This research seeks to explain how a national government becomes capable of constructing an account of its biodiversity performance that is aimed at enabling formulation of policy in pursuit of SDG 15: Life on Land.
The research examines a case study of the construction of the UK government's annual biodiversity report. The case is analysed to explain the process of framing a space in which the SDG-15 challenge of halting biodiversity loss is rendered calculable, such that the government can see and understand its own performance in relation to this challenge.
The construction of UK government's annual biodiversity report relies upon data collected through non-governmental conservation efforts, statistical expertise of a small project group within the government and a governmental structure that drives ongoing evolution of the indicators as actors strive to make these useful for policy formulation.
The analysis problematises the SDG approach to accounting for sustainable development, whereby performance indicators have been centrally agreed and universally imposed upon all signatory governments. The analysis suggests that capacity-building efforts for national governments may need to be broader than that envisaged by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The authors are grateful to Robert Charnock, Delphine Gibassier, Bob Scapens and the participants of the paper development workshop for their helpful comments. The authors would also like to thank the editors and two anonymous reviewers for their useful feedback that greatly improved the manuscript. This research was supported by the Birmingham Business School.
Sobkowiak, M., Cuckston, T. and Thomson, I. (2020), "Framing sustainable development challenges: accounting for SDG-15 in the UK", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-01-2019-3810Download as .RIS
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