A Better World - Volume 9

VOLUME 9 A Better World Actions and Commitments in support of the SDG Summit 2023 Special Edition

A Better World VOLUME 9 Actions and Commitments in support of the SDG Summit 2023 Special Edition

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DISCLAIMER The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of Human Development Forum concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by Human Development Forum in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. The views expressed in this information product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the publisher. ISBN 978-1-9160325-6-9 Original title: A Better World Volume 9 Text © Human Development Forum. All rights reserved. Photographs © as per credits Published in 2023 by Human Development Forum www.humandevelopmentforum.org Human Development Forum

Contents Acknowledgements....................................................................1 The SDGs...................................................................................2 The SDG Summit.......................................................................4 Earth observations in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development..........................................................6 Osamu Ochiai, Mariko Harada, Yuko Nakamura, Akiko Noda, Ko Hamamoto, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Tackling risk, resilience, and adaptation — a new scientific approach garnering international attention............10 Chani Goering, Communications Manager, Pacific Disaster Center Fulfilling the SDGs in urban India — a multidimensional approach..................................................14 Hitesh Vaidya, Director; Samridhi Pandey, Data Lead, Urban Outcomes Framework, National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi Contributions of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in satisfying Arab development needs and achieving SDGs. .....................................................18 Operations Department, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development Successes in ALECSO’s mission to achieve sustainable development. ........................................................24 His Excellency Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ould Amar, Director General,Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) Serving China-Africa cooperation and promoting common high-quality development.........................................29 Ms. Chunlei Yang, Assistant Director, Marketing Development and Consulting Services Department, China-Africa Development Fund Singapore — food, water and energy resilience for a city-state...................34 Government of Singapore Sustainable agenda for future youth ......................................38 Sustainable Development Goals Unit, Wawasan (Vision) Brunei Office, Prime Minister’s Office;Green Brunei; and MY Action for SDG Park City — a new paradigm for living in harmony with nature, Chengdu Practice................................................42 Jiahua Pan, Academician; Xiao Ma, Yushan Li, Manqi Li, Maolin Liao, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); Li Liu, Chongqing University of Education Fighting the loneliness pandemic — one public space at a time.......................................................46 Dr. Hila Oren, CEO, Tel Aviv Foundation CTI-CFF — Toward the SDGs in the Coral Triangle..............50 Mohd Kushairi Bin Mohd Rajuddin; Christovel R.S. Rotinsulu; Md Anjum Islam; Dewi Satriani

Transforming tribal communities in Telangana, India, into strategic business enterprises — a paradigm for inclusive growth..............................................54 Saikat Datta Mazumdar, Aravazhi Selvaraj, Priyanka Durgalla, Harshvardhan Mane, Tamilselvi Nedumaran, Divya Nancy and Victor Afari-Sefa,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) Rice research in the development of livelihoods and sustainable food value chains in Africa. .................................58 Manneh B, Jalloh A, Arouna A, Africa Rice Centre The tree of life — sustainable development from rural communities to the global economy. ......................................62 International Coconut Community Empowering local partners for inclusive and sustainable agricultural development — experiences from the Tropical Legumes Project in Africa.....66 Mequanint B. Melesse, Essegbemon Akpo, Chris O. Ojiewo, Victor Afari-Sefa Safaricom — a connected vision for sustainable transformation.................70 Karen Basiye, Director of Sustainable Business, Social Impact and M-Pesa Foundation, Safaricom Limited Supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation in Central America.......................................................................74 The Central American Bank for Economic Integration The Republic of Korea’s new vision through forests — paving the way for a global forestry renaissance....................78 Dr. Park Eunsik, Director General of the International Affairs Bureau, Korea Forest Service Sustainable solutions — teaming up on forest stewardship...........................................82 Kim Carstensen, Director General, FSC International Protected and used sustainably, tropical forests are key to our sustainable future. ........................................................86 Sheam Satkuru, Executive Director, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) A braid of care and empowerment — partnerships for refugees from Ukraine..................................91 Johan Alwall, Sandy Lu, Sarah Chu, Global Partnership Affairs Department, Buddhist Tzu Chi Charity Foundation SDGs helping to bridge religion and development ...............94 Katherine Marshall, Georgetown University Notes and References...............................................................97 Contents

