Research is crucial to sustainable development: a new science platform will support efforts to implement the German Sustainable Development Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals of the global 2030 Agenda. The Science Platform Sustainability 2030 was presented to the public at the 13th Forum for Sustainability (FONA) on 9 May. Hosted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the conference was opened by the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka, and the Head of the Federal Chancellery, Federal Minister Peter Altmaier. The platform’s operations will be jointly organised by the research networks Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany (SDSN Germany) and the German Committee Future Earth (DKN Future Earth), together with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam.
“The science platform builds on existing research activities and will address challenges that other approaches have been unable to resolve”, says Patrizia Nanz, an IASS scientific director and a co-chair of the steering group. The platform’s steering group, which convened at its inaugural session on 8 May, brings together prominent figures from academia, policymaking, civil society, and the business sector. “Our focus will lie on overcoming path dependencies and breaking new ground. The Science Platform Sustainability 2030 provides an opportunity to work together in new ways and to foster the emergence of a collaborative relationship that incorporates diverse points of view and prioritises both long-term thinking and a focus on the common good”, outlined the political scientist.
The science platform is “a decisive step towards the rigorous and effective implementation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy”, explained Dirk Messner, the co-chair of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany (SDSN Germany). “Transdisciplinary debate, drawing on the best available knowledge and involving actors from academia, society, business, and policymaking, is critical to initiating and accelerating processes of transformation towards sustainability. The science platform provides a framework for this”, explained Dirk Messner, who will also co-chair the steering group.
Martin Visbeck, the chairperson of German Committee Future Earth (DKN Future Earth) and the steering group’s third co-chair, emphasised that “the scientific community will provide a broad foundation of systematically reviewed knowledge, identify and evaluate trade-offs and synergies, and develop innovative solutions”. Research findings can deliver new insights for implementation strategies to support sustainable development in, with, and through Germany – particularly when viewed in their international dimension.”
The Science Platform Sustainability 2030 will operate as an independent organisation and will develop actionable solutions for transformation processes to create a more sustainable society. Its activities will be underpinned by both the wide-ranging and excellent research landscape in Germany as well as international cooperation.
The Science Platform Sustainability 2030 will contribute to the implementation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy. The platform will receive cross-ministerial support throughout its development and operation, in particular from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), and the Federal Chancellery.