz Thompson

 
 
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March 2016

 Speaking at the United Church in Chapel Hill on the issue of Global Citizenship. If you are interested do watch the video here.

 I also participated in a webinar on partnerships organized by the NGO Major Group and UNDESA looking at the outcome from the government retreat on SDG Partnerships and to help preparation for the upcoming ECOSOC Partnership Forum on the 31st of March.

UNDESA with help from the Universality of North Carolina had put together the government workshop on the 5th and 6th of February. 

The output from that workshop can be found here.

The input paper well worth a read can be found here. 

Although multi-stakeholder partnerships will not be the major implementation agent for the SDGs they will play a role and the how they are managed will be critical. The new rules which will be developed will be retrospectively applied to the UNDESA database.

One of the critical issues is that the database hosts a mixture of things and the suggestion is to take out:

  1. Voluntary initiates by individual organizations
  2. PPPs which are a contractual relationship between a form of governments and the private sector

The remaining would be sub divided into three categories

  1. UN initiated partnerships
  2. Partnerships involving the UN
  3. Partnerships that do not involve the UN

The modalities and reporting would be different for the different types of partnerships.

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February 2016

On the 23rd of February I gave a speech at the East Midlands Liberal Democrat Assembly on the SDGs and the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the implications for the UK.

It can be found here.

On the 5th and 6th of February UNDESA with the Global Research Institute of the University of North Carolina held a retreat on Multi-stakeholder partnerships on implementing the 2030 Agenda: Improving accountability and transparency. 

 A copy of the outcome can be found here under DESA Expert Group Meeting Summary

 

 

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January 2016

On the 27th of January friends of Maurice Strong met in Ottawa to celebrate his life. Opening  the event Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose late father picked Strong to set up the Canadian International Development Agency in 1968, called him "a truly great citizen of Canada and citizen of the world" who has left behind an incredible legacy as "a brilliant businessman, devoted environmentalist, an inspirational philanthropist." 

"This is not just a technical issue. Everybody's actions are motivated by their inner life, their moral, spiritual and ethical values. Global agreements will be effective when they are rooted in the individual commitment of people, which arises from their own inner life." Maurice Strong

Also speaking were former World Bank president James Wolfensohn, former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her husband, author John Ralston Saul, and Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director. 

A messages from former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, who called Strong the "father of the world environmental movement."

Maurice like will probably not be seen again he headed the first UN conference on the environment in Stockholm in 1972, set up the UN's environment program, and led the Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. But so much more helping address the famine in Africa, the problems in North Korea, reorganizing the UN. 

From Maurice's closing statement in 1972 at the Stockholm Conference:

"So there is reason to hope in the work it has done -- in the programmes it has adopted -- in the awareness it has expressed of our global unity -- in the affirmation that the problems of the human environment can only be resolved if we place man at the center of our concerns -- and in the conviction that we must liberate ourselves from the outdated and outworn habit of the past.

Mr. President, I believe that, as we leave now, we must do so with determination to build on the foundations we have laid here in Stockholm. If we do not, then this Conference will have been a brief flash, a meteor burning its way through the blackness of space.

And I believe that we will build together -- that we will continue together to work for the achievement of the larger, richer future which the collective will and energies of mankind can shape -- that we will together continue our long journey towards a creative and dynamic harmony for all life on this Planet.

I believe we will because this Conference has demonstrated that the United Nations is at the heart of our turbulent and troubled world. It has demonstrated that, if Governments given it their support and co-operation, it can and will play a vital role in bringing harmony between man and the natural systems, which support this life. 

And if it does, perhaps then it is not too much to hope that it can and will fulfill the hope of the Charter and inspire a peaceful and just world community in which diverse states and people co-operate for the common good of all mankind."

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December 2015

Santa Claus Takes on Climate Change will you join  him?

Just as the Paris Climate Conference was about to start there is an Indiegago campaign on Santa Claus take on Climate Change.

The objective is to help the next generation understand climate change. We will create a free downloable comic as part of the Comics Uniting Nations initiative

Comics Uniting Nations is a monumental partnership between a group of innovative nonprofits, working in close coordination with the United Nations Millennium Campaign and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Planning Team to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) accessible to the citizens of the world through comics. One of the SDGs is on climate change.

This Indiegogo project is supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in particular this comic is focused on Santa Claus taking on Climate Change. It is based on a story that was written for the BBC in 2009.  You can support the comic here 

Deutsche Weller radio picked up the story of Santa Claus Takes on Climate Change and interviewed me on  their Living Planet broadcast on the 18th of December.The podcast can be heard here.  

I have two books which will be published in 2016.