[ ] 1 Acknowledgements Compiled by Sean Nicklin and Ben Cornwell Edited by Leigh Trowbridge and Sean Nicklin Designed by Leigh Trowbridge Printed in the UK by Gomer Press Ltd. With thanks to all the authors listed throughout the book for their support in compiling A Better World Volume 9 and for their continued efforts in working towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Africa Rice Centre Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) Beijing University of Technology Buddhist Tzu Chi Charity Foundation Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) Chengdu Academy of Social Sciences China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Chongqing University of Education Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Government of Singapore International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) International Coconut Community (ICC) International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Korea Forest Service (KFS) National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), India Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) Prime Minister’s Office, Brunei Darussalam Safaricom Limited Tel Aviv Foundation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development [ 2 ] End poverty in all its forms everywhere End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture The Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of seventeen interlinked objectives designed to serve as a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future” The SDGs

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation Reduce income inequality within and among countries Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development [ 3 ] Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

[ ] 4 “The SDG Summit in September must be a moment of unity to provide a renewed impetus and accelerated action for achieving the SDGs” UN Secretary-General António Guterres While the war in Ukraine is deepening food insecurity and the climate emergency is reaching cataclysmic proportions, millions more people globally are expected to be trapped by extreme poverty in 2030. Under the auspices of the UN General Assembly, the SDG Summit in September 2023 marked the beginning of a renewed push to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a roadmap out of such crises. Recognising that urgent and ambitious action is needed to achieve the SDGs, Heads of State and Governments convened at the UN Headquarters in New York together with political and thought leaders from governments, international organizations, the private sector, civil society, women and youth and other actors to supercharge the breakthroughs needed to achieve the SDGs. Adopted by world leaders in 2015, the SDGs — a global promise to secure the rights and wellbeing of everyone on a healthy, thriving planet — are in jeopardy. Halfway to the deadline, progress has stalled or even reversed amidst the climate crisis, the economic downturn, conflicts, and the lingering impacts of COVID-19. The number of people living in extreme poverty is higher than it was four years ago, and hunger is now back at 2005 levels. In response to UN Secretary-General Guterres’s call for transformative action, including through an SDG Stimulus, world leaders are made bold global commitments as well as national commitments to SDG transformation. An agreed political declaration was adopted during the opening of the Summit that provided highlevel political guidance on the transformative, accelerated actions needed to reach the Goals by their 2030 endpoint. The opening of the Summit featured statements by the President of the General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Economic and Social Council. A short plenary segment followed to hear the actions and commitments delivered on behalf of groups of States. Six Leaders’ Dialogues were held to allow Heads of State and Government to set out concrete national commitments to SDG transformation. This was the second SDG Summit since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015. It built on other major events in 2023, including international conferences on the least developed countries, water, disaster risk reduction and food systems. It also acts as a step towards the Summit of the Future to be convened at the United Nations in 2024. The SDG Summit

[ ] 5 The reports chosen for this special edition have all demonstrated their understanding, commitment and practical actions in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. All author institutions have clearly shown not only their adherence to the SDGs but also how those goals give communities around the world the framework to make the lives of real people in real communities better in a real and sustainable way. From national institutions in countries as diverse as Brunei, China, Singapore, Israel and South Korea; agricultural specialists in solutions for the sustainable development of rice, coconuts, wheat and so many crops that feed people often in challenging climates and geographies; leaders in the reforestation and stewardship of the world’s forests; specialists in meteorology and disaster management who use the latest space technologies in the field of disaster management, dedicated to making the world a safer place; scientific institutions that drive research into all aspects of sustainable living; faith based organisations who feed communities both literally and spiritually and who espouse the ethics of sustainable living; and finally the development Banks and financial institutions that spearhead investment in all of the sectors covered by the Goals, whose funding drives the wheels of progress in making peoples’ lives better. Any institutions looking to the SDG Summit 2023 for inspiration should look no further than those that have created these reports, who from the widest set of disciplines and geographies all have one goal, which is to build A Better World! Sean Nicklin Human Development Forum September 2023

