Heroes of Environmental Diplomacy: Profiles in Courage 

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August saw the published of the paper: Misaligned SDG Targets: How to Handle Target Dates Before 2030; written with Jamie Bartram and  Gastón Ocampo. 


FULL paper downloadable from Juniper Publishers - International Journal of Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources (IJESNR) here


Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the 193-member states of the United Nations in September 2015. It includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are accompanied by 169 targets, 107 of which are considered output targets and 62 are designated ‘means of implementation’.


While the SDGs are associated with the period 2016 - 2030, twenty-three targets (14%) have dates for completion before 2030. For twenty of those targets the date is 2020 and for the remaining three it is 2025. The affected targets are associated with 232 individual indicators. Not addressing the issues that arise because of this has the potential to create two classes of targets.


In most cases other UN processes will recommend continuation, modification, abandonment or replacement of expiring targets - outside the SDG framework. The updating of targets outside the SDG framework and therefore the emergence of two classes of targets has the potential to threaten the overall cohesion of the SDG enterprise; and there is some risk that resources will benefit one class of targets, those within the SDG framework, over the other, regardless of whether target conditions have been achieved.


The time window to prepare for the earliest-expiring target (2020) is short. We identify four option-types and summarize their pros and cons. None is perfect and some blend of them may be preferable. For all affected targets, monitoring is in hand within the SDG framework and in several cases established or potential processes would facilitate analysis and decision making as to abandonment, renewal, modification or replacement of targets and associated indicators.


“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.”


Keywords: Sustainable development; Maternal mortality; Technological expertise; Future Abbreviations: MDGs: Millennium Development Goals; SDGs: Sustainable Development Goals; ACC: Administrative Coordination Committee; CEB: Chief Executives Board; OWG: Open Working Group; INC: Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee; WSSD: World Summit on Sustainable Development; SAICM: Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management

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JULY 2019


Felix Dodds on July 11th at the UN Bookshop discussing his book "Stakeholder Democracy-Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear" with contributors Carolina Duque Chopitea and Jan-Gustav Strandenaes. The video is available to watch here. It is available from all online bookshops including the publisher Routledge here with a $10 discount. 

Working during the UN High-Level Political Forum with the International Coalition for Working Equids (ICWE) who had a great event held by the at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on Tuesday 16th of July.

There was a display of some of the work of the ICWE coalition, materials to take away and a chance to chat with the members of the coalition. It is comprised of leading working animal NGOs Brooke, The Donkey Sanctuary, SPANA, and World Horse Welfare

The event highlighted issues such as there are An estimated 200 million working animals are essential to the livelihoods of some of the poorest communities worldwide. The traditional beasts of burden, their socioeconomic value and hardworking traits are often taken for granted, without realising the long-term benefits of ensuring better health and welfare for these animals.

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JUNE 2019

For those that know me well they will know I used to live in San Sebastian in Spain which by the way has the best food in Europe ;-) In June I managed to go back after 7 years for a weekend. This was a new mural which I loved. I managed to go to my favorite restaurant and see old friends. 

San Sebastián shows a dynamic cultural scene, where grass-roots initiative based on different parts of the city and the concerted private and public synergy have paved the ground for a rich range of possibilities and events catering to the tastes of a wide and selected public alike. The city was selected as European Capital of Culture for 2016 (shared with WrocławPoland) with a basic motto, "Waves of people's energy", summarizing a clear message: people and movements of citizens are the real driving force behind transformations and changes in the world.

Events ranging from traditional city festivals to music, theatre or cinema take place all year round, while they specially thrive in summer. In the last week of July, San Sebastián's Jazz Festival (Jazzaldia), the longest, continuously running Jazz Festival in Europe is held. In different spots of the city gigs are staged, sometimes with free admission. The Musical Fortnight comes next extending for at least fifteen days well into August and featuring classical music concerts. In September, the San Sebastián International Film Festival comes to the spotlight, an event with more than 50 years revolving around the venues of Kursaal and the Victoria Eugenia Theatre. The city is also home to the San Telmo Museoa, a major cultural institution with an ethnographic, artistic and civic vocation.

