My New Book

Felix Dodds latest book is out

Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals: A transformational agenda for an insecure world by Felix Dodds, Ambassador David Donoghue & Jimena Leiva Roesch


November 2015

On the 26th of November one of the great advocates for sustainable development Maurice Strong died. I had had the pleasure of working with him on what turned out to be his last book Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio for Sustainable Development. The book looked at the development of sustainable development over the last 40 years its highs and its lows. A recommended reading for anyone who is interested in engaging in sustainable development.


"Maurice Strong – former entrepreneur, energy company CEO, NGO, Head of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA),the first Executive Director of UNEP, Secretary-General of the UN conferences at Stockholm (1972) and at Rio (1992), author, president of the council of the UN University for Peace, and professor at Peking University – who in some ways can be said to have single handedly invented the intergovernmental environmental and sustainable development governance process. This continues in my blog here."

I also wrote an obituary for Maurice with my other co-author of Only One earth Michael Strauss in the Guardian which can be read here. 

 Santa Claus Takes on Climate Change will you join  him?

Just as the Paris Climate Conference is about to start we are launching an Indiegago campaign.(click here)
The objective is to help the next generation understand climate change. We will create a free downloable comic as part of the Comics Uniting Nations initiative
Comics Uniting Nations is a monumental partnership between a group of innovative nonprofits, working in close coordination with the United Nations Millennium Campaign and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Planning Team to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) accessible to the citizens of the world through comics. One of the SDGs is on climate change.
This Indiegogo project is supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in particular this comic is focused on Santa Claus taking on Climate Change. It is based on a story that was written for the BBC in 2009 

The first New World Frontiers paper 'Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' is now available here. It focuses on how the Sustainable Development Goals became part of a transformation agenda and the problems that will continue to have an impact as we move towards implementation. It ends looking at the challenges for stakeholders themselves.



October 2015

Photo by IISD/ENB

The Eye on the Earth was originally in response to to the UAE being ranked 141 out of 142 countries in the Environmental Sustainability Index in February 2002.  AGEDI launched in Sept 2002 by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan (President of UAE) at the World Summit on Sustainable

Development, Johannesburg.  It was established as a Type II partnership a joint venture between Environment Agency (EAD) & United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The goal of Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) is to address the gap in environmental data and information. It held its first international Summit in 2011 the one that just finished aimed to  identify solutions for greater access to and sharing of data, in order to provide policymakers with timely, actionable information for critical decisions to implement the post-2015 development agenda.

The Summit was convened this time by a collaboration of the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency's Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and the Eye on Earth Alliance, a partnership of organizations including, inter alia, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Attending Eye on Earth were representatives from government, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, academia, NGOs and other stakeholders.

Photo by IISD/ENB

Panelists in the session I moderated “Addressing Policymaking Demand for Data: Dialogue Between Decision Makers and Providers” (L-R) Nawal Al Hosany, Masdar; David Rhind, Nuffield Foundation; Kathrine Brekke, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability; (Moderator Felix Dodds), University of North Carolina; Ingrid Dillo, Data Archiving and Networked Services; Robert Gurney, University of Reading; and Marcos Silva, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).


September 2015

September was a historic month where after 4 years of negotiations the Sustainable Development Goals and targets were adopted on the 25th of September by Heads of State. Originally put forward in July 2011 by the Governments of Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and UAE they were one of the successes of Rio+20 which laid out the path that they would take to the recent Heads of State Summit. 

During the Summit which was from the 25th to the 27th of September there were numerous events focused on taking forward the SDGs


A great initiative by PCI Media Impact Heroes for Change working with Comics Uniting Nations working in close coordination with the United Nations Millennium Campaign and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Planning Team to make the Sustainable Development Goals accessible to the citizens of the world through comics. With the help of creative, academic, publishing and technology partners from around the globe we will create and distribute The Comics Guide to the Global Goals. This series will leverage the universal visual language and transformative power of comics to educate people in every corner of the globe about the SDGs and empower them to create positive and lasting change in their own communities and worldwide.

Writing with Geoffrey Lipman we produced an article on the 17th of September just before the Heads of State Summit  '2015: 'Once in a lifetime' chance for green growth and travelism'.

“Travelism thrives on peace and sustainability and is an essential contributor to it. Tourism which is such an important contributor to the economies of most countries provides them with a strong incentive to maintain internal security, protect the human rights of their people…and provide them with expanding opportunities.”

- Maurice Strong, secretary general of the Stockholm (1972) and Rio (1992) United Nations conferences.


August 2015

We now have an agreement and a very good name for the agreement it will be called Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Heads of State will be agreeing a very substantial document in September which if implemented will really put us on a path to a more equitable, fair, just and sustainable planet. Personally I have been engaged in this process since Brazil originally called for a new Summit on Sustainable Development  in 2007. It was Colombia and Guatemala who originally put forward the idea of Sustainable Development Goals at a retreat in Solo Indonesia in July 2011. This was originally opposed by development Ministries in the north and many development NGOs.  


Now the real business starts of implementation and we all have responsibilities to be part of this and part of monitoring that governments do this time keep their promises.The future is in our hands the crisis of peace versus war, development versus despair, sustainability versus annihilation, are ours to solve with this transformational agenda


July 2015

It has been a busy month and not yet over.

On July 27th the Guardian published an article by Michael Strauss and myself on the 2015 processes called 'The year of negotiating precariously'. As we say the year 2015 may be recorded as one of the most extraordinarily successful – or disastrous – years in the history of international diplomatic negotiations.


On the 21st of July saw the launching of my 12th book called ‘Governance for Sustainable Development’ edited with: Hoonmin Lim, Sara Luna, Oana Rebedea, David Banisar and Quinn McKew The book represents the first book by the ‘Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development’ which is co-chaired by the governments of Mexico, Romania and the Republic of Korea there is a free download here.



You may be interested in the article Michael Strauss and I wrote that appeared in the Guardian last week called:The year of negotiating precariouslythe article looks at the development of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Financing for Development Conference and the upcoming Climate Change Summit in Paris in November. 

A much more colourful day in the basement of the United Nations Vienna Cafe.


June 2015




Enjoying time with my children - Merri and Robin - in Key West while working on two books the Governance for Sustainable Development and 'The Nexus of Resource Security: Water, Food, Energy and Climate'. Both are due in by the end of August.  


May 2015



Working on the twelfth book a series of chapters based on the three workshops that were held by the government Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development. The book will be out as an e-book in late July. It will be the second e-book by New World Frontiers.