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Editor's Note: Consultations and Enforcement Networks 

Issue #204 | 20 March 2013

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By: Lynn Wagner, Ph.D., Group Director, SDG Knowledge, IISD <>

As the long list of meeting reports at the right indicates, this has been a very busy fortnight for many sustainable development processes. Several of the post-2015 development agenda consultations came to a close, while consultations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commenced and the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) closed with the adoption of 55 new listing proposals.

Consultations on the post-2015 development agenda thematic issues of Health, Population Dynamics, and Conflict, Violence and Disaster have concluded since the last issue of Linkages Update was sent out. This issue of Linkages Update also reports on other recent activities related to the consultations on the post-2015 development agenda, including an update on the on-going consultations on energy and the conclusion of African consultations on a common position. The Conference on "Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015 and Rio+20" provided delegates an opportunity to express that region's priorities for the post-2015 development agenda, and to consider options for dealing with overlaps between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs.

Soon after this meeting concluded, consultations on the SDGs officially commenced with the first session of the Open Working Group on SDGs. This Group of 30 countries was called for in the outcome document from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). On the eve of its opening gavel, the UN Secretary-General suggested that the “strands of work” taking place to shape the high-level political forum for sustainable development (HLPF), the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda should come together in September 2013.

Meanwhile, the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 16) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) convened in Bangkok, Thailand, for what some told our Earth Negotiations Bulletin writers was the most successful CoP in the Convention's 40 year history. Delegates adopted 55 new listing proposals, saw the first global meeting of wildlife enforcement networks and adopted measures to address wildlife crime, among other CoP 16 activities.

Participants at the first global meeting of wildlife enforcement networks (WENs), on the sidelines of CITES CoP 16, discussed cooperation on poaching and illicit trade activities, and exchanged best practices and techniques on combating wildlife and forest crime, bringing "local" issues to the international level, and vice-versa, just as the post-2015 development agenda consultations are seeking to do. In the midst of a busy fortnight, it can be hard to stop and find connections among the required levels of action and diversity of activities. We prepare each issue of Linkages Update as a prompt to do just that, and hope you enjoy perusing issue #204.