Sticking to the cinematic language but lacking its echo, Street Zinema is an international audiovisual festival exploring contemporary art and urban cultures. Other rising and popular events include the Horror and Fantasy Festival in October (21st edition in 2010) and the Surfilm Festival, a cinema festival featuring surfing footage, especially shorts. During centuries, the city has been open to many influences that have left a trace, often mingling with the local customs and traditions and eventually resulting in festivals and new customs.


So if you want to plan a great holiday go to San Sebastian


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May 2019

I was on the 28th of May at my old university - the University of Surrey with my good friend and Water Institute outgoing Executive Director Jamie Bartram to celebrate with receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award who has been recognised for his outstanding contribution work to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations through improving water, sanitation and hygiene in developed and developing countries worldwide. Jamie’s decade-long direction at the World Health Organization changed policy and practice. It was a great evening of fun and  some amazing other winners such as Mary Dinah  winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Society Award. She is founder and MD of M.A.D Hospitality and has a passion for connecting people to their dream jobs, setting up Nigeria’s first job centre and providing support to victims of sexual harassment. Mary has received numerous awards, including The British Council Social Impact Award 2017 and the Governor’s Recognition of Outstanding Impact on Youth Award, 2016. In 2018, Mary won the British Council Future Leaders Award and has joined a United Nations committee for providing support for displaced persons worldwide.


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Comments at Finance for Development Forum on PPPs

Comments by Felix Dodds for the event Overturning the Credibility Gap in Traditional PPP: the ‘People-First’ approach for national and local governments. This was at the UN Financing for Development Forum Investment Fair (full video of side event available here).


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New book out: Governance for Sustainable Development Volume 3: Preparing for the Heads of State Review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development have continued to host workshops on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2018. 

Governance for Sustainable Development Volume 3: Preparing for the Heads of State Review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Paperback  was edited by Felix Dodds (Author, Editor), Akinremi Bolaji (Editor), Yeongmoo Cho (Editor), Verena Klinger-Dering (Editor), Cristina Popescu (Editor), David Banisar (Editor), Quinn McKew (Editor).

The 2030 Agenda represents one of the most important sets of Global Goals that the international community has committed to. It is an unprecedented effort that embodies universal aspirations for achieving a more just, equitable, peaceful and sustainable future. It is an excellent example of successful multilateralism. 

This ambitious and unique exercise represents a paradigm shift in policy-making for sustainable development. It gives a roadmap by which we all, the UN, governments and stakeholders can work together to address the most pressing global challenges. In this context, the rule of law, as well as effective, robust, participatory and accountable institutions are of the utmost importance to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets.


This is the third book that the Group of Friends of the Governance for Sustainable Development has produced in an effort to share widely the papers that have been presented at the workshops for member States to discuss. The Group recognizes that there is an inextricable link between good governance and sustainable development and that, as the 2030 Agenda is implemented, governance challenges will need discussion and action at all levels and by all institutions.


This book was written and co-edited by 


  • Abhinav Bahl, 
  • Aparajita Banerjee, 
  • David Banisar, 
  • Akinremi Bolaji, 
  • Marianne Beisheim, 
  • Geert Bouckaert, 
  • Yeongmoo Cho, 
  • Jack Cornforth, 
  • Felix Dodds, 
  • Jorge Fernandez, 
  • Patricia Galdamez, 
  • Alexandra Hiniker, 
  • David Horan, 
  • Verena Klinger-Dering, 
  • Quinn McKew, 
  • Enda Murphy, 
  • Charles Nouhan, 
  • David O’Connor, 
  • Derek Osborn, 
  • Minh-Thu Pham, 
  • Cristina Popescu, 
  • Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, 
  • Massimo Tommasoli, 
  • Lucy Turner, 
  • Farooq Ullah, 
  • Felipe Victoria, and 
  • Patrick Paul Walsh.



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My new book - Stakeholder Democracy - Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear

My new book Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in A Time of Fear (Routledge) is on advance order on amazon - out July 9th.  

I would also like to thank my co-authors Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Carolina Duque Chopitea, Minu Hemmati, Susanne Salz, Bernd Lakemeier, Laura Schmitz, and Jana Borkenhagen for their chapters - which are awesome!! While underscoring that my co-authors do not necessarily agree with the chapters written by other people.

The book will be out in July for the High-Level Political Forum where we will be launching the book. Let me share with you the introduction for the book...and a few reviews out already.

“A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.” (Kennedy, 1966) - continued in my blog here.

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