The Governance and Sustainability Issue Brief Series, produced by the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is a peer-reviewed policy paper series. The issue briefs provide analytical input to contemporary political discussions on institutional reform for the environment and sustainable development. An Editorial Board comprised of academics and policymakers provides guidance for topics, ensures quality, and assists in the dissemination of the briefs. Each submission is peer-reviewed by one academic and one policy practitioner.

Brief 14

Bulgarian Heritage Governance – Assessing Structures and Processes Affecting World Heritage Sites

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March 2018 by Eike Tobias Schmedt

This Issue Brief is a small part of an attempt to utilize the information compiled in these reports. The primary focus is put on governance-related aspects within the reports, based on the case study of the Bulgarian World Heritage System. 

Brief 11

Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals: Moving Beyond Women as a “Quick Fix” for Development


July 2015 by J. Michael Denney

This brief concerns Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3, Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, and the corresponding proposed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls.

Brief 8

International Fisheries Governance that Works: The Case for a Global Fisheries Organization

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June 2013 by Samuel Barkin

The brief argues for a new global fisheries organization that could serve the core functions of coordinating institutional participants in international fisheries governance, addressing the crisis of overcapitalization and overcapacity in the fishing industry, and overseeing a system of international individual transferable quotas.

Brief 5

Enhancing Environmental Governance for Sustainable Development: Function - Oriented Options

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March 2012 by John Scanlon

As States move towards the ‘sharp end’ of the Rio 20+ negotiations, this brief analyzes some of the risks and benefits of the identified options for the reform of international environmental governance and offer pragmatic ideas on how to make the best use of existing resources and structures.

Brief 2

Overcoming Fragmented Governance: The Case of Climate Change and the MDGs


November 2011 by Oran R. Young

This brief argues the way forward to fulfilling the MDGs and coming to grips with climate change is yo launch programmatic initiatives focusing on adaptation to climate change and the transition to a green economy that appeal to many separate bodies as win-win opportunities. 

Brief 13

The Power of Policy: 

Reinforcing the Paris Trajectory

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June 2016 by Christiana Figueres

In order to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris agreement, we must set a new trajectory for the global economy based on a shift of policy.                                                                                                                               


Brief 10

How the UN Should Promote the Post-2015 Agenda

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September 2014 by Kara Alaimo

This issue brief examines how the United Nations can most effectively communicate the post- 2015 development agenda in order to catalyze the global movements necessary for its achievement.

Brief 7

Building an International Court for the Environment: A Conceptual Blueprint


February 2013 by Philip Riches & Stuart A. Bruce

This Issue Brief considers the role and nature of existing and potential international dispute resolution fora in relation to international environmental law. It addresses impediments at the international level, such as limited access to justice by non-state actors and the lack of technical and scientific capability, and highlights two possible remedial options.

Brief 4

Lessons from the Multilateral Trading System for Reforming the Architecture of the International Environmental Regime


February 2012 by Thomas Cottier, Manfred Elsig, & Judith Wehrli

This brief compares the needs and goals of the trade and environment regimes, and discusses how insights from over sixty years of experience of the multilateral trading system might provide ideas for redesigning the architecture of the international environmental regime. It further calls for a better dialogue and improved complementarities between the two fields in order to enhance coherence within international law.

Brief 1

Financing International Environmental Governance: Lessons from the UN Environment Programme


October 2011 by Maria Ivanova

This brief examines the relationship between institutional form and funding and offers insights into innovative financing.

Brief 12

Energy Transitions to Modern Renewables: Context, Barriers, & Promises


February 2016 by Stanislav Vavilov

This brief narrates the evolution of the transition towards modern renewables by drawing on the experiences of several countries. It argues that these transitions will play a significant role on a global scale because followers learn from the experience of pioneers.

Brief 9

UNDP: Reviving a Practical Human Development Organization

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January 2014 by Craig Murphy & Stephen Browne

This brief lays out the options that are open for UNDP to take on; and concludes by giving inputs towards re-orientation, with implications for its substantive orientation, its funding role, and its country presence.

Brief 6

Environmental Emergencies: Challenges & Lessons in International Environmental Governance

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June 2012 by Rene Nijenhuis & Carl Burch

This brief examines the strengths and weaknesses of existing instruments and institutions and addresses the efforts to improve coordination among the international sectors of environmental emergency response.

Brief 3

Clustering Assessment: Enhancing Synergies Among Multilateral Environmental Agreements


January 2012 by Judith Wehrli

This issue brief considers whether streamlining international environmental regimes by grouping or ‘clustering’ international agreements could improve effectiveness and efficiency. It outlines the general idea of the clustering approach, draws lessons from the chemicals and waste cluster and examines the implications and potentials of clustering multilateral environmental agreements.