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UNEP Proposes Six ‘Filters’ for SDG Formulation

UNEP18 March 2014: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has proposed the use of six 'filters' to help ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will fully integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The paper, 'Integrating the Three Dimensions of Sustainable Development: How to Achieve a Balanced, Inclusive and Ambitious Framework,' is the first in a series of Post-2015 Notes from UNEP.

Three of the filters relate to areas in which the Note recommends the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development should be reflected: breaking the poverty trap through sustainable livelihoods that will not degrade the environment; achieving greater prosperity that addresses inequalities and is based on sustainable consumption patterns; and investing in natural capital, social capital (such as knowledge) and resource-efficient economic capital (such as infrastructure and production capacities).

The other three filters relate to formulation of SDGs. The Note calls on policy makers to: build on existing international goals and targets; ensure that targets are solution-oriented; and adopt targets that are scientifically credible, verifiable and measurable. [IISD RS Sources]