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Track 0 participated in a dialogue event on June 13th which was convened by the International Institute for Environment and Development and the STEPS Centre of the Institute of Development Studies. The event was titled ‘Reimagining Development in the Least Developed Countries: What Role for the SDGs?’ and focused on the 2030 development agenda, its outcomes, and the challenges associated with the Paris Agreement and its implementation.

The Thompson Reuters Foundation reported on the event here.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are recognised by the UN as a statutory grouping of 48 countries (34 of which are in Africa). They represent over 880 million people – equivalent to around 12% of the global population – but are made up of the poorest and least heard of the global community. These nations are most at risk of a changing climate and have the lowest capacity for resilience and adaptation. As a negotiating block at COP21 they were subsequently a powerful force in bringing the 1.5oC mention into the Paris Agreement.

“Disciplinary blindness” and the need for a breakdown of silos of knowledge were discussed at the event, and linked to failings in the political system. This is especially pertinent to the dual strands of the SDGs and the post-Paris climate regime. A STEPs centre blog ‘5 challenges for Least Developed Countries in the Post-2015 era’ about the event highlights that “Socially just, inclusive development needs political spaces to debate the best ways forward.” One way to facilitate this is to point to home-grown success stories from LDCs and demonstrate how they can be replicated.

Track 0’s CEO Farhana Yamin participated in a Question Time panel tackling the question ‘Where next for the SDGs?’. She called for a unifying narrative in the fight for climate justice, and highlighted the danger of not responding to key voices and varied stakeholder groups: “even when LDCs have a voice at the table, they are often ignored”.

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