[ ] 6 A Better World Earth observations in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Osamu Ochiai, Mariko Harada, Yuko Nakamura, Akiko Noda, Ko Hamamoto, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Humankind is facing a variety of global challenges and crises such as climate change, natural disaster and the consequent need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When tackling crises, humans have typically gained knowledge and capabilities through advancing science and technology. To that end, Earth observation by satellite provides a wide-angle view from space. This capability enables frequent and consistent monitoring and, in particular, highly effective observation of remote or sparsely populated locations where monitoring equipment is difficult to install on the ground. Through international cooperation, space agencies and meteorological organizations have made efforts to deploy satellite observation over extended periods as well as to develop sensors with higher accuracy, resolution, coverage and various observation targets, through cutting-edge technologies. The result is a catalogue of observation records that play an indispensable role in understanding the status and progress of efforts, in projection of the future Earth and in providing scientific evidence for decision making in the pathways toward A Better World. Contributions to SDGs as actions In recent years, global-scale environmental shifts such as climate change have brought several issues to the fore including the prevalence of weather disasters and accelerated biodiversity loss. Earth observation is an indispensable tool for facilitating a better understanding of these issues and making effective countermeasures, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) functions as one of the organizations contributing to the Global Earth Observation network by satellite, in collaboration with space agencies and meteorological organizations. JAXA is a core performance agency set up to support the Japanese government’s overall aerospace development and utilization, and has developed and operated various satellites to observe greenhouse gases and aerosols, land surface and forest change, water cycles and precipitation and natural disasters. In the hope of solving global issues, JAXA has also promoted research and utilization of Earth observation data including the development of user-friendly applications in addition to capacity building in those countries affected by consequent issues. Forest Early Warning System in the Tropics (JJ-FAST) web interface Image: JAXA

[ ] 7 SDG Summit 2023 These applications address a variety of issues as well as suggesting actions toward achieving the relevant SDGs. Here are some examples of how they are contributing to SDGs concerned with deforestation, rainfall and disaster monitoring. Deforestation Deforestation is a global issue and, according to FAO reports, tropical forests are decreasing by about 6 million ha per year across the world. Tropical forests are particularly important in the context of climate change and biodiversity because of their large amount of carbon stock and unique and various ecological systems. Monitoring and early warning of deforestation in tropical forests are also important to the contribution to SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 15: Life on Land. Since 2009, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and JAXA have cooperated to monitor illegal logging in the Amazon Basin of Brazil in near-real time using observation data from JAXA’s Earth observation satellites, ALOS and ALOS-2. The ability of these satellites to penetrate clouds made it possible to constantly monitor tropical forests during the rainy season. By 2012, more than 2,000 incidents of illegal logging were detected by ALOS in Brazil, which greatly contributed to a 40 per cent reduction in the illegal logging in those areas. In 2016, based on those achievements, JICA and JAXA developed the JICA-JAXA Forest Early Warning System in the Tropics (JJ-FAST), which provides the latest information on deforestation and forest changes in tropical regions globally, on an average of once every 45 days. JJ-FAST covers tropical forests over 78 countries and, by 2022, had detected a total of 4.6 million deforestation points. JJ-FAST can be accessed by anyone anywhere through internet, and has been utilized operationally in Kenya, Mozambique, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil and Peru through JICA projects. In 2022, JICA and JAXA, together with the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) made a joint submission to the first Global Stocktake (GST) of the Paris Agreement, with JJ-FAST cited as a means of achieving good practice in contributing to solving global environmental issues related to the GST and for enhancing the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Rainfall and disaster monitoring According to recent UNESCAP reports, the Asia-Pacific region has the world’s highest concentration of disasterrelated damage, particularly due to water-related incidents such as flood, storm and drought. The trend of these disasters is affected by changes in rainfall patterns due to climate change, with water-related disasters having caused 70 per cent of all economic losses and affected 90 per cent of the population globally. Fortunately, however, deaths from water-related disasters are decreasing. Providing more advanced meteorological and hydrological information has proven to be effective and necessary to build resilience. It is therefore necessary to accelerate the improvement of the accuracy and dissemination of this information, including that for rainfall, in addition to infrastructure development and integrated water resources management. The necessary improvements will directly affect SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 13: Climate Action. JAXA is disseminating its web-based Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP), which provides hourly global rainfall information by integrating data from meteorological satellites in Japan, US and Europe. In the case of water-related disasters, GSMaP gives effective supplemental information for meteorological and disaster management organizations to improve their understanding of rainfall distribution in areas where observation by ground-based rain gauges and meteorological radar is difficult, the oceans included. GSMaP is used across 140 countries, including in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, for various purposes such as heavy rain and drought monitoring, and flood forecasting. GSMaP supplies several types of information, for example rain-gauge calibrated, real-time or forecasted versions, as well as derivative indices concerning heavy rain and drought. Since 2018, the GSMaP heavy rainfall and drought indices has been used for WMO Space-based Weather and Climate Extremes Monitoring (SWCEM), facilitating better utilization and improvement of the monitoring of weather and climate extremes from space, with capacity-building activities having been carried out in East Asia and Western Pacific regions. JJ-FAST — stopping deforestation On February 22, 2018, the JJ-FAST team, accompanied by IBAMA (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis), arrived at one site in Brazil at which JJ-FAST had detected deforestation in the form of a bulldozer mowing down trees. Two forest loggers were arrested and the bulldozer was legally seized on site by IBAMA. They seemed to wonder how this illegal deforestation was discovered under the cloud cover of the rainy season, unaware of the possibility of detection by optical satellite. Image: JAXA