The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus: Challenges and an agenda for action -  (May 2016) Edited by Felx Dodds and Jamie Bartram with Foreword from Prince Charles, Routledge

Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals: A transformational agenda for an insecure world  (September 2016)  by  Felix Dodds and Jimena Leiva Roesch , Routledge 

I also have an UNEP Perspective on Major Groups and Stakeholders with UNEP (March 2016) by Felix Dodds and Mark Halle 

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November 2015

On the 26th of November one of the great advocates for sustainable development Maurice Strong died. I had had the pleasure of working with him on what turned out to be his last book Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio for Sustainable Development. The book looked at the development of sustainable development over the last 40 years its highs and its lows. A recommended reading for anyone who is interested in engaging in sustainable development.

 

"Maurice Strong – former entrepreneur, energy company CEO, NGO, Head of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA),the first Executive Director of UNEP, Secretary-General of the UN conferences at Stockholm (1972) and at Rio (1992), author, president of the council of the UN University for Peace, and professor at Peking University – who in some ways can be said to have single handedly invented the intergovernmental environmental and sustainable development governance process. This continues in my blog here."

I also wrote an obituary for Maurice with my other co-author of Only One earth Michael Strauss in the Guardian which can be read here. 

 Santa Claus Takes on Climate Change will you join  him?

Just as the Paris Climate Conference is about to start we are launching an Indiegago campaign.(click here)
The objective is to help the next generation understand climate change. We will create a free downloable comic as part of the Comics Uniting Nations initiative
Comics Uniting Nations is a monumental partnership between a group of innovative nonprofits, working in close coordination with the United Nations Millennium Campaign and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Planning Team to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) accessible to the citizens of the world through comics. One of the SDGs is on climate change.
This Indiegogo project is supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in particular this comic is focused on Santa Claus taking on Climate Change. It is based on a story that was written for the BBC in 2009 
 

The first New World Frontiers paper 'Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' is now available here. It focuses on how the Sustainable Development Goals became part of a transformation agenda and the problems that will continue to have an impact as we move towards implementation. It ends looking at the challenges for stakeholders themselves.

 

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October 2015

Photo by IISD/ENB

The Eye on the Earth was originally in response to to the UAE being ranked 141 out of 142 countries in the Environmental Sustainability Index in February 2002.  AGEDI launched in Sept 2002 by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan (President of UAE) at the World Summit on Sustainable

Development, Johannesburg.  It was established as a Type II partnership a joint venture between Environment Agency (EAD) & United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The goal of Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) is to address the gap in environmental data and information. It held its first international Summit in 2011 the one that just finished aimed to  identify solutions for greater access to and sharing of data, in order to provide policymakers with timely, actionable information for critical decisions to implement the post-2015 development agenda.

The Summit was convened this time by a collaboration of the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency's Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and the Eye on Earth Alliance, a partnership of organizations including, inter alia, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Attending Eye on Earth were representatives from government, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, academia, NGOs and other stakeholders.

Photo by IISD/ENB

Panelists in the session I moderated “Addressing Policymaking Demand for Data: Dialogue Between Decision Makers and Providers” (L-R) Nawal Al Hosany, Masdar; David Rhind, Nuffield Foundation; Kathrine Brekke, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability; (Moderator Felix Dodds), University of North Carolina; Ingrid Dillo, Data Archiving and Networked Services; Robert Gurney, University of Reading; and Marcos Silva, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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September 2015

September was a historic month where after 4 years of negotiations the Sustainable Development Goals and targets were adopted on the 25th of September by Heads of State. Originally put forward in July 2011 by the Governments of Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and UAE they were one of the successes of Rio+20 which laid out the path that they would take to the recent Heads of State Summit. 

During the Summit which was from the 25th to the 27th of September there were numerous events focused on taking forward the SDGs

 

A great initiative by PCI Media Impact Heroes for Change working with Comics Uniting Nations working in close coordination with the United Nations Millennium Campaign and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Planning Team to make the Sustainable Development Goals accessible to the citizens of the world through comics. With the help of creative, academic, publishing and technology partners from around the globe we will create and distribute The Comics Guide to the Global Goals. This series will leverage the universal visual language and transformative power of comics to educate people in every corner of the globe about the SDGs and empower them to create positive and lasting change in their own communities and worldwide.

Writing with Geoffrey Lipman we produced an article on the 17th of September just before the Heads of State Summit  '2015: 'Once in a lifetime' chance for green growth and travelism'.

“Travelism thrives on peace and sustainability and is an essential contributor to it. Tourism which is such an important contributor to the economies of most countries provides them with a strong incentive to maintain internal security, protect the human rights of their people…and provide them with expanding opportunities.”

- Maurice Strong, secretary general of the Stockholm (1972) and Rio (1992) United Nations conferences.