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Environment

The World Social Science Report 2016: Challenging Inequalities – Pathways to a Just World

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Never before has inequality been so high on the agenda of policy-makers worldwide, or such a hot topic for social science research. More journal articles are being published on the topic of inequality and social justice today than ever before.
This is the Summary of the 2016 World Social Science Report. It draws on the insights of over 100 social scientists and other thought leaders from all over the world, across various disciplines, to emphasize transformative responses to inequality at all levels, from the grass-roots to global governance.
It concludes that:
- unchecked inequality could jeopardize the sustainability of economies, societies and communities;
- inequalities should not just be understood and tackled in terms of income and wealth: they are economic, political, social, cultural, environmental, spatial and knowledge-based;
- the links and intersections between inequalities need to be better understood to create fairer societies;
- a step change towards a research agenda that is interdisciplinary, multiscale and globally inclusive is needed to inform pathways toward greater equality.

In short, too many countries are investing too little in researching the long-term impact of inequality on the sustainability of their economies, societies and communities. Unless we address this urgently, inequalities will make the cross-cutting ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030 an empty slogan.

The World Social Science Report 2016 was prepared by the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and is co-published with UNESCO.
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361
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Electric vehicles in Europe

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 26, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report provides a non-technical summary of the latest information on electric road vehicles in Europe, including those with hybrid technologies. It focuses upon electric passenger vehicles, explaining the different types that are now available on the market, how each type works, and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
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39
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Toward global water security

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report assesses the conditions under which a global Water Grand Strategy (WGS) might be created and implemented by stakeholders in the United States within the next one to two years. While numerous American organizations are addressing water challenges the world over, no explicit policy or vision coordinates their multiple endeavors. As a result, the United States does not maximize its influence in finding solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.
This report evaluates the need for a WGS and explores the possible ends of such a strategy. It summarizes what the United States is already doing in the water space,1 and identifies the current model’s strengths and weaknesses. It outlines a process for forging a “Whole of America” water strategy—a stakeholder-driven process—and addresses key implementation challenges.
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22
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Space security for Europe

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This Report is the outcome of an EUISS Task Force on ‘Space and Security’ which convened from September 2015 until June 2016. It has three main objectives. First, it analyses potential threats to critical European space infrastructure, (including cyber attacks), and evaluates possible responses.

Second, it assesses the main space security considerations for the EU – as a satellite owner, facilitator for European cooperation, and diplomatic actor. Third, it offers ideas for improving European strategic thinking on space security, with the goals of improving space system resilience, reducing external dependence, and ensuring a secure and sustainable environment for outer space activities.
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102
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A Global Resource for Plant and Fungal Knowledge Science Strategy 2015-2020

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 20, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Kew’s scientific vision is to document and understand global plant and fungal diversity and its uses, bringing authoritative expertise to bear on the critical challenges facing humanity today.
In this document we set out three strategic priorities to enable us to curate, use, enhance, explore and share Kew’s global resource, providing robust data and a strong evidence base for our UK and global stakeholders as follows:
1. To document and conduct research into global plant and fungal diversity and its uses for humanity.
2. To curate and provide data-rich evidence from Kew’s unrivalled collections as a global asset for scientific research.
3. To disseminate our scientific knowledge of plants and fungi, maximising its impact in science, education, conservation policy and management.
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60
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Future of Cities: An Overview of the Evidence

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, May 9, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Cities matter to the UK’s future. They are already concentrations of population and employment, and will be home to much of the country’s future population and economic growth. Cities are centres of commercial, cultural, institutional, and socia life. In short, they are both central to the shaping and delivery of national policy objectives, and the locations where broad social, environmental and economic changes play out in practice.
UK cities are highly diverse, each with a distinctive history and its own set of relationships with its neighbours and with central government.
This Foresight project has developed a broad evidence base and consulted local actors to understand challenges and opportunities from those most experienced in the issues affecting UK cities. The single theme which runs throughout this work is providing the best possible evidence for national and city level decision-makers.
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66
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Reviewing the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - “Early Movers” Can Help Maintain Momentum

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
At the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 the heads of state and government of all the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Several countries, including Germany, committed to move rapidly on implementation. During the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2016, twentytwo countries volunteered to conduct national reviews of their implementation. Moreover, UN member states plan to adopt a resolution on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda before that meeting. What initiatives would be most helpful for maintaining the momentum and making ambitious progress on implementing and reviewing the Agenda?
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4
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State of the World's Plants

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has released the first annual report on the State of the World’s Plants.
The report provides a baseline assessment of current knowledge on the diversity of plants on earth, the global threats plants face, the policies in place and their effectiveness in dealing with threats. The report has taken a year to produce and involved more than 80 scientists.
This is the first ever global assessment on the state of the world’s plants.
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84
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Strategic Foresight: How to Enhance the Implementation of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in Developing Countries

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This publication is the third in a series of newsletters dedicated to raising awareness of global trends analysis and how future scenarios may affect Latin America. It summarizes a report by the UN Economic and Social Council on the importance of strengthening strategic predictive capabilities for policy makers, particularly in developing countries.

The report, Strategic foresight for the post-2015 development agenda, delineates the priorities of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development.

The summary accompanies a presentation by Dialogue senior fellow Sergio Bitar to the commission in May 2015 in Geneva, designed to complement the main ideas and proposals in their report. We are also pleased to include an essay by Amy Zalman, CEO and president of the World Future Society, on governance as it relates to anticipating global trends.
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10
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Circular economy in Europe — Developing the knowledge base

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 18, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The report describes the concept of the circular economy and outlines its key characteristics. It draws attention to both the benefits and challenges in transitioning to such an economy and highlights possible ways to measure progress.

Europe is bound to the rest of the world through multiple systems that enable two-way flows of materials, financial resources, ideas and innovation. As a result, Europe's economic, ecological and societal resilience is and will continue to be significantly affected by a variety of global and interdependent social, economic, political, environmental and technological trends.

Global material resource use in 2030, for example, is expected to be twice that of 2010 (SERI, 2013), while the most recent United Nations forecast suggests that the global population is likely to exceed 11 billion by the end of the 21st century (UN DESA, 2015). With 7.2 billion people today, however, the planet is already struggling to meet humanity's demands for land, food and other natural resources, and to absorb its wastes. Indeed, there is evidence that some planetary boundaries, which define a safe operating space for human development, may already have been transgressed. These include the biosphere's integrity, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, climate change and land system changes
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42
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