[ ] 8 A Better World The disaster risk management cycle — response, recovery, mitigation, and preparedness — is an important process in improving resilience to natural disasters and in the achievement of SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Earth observation is an effective tool for the management cycle as it is able to monitor the damaged area and recovery progress as well as to create hazard maps useful in covering wide areas and helpful in aiding rescue operations in damaged areas. There are several initiatives for conducting disaster emergency observation, for example the International Disasters Charter and the Sentinel Asia. The Sentinel Asia is an initiative toward space-based international cooperation for disaster management in the Asia-Pacific region, established in 2006 under the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF). The main activities of Sentinel Asia are to conduct emergency observation of disasters with satellites and to provide disaster assessment maps through the web GIS system. JAXA has led Sentinel Asia as its secretariat, with members comprising space agencies, disaster management authorities and international organizations, with a total of 114 Asia-Pacific member organizations registered as of May 2023. Some of the Sentinel Asia members act as Data Provider Nodes (DPN), which voluntarily provides their own satellite imagery and/or data for Sentinel Asia on an emergency observation request. In 2022, a total of 28 emergency observations were conducted for floods, storms, landslides, earthquakes,and volcano eruptions, with various observation data and valueadded products provided. Contributions to SDGs as indicators To track progress towards goals and targets, the global indicator framework must capture the multifaceted and ambitious aspirations for the continued development of nations and societies. Effective reporting of progress toward these indicators require the use of multiple types of data, both of which are in hand — traditional national accounts, household surveys and routine administrative data, and new sources of data outside national statistical systems, notably Earth observations and geospatial information, which include satellite, airborne, land- and marine-based data, as well as model outputs, with modern data processing techniques more appropriate to large volumes of Earth observation data. The integration of these data can produce a quantum leap in how the advancement of the well-being of our societies is monitored and tracked. Since Earth observation and geospatial information have various scales in their spatial and temporal resolutions, their use in SDG monitoring can prove essential in capturing the sustainability of developments underpinning the SDG framework. Earth observation and geospatial information will expand monitoring capabilities at local, national, regional and global levels, and across sectors. Earth observation and geospatial information can significantly reduce the costs of monitoring the aspirations reflected in the goals and Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP) is web-based, does not require a dedicated computer and is available at no cost, which makes it widely used for monitoring precipitation in Pacific Island countries that have limited ground-based rain gauges and radar Image: JAXA Image: JAXA MBRSC JAXA ALOS-2 ISRO RESOURCESAT-2, CARTOSAT-3 Sentinel Asia Constellation TASA GISTDA FORMOSAT-5 STI/VAST CRISP PhilsSA KhalifaSat DIWATA-2, NOVASAR-1 TELEOS-1 VNREDSat-1A Taichote (THEOS) The Sentinel Asia DPN’s earth observation satellites comprising the Sentinel Asia constellation

