A new report from the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) – the global network of over 140 science, engineering and medical academies – is designed to mobilise its members and the growing number of young academies around the world to engage with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more effectively. The report is the culmination of a three-year project, Improving Scientific Input to Global Policymaking with a focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This project has explored some of the pathways for feeding science into the SDGs and ways in which IAP and its members can contribute more effectively at global, regional and national levels.

Released at the UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) in May 2019, the report urges all stakeholders to engage openly and inclusively to ensure that evidence informs policy design, implementation and review. The report sets out concrete, actionable recommendations for merit-based academies and the wider science community, as well as the UN and its agencies. A separate section lists recommendations for the GYA, who recently became a full member of IAP, and the worldwide network of young academies, which have been developed from discussions at the four regional project meetings in 2018: in Africa, in Asia, in Europe, and in the Americas.

The report also includes a checklist, “How you can support the implementation of the SDGs” to help individual scientists support and engage with the process.

Eva Alisic (Australia), Co-Chair of the IAP project and a former GYA Co-Chair, said, “Now more than ever we need strong collaboration between scholars, policymakers and local communities. The health of our planet and people is at stake, and the UN agenda gives us strong direction on priorities. Science can and should play a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Professor Jinghai Li, Co-Chair of the IAP project added, “IAP, its regional networks, and its national members have an opportunity to play a stronger role by better aligning themselves with UN policy frameworks and contributing scientific expertise—across all disciplines—to improve the development and implementation of global policies.”

Dr Tracey Elliott, IAP Project Director, concluded, “We urge academies and policymakers alike to adopt the report’s recommendations and work together in support of the SDGs.”

Full report: LINK

Correspondence in NATURE, 16 July 2019: here

For further details, see the IAP project website here.