Sustainability & SDGs

Decade of Action for People and the Planet

Humanity is on a mission to protect the planet and its inhabitants. In 2015, the United Nations (UN) published the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which set out a 15-year plan to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.” We are now in the Decade of Action to achieve the goals. This section of the EPL website highlights activities in this area, in support of the IOS Press commitment as a member of the SDG Publishers Compact.

Environmental Policy and Law, Sustainability Development Goals, EPL webpage

UN Conferences on the Environment

The year 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in June 1972, otherwise known as the "Stockholm Conference." Following this first conference in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was established with the aim to meet the “urgent need for a permanent institutional arrangement within the UN System for the protection and improvement of the environment.” Since that historic event, a number of other significant UN conferences on the environment and sustainable development have taken place, as outlined here.

UNEP was created to coordinate environmental programs within the United Nations system; to advise UN intergovernmental bodies on the formulation and implementation of environmental programs; to secure the effective co-operation of, and contribution from, the scientific and other professional communities; and to provide advisory services for the promotion of international co-operation in the field of the environment. Conferences/events leading up to or contributing towards the 2022 commemorations and progress towards achieving the sustainability goals will be added here. See:


The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) and the summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Click to visit website

UN Food Systems Summitm 2021

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a UN Food Systems Summit to raise global awareness and shape global commitments that can transform food systems to resolve hunger, reduce diet-related diseases, and restore the planetary health. Click for more details

EPL and Sustainability

In the same way that UNEP was established following the Stockholm conference in 1972, Environmental Policy and Law also had its beginnings at that conference when the first discussions to launch a journal took place. EPL has been reporting on relevant developments and publishing key articles on the environment and sustainability matters across its first 50 volumes and will continue to do so.  

On this section of the EPL website, you can discover information about relevant publications, events, and announcements leading up to the 50th anniversary of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment. Details of the pathway to events in 2022 will appear here as more information becomes available.

Via this page, we will also highlight materials and information relating to the global environmental agenda in the context of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs.

EPL cover

Below are listed the three most recent EPL blog articles on this topic. To discover more, just click the tag 'SDGs'. A selection of highlighted articles from the journal will be listed soon. These can also be discovered by searching the IOS Press Content Library here.


Nature and People: Global Biodiversity Framework

Urgent is action required for global biodiversity writes Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Click to view!


Towards Sustainability

Eeva Furman highlights the importance of key players taking an active role and ownership in the transformation of sustainability pathways and how vital it is that this is carried out in an integrated manner. Click to view!


Policies for Achieving SDGs

Highlighting the continuing quest for effective sustainable development laws, policies, and other measures, in the context of the international objective of achieving the SDGs by 2030. Click to view!


“If the sustainable development goals  of the Agenda 2030 are to be met, human societies need to take a new stand for implementing this plan of action – without delay” 

Eeva Furman, professor at the Finnish Environmental Institute and board member of EPL



[Page added: January 20, 2021; page updated February 19, 2021]