[ ] 9 SDG Summit 2023 targets, and make SDG monitoring and reporting viable within the limited resources available to governments. A successful sustainable development agenda will require effective partnerships for implementation. As such, a potential role for Earth observation in supporting the global indicator framework for the SDGs has been developed through cooperation between the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the prime body for coordinating the satellite Earth observation programmes of the world’s civil space agencies. GEO, CEOS and space agencies are working with governments, academia, scientists, and the private sector in developing such partnerships for implementation of the SDGs. An analysis by GEO has identified 30 specific indicators that can be supported by Earth observations. Out of those, CEOS has identified four that can be supported by Earth observation satellites — 6.6.1: Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time; 11.3.1: Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate; 14.1.1: (a) Index of coastal eutrophication; and (b) plastic debris density; and 15.3.1: Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area. SDG target 6.6.1 states: By 2020, protect and restore waterrelated ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes. Indicators are: Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time; with several sub-indicators including the extent of change of mangrove forest. JAXA has been aware of the importance of monitoring mangroves by satellite, and has been working through an initiative, K&C Global Mangrove Watch (GMW), to prevent the loss and degradation of mangrove forests since 2011. GMW mapped the extent of mangroves from 1996 to present using observation data by JERS-1, ALOS and ALOS-2, which have the advantage of being able to obtain data on the ground surface regardless of weather conditions. In 2019, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the custodian agency of Target 6.6, opted to use JAXA’s GMW for indicator 6.6.1. UNEP developed and published a methodology document concerning how to use the GMW data in 2020, which allowed countries to independently calculate changes in their mangrove areas with freely available GMW data. In addition, UNEP released Freshwater Ecosystems Explorer in 2020, which provides geospatial information on SDG 6.6.1 indicators. Lessons learned and looking forward Earth observation data has contributed to solving various social issues such as climate change, biodiversity, and natural disasters, and these efforts are based on several types of cooperation. To contribute to the issues raised in the SDGs as actions, it is essential to collaborate with various stakeholders, especially those closely related to the issues, and to seek effective ways to utilize data. In addition, toward the continuous monitoring of diverse global information, such as SDGs indicators, using earth observation data, it is essential to coordinate satellite observations and the integration of multiple data through international cooperation among space and meteorological agencies around the world. JAXA will continue to contribute to the SDGs and to solutions for global issues with the science and technology of Earth observation in cooperation with relevant organizations around the world. Image: JAXA Global Mangrove Watch, mapping the extent of mangroves from 1996 to present using observation data by JERS-1, ALOS and ALOS-2, with the advantage of being able to obtain data on the ground surface regardless of weather conditions

[ ] 10 A Better World Tackling risk, resilience, and adaptation — a new scientific approach garnering international attention Chani Goering, Communications Manager, Pacific Disaster Center The 2030 deadline is fast approaching for nations to reach their global targets under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris Agreement. Now, more than ever, countries need a simplified roadmap to successful policy outcomes and a way to identify cross-cutting actions that provide a maximum return on investment. Evidence-based approaches must be employed to help nations translate international standards into sure-proof decisions that result in fewer disaster losses, reduced socio-economic vulnerability, and sustainable living conditions for all beings on Earth. One such approach has recently emerged as a frontrunner in the movement to help countries realize their SDG targets and navigate the complexity of interwoven issues including sustainable economic growth, environmental degradation, poverty and marginalization, increased disaster risk, and climate change, among many others. Recognized internationally in 2022 during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and first-place recipient of the United Nations Sasakawa Award, the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) has created an advanced scientific program for operationalizing the Sendai Framework and accelerating the SDGs. More than 30 countries are engaged in the program — many from the most disaster-prone, climate-stressed regions of the world. Eleven are queued for completion in 2023, including seven island nations from the Eastern Caribbean as well as Colombia, Suriname, Ghana, Togo, and Benin. As a University of Hawai’i applied science and research center, PDC developed the National Baseline Assessment program following decades of academic research and scientific collaboration in global disaster risk reduction (DRR). Unlike other assessments operating in the DRR space, PDC’s approach is designed to fully operationalize the targets of the Sendai Framework and to provide a scalable and sustainable system for understanding, updating, and applying critical risk information in all areas of decision making and policy development. For many countries, the National Baseline Assessment program is changing the information management and knowledge-sharing paradigm by building risk intelligence Results of The Bahamas’ National Baseline Assessment were shared during a nationally televised event in 2022 using PDC’s DisasterAWARE — a free tool for reducing disaster risk and aiding response, planning, and policy decisions Image: PDC

