Beyond Opportunism: The UN Development System’s Response to the Triple Planetary Crisis

  • DCO-TriplePlanetaryCrisis

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    Project Status:
    UNU-CPR RESEARCHERS: Dr David Passarelli, Dr Adam Day, Dr Fatima Denton (UNU-INRA).

    UNU-CPR and the UNU Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) partnered with the UN Development Coordination Office to support an in-depth exchange amongst UN Resident Coordinators and their UN peers on the theme Triple Planetary Crisis: nature, climate change, pollution.

    Humanity is facing an existential threat. The interlinked and cascading effects of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution – a Triple Planetary Crisis – are exacting a heavy toll on individuals, communities, and economies and imperilling life on our planet. Although the scientific community has collectively sounded the alarm on the rapid degradation of planetary resources, manifest ecological overload, as well as the erosion of the ecological foundations of our economies, the international community is still not doing enough to mitigate these impacts either as individual or collective threats.

    Delivering progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and positioning the development system to deliver on prevention was the reason, ambition, and challenge of the 2018 reform of the UN Development System, which resulted in a reconfiguration of the UN presence at the country level. The key question is whether the reforms have improved the UN’s capacity to effectively slow or reverse the environmental damage, which could risk the realization of the Global Goals, and, if not, what more can be done.

    UNU-CPR and UNU-INRA were commissioned to supply this analysis and engaged with Resident Coordinators and UN experts to solicit best practices and document the constraints experienced by Resident Coordinators on the ground specifically in relation to the Triple Planetary Crisis. The report provides ten recommendations for transformative change and overarching considerations for the future.