Shumei International attended the United Nations 2023 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, held from July 10th to the 19th. This two-week event brought together global stakeholders in both in-person and virtual settings, under the overarching theme of “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.”
Throughout the forum, discussions revolved around the thematic reviews of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation, SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy, SDG 9 on industry, innovation, and infrastructure, SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities, and SDG 17 on partnerships for these goals. These sessions addressed various countries’ unique challenges while exploring regional and local dimensions of COVID-19 recovery and overall progress toward achieving the SDGs.
In addition to participating in plenary sessions, Shumei attended key side events, such as the “Implementation of the Kunming–Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework through the Satoyama Initiative/COMDEKS 4”. Shumei International is a member of The International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI), a partnership of hundreds of member organizations dedicated to working together to realize societies in harmony with nature. This side event focused on exploring the role of the Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative in achieving SDGs and critical targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
The event was organized by the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) bringing together a diverse range of experts and local practitioners who shared their knowledge and experiences, particularly regarding the practical implementation of the GBF. The conversation delved into various topics such as spatial planning and restoration, biodiversity’s productivity, sustainability, and resilience in agricultural and other managed ecosystems within the context of the Framework’s 23 targets and 4 goals aimed at promoting a harmonious coexistence with nature. Speakers included Haoliang Xu, Under Secretary General, UNDP; Isato Kunisada, Parliamentary Vice Minister, Ministry of the Environment, Japan; Jihyun Lee, Director of the Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division, SCBD; Cem Orkun Kiraç, SAD Underwater Research Society, Türkiye, and Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, CEO, Global Environmental Facility.
During the HLPF, there was also the release of The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2023 report. The report highlighted an increase in hunger since 2019 by 100 million people and noted the profound impact of COVID-19 along with the megatrend of urbanization on agrifood systems. The pandemic stalled progress on SDG 2 to end hunger and now there is a rise in hunger in rural areas and in regions of Western Asia, the Caribbean and all subregions of Africa. More than 3 billion people cannot afford healthy food. The staggering statistics were followed by calls for integrated policies, scaling up climate resilience across agrifood systems, a stronger focus on value chains contributing to healthy diets, protection of households and value chains during economic slowdowns as seen in the pandemic, efforts to address specific challenges associated with water management and realigning public expenditures to assure access to healthy diets in a sustainable system.
This HLPF played a crucial role in supporting the mid-term review of the SDGs, assessing the progress or lack of progress made so far, and identifying areas where additional efforts are required to meet the targets set for 2030. The reality is that the world is off track on meeting the Global Goals. In fact, only 12% of the targets are insight while others have stalled or are on a backward trend. The outcomes of these discussions and stocktaking will inform the preparations for the 2023 SDG Summit and a second HLPF, scheduled for September 2023.
There is hope and opportunity in addressing multiple SDGs by looking at the interlinkages between hunger, food security, agriculture, poverty reduction, women’s empowerment, water and resource management, biodiversity and climate action. Through our work in Natural Agriculture around the world, we will continue to support the Satoyama Initiative and its role in implementing the Kunming Global Biodiversity Framework and the Global Goals.