[ ] 11 SDG Summit 2023 across all sectors of government and civil society. Revolutionizing the older, linear model of assessment in which lengthy reports are read once by policymakers and then forgotten, the new model of sharing multi-dimensional, live assessment information is catalyzing risk-informed humanitarian action and development. It is deepening collaboration between multiple sectors of government and preserving the longevity and usefulness of risk information — making it easy to both access and update over time. Visualized risk information and analytics also have the dual benefit of supporting quick action during disaster response and promoting an evidence base for long-term planning and sustainable development. The assessment is conducted at a subnational level and in collaboration with national agencies and institutions to facilitate greater understanding among decision makers of localized issues and buy-in for actions to be taken. It also provides a comprehensive analysis of the national disaster management capacity to mitigate disasters and adapt to climate change pressures. Using a country-driven, and inclusive model of engagement, stakeholders come together from civil society, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, academia, and all levels of government to participate in the National Baseline Assessment. The program has two major components: a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA) and a Disaster Management Analysis (DMA). The RVA provides a composite index analysis of the drivers of multi-hazard risk including key socio-economic indicators. This improves national and local understanding of the multiple dimensions of risk that contribute to vulnerability and reduced coping capacity. The RVA also evaluates exposure to multiple hazards, providing a snapshot of the current hazard landscape including risk from climate-related hazards such as sea-level rise, drought, flash flooding, mega-cyclones, and other extreme weather events. Providing further insight, the DMA contextualizes drivers of risk through a holistic examination of the national disaster management apparatus and policy framework. The disaster management analysis ensures more effective prioritization of risk-reduction initiatives and resilience-building by aligning actions to be taken with priority needs. The DMA institutes risk-informed decision making at all levels of government, inclusive of sustainable development and multi-sector cooperation. During the process, numerous intersecting targets of the SDGs, Sendai Framework, and Paris Agreement are identified for action, resulting in a five-year plan designed to reduce pre- and post-disaster risk, improve sustainable development, and support climate change adaptation. Event Brief Event Brief improves coordination across the humanitarian spectrum, providing early estimates of exposure and likely humanitarian needs. Using subnational risk and vulnerability data, the early warning report helps decision makers anticipate hazard impacts, increase efficiency in response, and improve the deployment of life-saving aid. Event Brief has become a global standard for international organizations like the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), World Food Programme, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and other organizations worldwide. Snapshot of PDC’s Risk and Vulnerability Assessment framework used by The Bahamas to evaluate multiple dimensions of risk at a national and subnational level Diverse stakeholders from across sectors joined together to complete The Bahamas National Baseline Assessment, culminating in an accelerated plan of action to advance the SDGs, Sendai Framework, and Paris Agreement Image: PDC Source: PDC Source: PDC

[ ] 12 A Better World Beyond the direct benefit to nations who participate in the program, the assessment fills critical gaps in national early warning capabilities and risk knowledge. Critical risk information from the National Baseline Assessment is integrated into PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform to provide early warning insights and then shared with the entire global community for disaster response, preparation, and planning. Used by tens of thousands of practitioners, the platform’s real-time early warning report, known as Event Brief, leverages assessment data in the estimation of hazard impacts and humanitarian aid likely to be required during a disaster response operation. According to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, nearly one-third of the world’s population lacks adequate early warning, particularly in developing and small island nations. Early warning systems are widely regarded as a proven, effective, and feasible climate adaptation measure that save lives and provide a tenfold return on investment. Above: Since the completion of Guatemala’s National Baseline Assessment in 2018, the country has leveraged risk and vulnerability information and critical data for decision making. Recent operational use cases of assessment information include Guatemala’s major responses to hurricanes Eta and Iota in 2021, a multi-national preparedness exercise, Continuing Promise, sponsored by US SOUTHCOM in 2022, and recent responses to major volcanic eruptions in 2023 by the extremely dangerous Volcan de Fuego Below: Philippines national and regional government stakeholders learn how to use a customized national version of DisasterAWARE to assess risk and to receive early warning alerts for 19 types of natural hazard Image: PDC Source: PDC Source: PDC Image: PDC

[ ] 13 SDG Summit 2023 To help close the early warning gap, PDC’s Event Brief, enabled by the Center’s powerful all-hazards impact model, anticipates population exposure, impacts to vulnerable populations, critical infrastructure, and potential capital exposure to hazards as soon as a hazard is reported by a scientific authority. The system currently provides global early warning for 19 types of natural hazard. It also offers the only source of global flood and landslide early warning available in the world. Virtualized assessment information in DisasterAWARE gives NGOs and governmental organizations insight into the key drivers of risk at a subnational level. This allows decision makers to quickly identify where vulnerability is the highest, coping capacity the lowest, and what makes certain geographies more, or less resilient to hazard impacts. DisasrerAWARE also helps decision makers locate critical infrastructure that may be directly impacted by hazards, and aids planning decisions related to evacuation, shelters, and where to establish safe zones for humanitarian relief workers and supplies. This real-time use of risk and assessment information underpins all decision making for practitioners using the DisasterAWARE system. The program also supplements national data with PDC’s global data catalogue — one of the largest in the world for disaster risk management. With more than 8,000 layers, the Center’s expanded data library provides a wealth of scientifically vetted information ranging from population, infrastructure, and real-time hazard data to the Center’s latest research on global climate change impacts by 2050, women, peace and security, national fragility, and more. Beyond its utility in disaster response, easy-to-access, webbased risk information and analytics have strong scientific applications for building resilience to other shocks including global disease outbreaks, ecological diversity loss, overpopulation, resource scarcity, political instability, conflict, and migration, to name a few. Each of these complex issues, which are increasing in frequency and scale, call for more sophisticated tools that can readily inform plans, actions, policies, and investments. Because climate change will not wait, programmatic recommendations resulting from the National Baseline Assessment are identified by nations for completion within a shortened timeline of one to five years. Leveraging PDC’s expertise in DRR, nations are prioritizing actions with the greatest magnitude of impact on the international goals and targets of the Sendai Framework and SDGs. Knowledge gained from the assessment also helps qualify national disaster management capacity and a country’s ability to mitigate risk and support adaptation. This provides a contextual basis for the prioritization of accelerated actions that save lives, reduce disaster risks, improve socio-economic vulnerability, and build a more sustainable and safer world for all. Left: In April 2023, Ghana’s National Baseline Assessment kick-off workshop included more than 60 stakeholders from multiple sectors who engaged in an introductory multi-hazard early warning and risk analysis training using PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform. The system provides highresolution all-hazards impact modelling and real-time advanced analytics reports powered by PDC’s AI for Humanity technology Images: PDC

