(Potsdam/Bonn, 26 August 2020) The Boards of Academic Advisors to the federal government (wissenschaftliche Beiräte) met with other experts at the end of July to discuss the connections between health, sustainability, and the coronavirus crisis. The results of their discussions have now been published and presented to the federal government. An impulse paper titled “No sustainable development without health, no health without sustainable development” formulates recommendations based on the the participants’ contributions. The recommendations focus on three overarching challenges that need to be taken into consideration in the upcoming review of Germany’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development (DNS).
1 Leave no one behind: The national reporting system foreseen by the Strategy must be better coordinated with sector-specific and departmental reporting processes. In this way, societal inequalities caused or reinforced by the pandemic can be identified at an early stage and tackled with appropriate measures. The Strategy should consider the needs of particularly vulnerable population groups that have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, children and young people.
2 More attention should be devoted to the interdependencies between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Strategy’s target areas. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought these interdependencies sharply into focus. The individual reports of different departments on sustainable development should therefore reference each other more systematically and this should be reflected in overall reporting on the interdependencies between the Strategy’s target areas.
3 Learning from the experience of the pandemic: The causes and effects of the pandemic can be found at all levels: local, national, regional and global. The Strategy therefore needs to underline the connections between these levels more than before. In particular, it has to take European transformation processes more into account, connect federal and state levels, and do more to support municipalities in their efforts to become sustainable and resilient.
The following experts contributed to the event:
The forum for exchange “Beiräte im Gespräch” was initiated by the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 and SDSN Germany. It complements the “Beirätedialog” established in 2018, where the Boards of Academic Advisors to the federal government come together to discuss challenges to political action in the context of Germany’s Sustainable Development Strategy. The next Beirätedialog will take place on 21 September 2020.
Download paper (Available in German only)
Video dokumentation ( Available in German only)
Bastian Strauch, wpn2030, Press Officer
Dr. Anne Ellersiek, wpn2030, Research Associate
Adolf-Kloke-Lesch, SDSN Germany, Executive Director