How can we emerge stronger from today’s multiple crises?

February 9, 2023
Photo: Nina Krizan, Forum for environment and development

The world today is experiencing multiple crises that reinforce each other. Climate change and loss of biodiversity, wars and conflicts, and the continuing COVID 19 pandemic have led to a perfect storm that is compounding poverty and inequality, contributing to hunger and food insecurity and undermining inclusive governance across many contexts.

These struggles are not new, but the complexity of challenges has created a situation where the global Human Development Index (HDI) has declined for the first time in modern history. At the same time, evidence shows that inequality and polarization have increased and we are facing a new era of growing uncertainty.

But is there a promise in the dark? Can we find opportunities to create solutions based on the values of sustainability, equality and well-being, at the same time as we are dealing with crises? The 2030 Agenda has given us 17 sustainability goals to help us navigate today’s challenges. The Sustainable Development Goals are deeply interlinked and the best tools we have to overcome the intersecting challenges we face today.

The time to coordinate our efforts is now, and it has to be done at various levels and across sectors. The world depends on coherent and holistic policies and measures.

The sustainable development goals provide a roadmap, but is it enough to navigate a way out of the crises? The session examines the current situation from a historical and future-oriented perspective to understand structural barriers to progress and what it will take to achieve a more sustainable and just future. We take stock of lessons emerging on how communities and countries have handled crises and draw inspiration from the knowledge, experiences and creativity demonstrated, that can help inform new solutions and collaborations to address today’s multiple crises.


Panel: Kathrine Sund-Henriksen, Haoliang Xu, Bård Vegar Solhjell, Henriette K Westhrin & Heidi Finskas. Photo: Nina Krizan, Forum for environment and development

Watch the full recording of the seminar here: 


The event was a collaboration between UNDP Oslo Governance Centre and Forum for Environment and Development