[ ] 14 A Better World Fulfilling the SDGs in urban India — a multidimensional approach Hitesh Vaidya, Director; Samridhi Pandey, Data Lead, Urban Outcomes Framework, National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi The remarkable surge of urbanization in India sees an estimated 600 million people inhibiting the country’s urban regions by 2030 — a populace boasting a youthful demographic, with an average age of 29. As India’s ambitions span a wide array of areas, this intricate landscape propels the nation towards its aspirational path, targeting a US$5 trillion economy by 2025, net zero by 2070 and championing ‘vocal the local’, thus bringing the three crucial elements of economy, sustainability and inclusiveness within an overarching journey of transformation. Central to this trajectory is India’s belief that a changing mindset sparks beginnings for sustainable transitions. And sustainable transitions cannot happen without a bottom-up, localized approach. Beginning in early 2015, India embarked on economic and governance reforms to increase growth and improve the quality of life for all its citizens. Since then, India has undertaken numerous mission-mode flagship projects such as the Smart Cities Mission (SCM), the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), and the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) that have reshaped urban planning and development and also exemplified the government’s commitment to urban revitalization. These initiatives reflect India’s predominant efforts and unwavering commitment towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda of 2030 — ‘Leave no one behind’. Recently, under India’s presidency of the G20 Nations, the Urban 20 group identified six target areas aligning with the SDGs on a global scale to convey the nuances in making the urban sustainable, resilient, economically sound and driven by data and digital technology. All of which is attainable with efficient knowledge transfer of successful practices from partner nations. This approach not only informs strategic planning but also shapes tangible projects that are then implemented on the ground, yielding positive outcomes. As the think-tank division of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is in a unique position to complete the loop in the flow of information from cities to the centre to support the design of urban missions and handhold the cities in planning, implementing and managing the delivery of urban services to citizens. This innovative initiative, propelled by central flagship missions not only provides an enabling environment to scale up but also facilitates direct feedback on policies from cities and citizens. In a complex urban space such as India, NIUA has adopted a three-pronged approach that: • Employs a consultative, participatory process to properly diagnose the ground reality and recommend an implementable way forward • Works side-by-side with municipal, state and central government staff for consensus building • Relies on building the professional capacity of local resources such as consultants, research and academic institutions and NGOs to support the three tiers of India’s government in implementing the way forward. CITIIS photography contest entry on Public Open Spaces Image: Arjun KM

[ ] 15 SDG Summit 2023 This approach builds on reinventing the urban diaspora through extensive partnerships at both sub-national and national levels with the primary objective of taking India’s urban forward, In the cities, achieving SDG targets requires a change in rhetoric from ‘what to do’ to ‘how to do’. NIUA understands that the major roadblock to achieving SDGs in cities is a lack of understanding of sustainable and inclusive development and the dearth of technical skills to overcome the challenges. NIUA endeavours to equip cities with appropriate tools, templates, technologies, training and capacity building, and transfer of knowledge for planning and efficient implementation of inclusive development programmes. The broad objective is to transform India’s urban narrative by creating enabling conditions to create scalable results. For the new urban India, the key to the SDG localization agenda is a multi-pronged collaborative approach, adopting data collection, strategic planning, demonstrative projects, knowledge management, capacity building and technological solutions for scaling up and aligning academia to create a niche for young students and researchers for fostering innovative ideas. NIUA established its credibility through a hands-on approach and closes the loop between thought, strategy, and action through knowledge aggregation, research, analytics, and clear roadmaps designed to accelerate the transition to low-carbon, climate-ready, resource-efficient, and resilient urban futures. Some of NIUA’s demonstrative initiatives having broader implications for the sector are listed below. Local-level data collection in cities This is indispensable for informed decision-making, efficient resource allocation and tailored interventions. As cities continue to grow and face evolving complexities, the importance of robust data collection at the local level becomes increasingly important. Given the need for an outcomedriven database, the Urban Outcomes Framework (UOF) initiative was launched, enabling first-hand data collection from urban local bodies and transforming it into consumable output, facilitating data-driven decision-making. NIUA, under the auspice of UOF, houses India’s largest urban data bank, capturing more than 400 data points across 14 sectors for 200+ cities, potentially impacting over 50 per cent of India’s total urban population. Not only has this initiative facilitated data collection, but has also built capacities within cities to store, process, and update data from time to time by carrying out extensive hands-on capacity-building workshops. The data thus generated becomes crucial as it feeds into the planning process enabling dynamic and flexible project designs that respond to local needs, i.e. city-specific interventions to address unique problems. Evidence-based strategic planning NIUA fosters ‘disruptive’ ideas for steering sustainable urban growth in the country through its innovative projects. It creates a new planning paradigm by reinventing planning frameworks as strategic, dynamic, and evidence-based. Comprehensive city planning is also essential to encourage an ecosystem approach to services, reducing redundancies and Training in sewing at the Micro Skill Development Centre, Agra, Uttar Pradesh Image: NIUA

[ ] 16 A Better World converging the efforts of multiple service-providing agencies. Planning must ensure sustainable and inclusive development as well as respond to the need for robust economic growth and improved liveability. Additionally, plans have to address crosscutting aspects such as climate change impacts and inclusive development. As the agency experimenting with new planning principles, NIUA is continuously redesigning the process to be more participatory and reinventing the plan as a strategic enabling instrument for the city’s future development. Demonstrating successful pilots to encourage buy-in and scaling NIUA has learned that there is no better way to gain support and build consensus for reform initiatives than through the successful execution of country-wide pilot projects. One such initiative is the CITIIS programme that involves over 100,000 stakeholders in project design, planning and execution, with over one million people expected to benefit from 12 CITIIS projects. The implementation of these projects accomplished in the initial phase has nurtured confidence among the stakeholders, enabling a second round of city listing under the initiative. Institutionalizing change What happens to the learning, post-implementation? Who disseminates it to the masses and enables peer-to-peer learning? What can be done to build the gap in skilling? The answer to those questions is the responsibility of the National Urban Learning Platform (NULP) which not only provides a platform for engagement but also serves as a comprehensive digital hub for fostering knowledge, collaboration and skills development in urban development and planning. Research and academia also play an eminent part in shaping urban policies. One such collaboration is Smart Cities and Academia Towards Action and Research (SAAR), a compendium of over 75 urban infrastructure practices in India that are relevant to the dialogue concerning a sustainable urban future. Innovation and technology to ensure data-driven governance and service As the largest democracy in the world, comprising 11 per cent of the global urban population, India’s ethos of “to the people, for the people, and by the people”, ingrained in the preamble of the Indian Constitution, places citizens at the core of its approach. Thus there is a need for citizen-centric governance with effective evidence-based mechanisms and partnerships to achieve the targeted SDGs to reduce the incidence and intensity of complex urban issues. The primary objective of the National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) is to facilitate the digitization of urban citizen services through a unified digital infrastructure. Central to this mission, the Urban Platform for delivery of Online Governance (UPYOG) developed by the NIUA, empowers urban practitioners, policymakers, and local authorities with tools, resources and data-driven insights, enabling well-informed decision making and effective urban management. Moreover, NUDM not only expedites the urban digitalization agenda but also actively engages youth through initiatives such the National Urban Digital Mission Fellowship programme in which urban youths assume pivotal roles in forming partnerships with nearly 28 states, encompassing 80 per cent of the country’s urban population. Citizen-centric governance cannot be achieved without metrics for assessing citizens’ satisfaction with the city administration. The ‘Yeh Mera Shehar hai’ campaign under the Ease of Living Index initiative conducted by NIUA, which is India’s largest citizen perception survey, captured more than 6.4 million responses from the citizens on the livability aspect of their respective cities. This has largely empowered citizens to actively participate in decision making processes and influence urban policies, where a large part of this survey was the nation’s youth. This bottom-up approach not only increases transparency in governance but also ensures that urban projects align with the specific needs and aspirations of the residents. Call centre complaints plotted on a map, facilitating data-driven decision making Image: NIUA