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News on the governance of sustainable development from various European countries and the EU

News on the governance of sustainable development from various European countries and the EU

From newsletter of European Sustainable Development Network..

Finland: Case Study on the science-policy interface for sustainable development policies

The Finnish Innovaiton Fund, Sitra, has recently published a study entitled "Scientific support for sustainable development policies: A typology of science policy interfaces with case studies". This benchmark study analyses different models of scientific support for sustainable development policies, with case examples from various countries. The study was commissioned by the Finnish Expert Panel on Sustainable Development, hosted by Sitra. The panel inspires action on sustainable development by giving science a voice on the Finnish political scene, and supports the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. Please find more information about the study and a download linkhere.

Germany: Political declaration on Sustainable Development by the German Government

On 24 April 2017, the German Government passed an official political declaration on Sustainable Development. In this declaration, titled "Sharing responsibility - shaping the future together", the German Government advocates for a stronger international cooperation for Sustainable Development. The German Government underlines in its Declaration that "[t]he agreement on the 2030 Agenda showed that global solidarity on the key challenges of our time is possible. Shaping our world in a sustainable way is currently the most ambitious project that involves all countries and enables them to build on a unique formal consensus. The 2030 Agenda thus creates invaluable opportunities for cooperation and prospects for the future."

Germany: The 17th Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development Council took place on 29 May 2017

The 17th Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development took place on 29 May 2017. The discussions during the conference centered on: "How we can live sustainable development, what we have to change, what is realistic for Germany, or what must still be realized for Germany in this regard?" A great number of high-level speakers attended the conference, including the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. The documentation of the conference can be found here.

Germany: German Council for Sustainable Development has published its 2017 Sustainability Almanac

The German Council for Sustainable Development has published its 2017 Sustainability Almanac online. The almanac highlights specific projects and initiatives implemented by local authorities, government bodies and the private sector to demonstrate where the transformation towards a more ecological and caring society is already in full swing. The Almanac is distributed via the Foreign Office. You can download the Alamance in German and English from the website of the German Council for SD.

Germany: Two peer-reviewed articles about the Sustainability Strategy of North Rhine-Westphalia published in the Journal "Sustainability"

Two peer-reviewed articles about the Sustainability Strategy of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany have been published in the open access journal "Sustainability" for free download. The article "The Future of North Rhine-Westphalia - Participation of the Youth as Part of a Social Transformation towards Sustainable Development" from Mona Treude, Dorothea Schostok, Oscar Reutter and Manfred Fischedick deals with participation concepts for children and young people applied as part of a scientific research project that accompanied the development of the Sustainability Strategy North Rhine-Westphalia. The article is available open access under http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/9/6/1055/htm. The article "Vision Development towards a Sustainable North Rhine-Westphalia 2030 in a Science-Practice-Dialogue" from Miriam Müller and Oscar Reutter presents the results and the methodological approach of a participatory vision development process in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The article is available open access under http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/9/7/1111.

Germany: Sustainable Development in Germany - Indicator Report 2016

Compared to the indicator report 2014 the report 2016 has been thoroughly revised: It is now based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Many of the indicators of the preceding four issues - published since 2006 - can still be found in the new publication. However, nearly thirty new indicators have been added to the list. In addition to that, the report provides a detailed description and analysis for each of the indicators of the German Sustainable Development Strategy and presents their status as to the political targets. Several environmental indicators of the strategy are embedded in the Environmental Economic Accounting.

Greece: Current and planned activities for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SD and the SDGs

Greece, after a preparatory phase for setting up the required governance structure that will undertake the responsibility of coordinating efforts at national level, for the implementation of the SDGs, is currently in the process of "adapting" the SDGs to national priorities and circumstances. Given that all SDGs are equal, interlinked and need to be addressed holistically, Greece's general objective is to benefit from the opportunity that the SDGs provide, in order to revisit the country's overall development perspectives from a sustainable and more balanced point of view, through an "SDGs lens", while improving policy coherence for sustainable development and promoting new win-win-win opportunities for the country.

Governance: Regarding the governance scheme for coordinating national efforts to implement the SDGs, since December 2016 following a decision by the Greek Prime Minister, the task has been allocated by law to the General Secretariat of the Government (GSG), with emphasis on enhancing inter-ministerial coordination, given the fact that the GSG is a permanent structure well positioned standing close to the political leadership of the country, indicating commitment at the highest level, as well as close to the public administration and all line Ministries for law making issues, ensuring the continuity of efforts. Under the coordination of the General Secretariat of the Government (GSG), an "Inter-ministerial Coordination Committee" with representatives from all line Ministries, was officially re-established in December 20016 to oversee and steer national efforts for the implementation of the SDGs at national level and in particular, as a first urgent initial step, to undertake the completion of a mapping / gap analysis exercise by all Ministries.

Preparation for HLPF 2018: Greece will be going through the VNR process for the HLPF 2018. The "Inter-ministerial Coordination Committee", led by the General Secretariat of the Government, has already started the national preparations for the drafting of the outline of the National VNR Report. Since the 5 SDGs selected for the in-depth thematic review during the 2018 HLPF are of an "environmental nature" (i.e. SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 15), an important part of the work to be done regarding the thematic analysis falls under the responsibilities of the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy. Greece plans to elaborate a National Implementation Action Plan after the VNR process is completed, which is due to be finalized in later 2018.

Italy: Sustainable Development Festival with about 160 events took place from 22 May - 7 June 2017

The Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS), which comprises over 160 organizations in the economic and social field, launched its first Sustainable Development Festival, a large-scale awareness raising campaign to foster cultural-political reflections on the 2030 Agenda. The Festival took place over 17 days, from May 22 to June 7, 2017 during which around 160 events were organized throughout Italy. More information can be on the ESDW homepage (as the event was organized during ESDW 2017) and on theASviS website.

Netherlands: People and the Earth - International cooperation for the Sustainable Development Goals in 23 infographics

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) has very recently published the book "People and the Earthc - International cooperation for the Sustainable Development Goals in 23 infographics". This book uses visual representations to communicate challenges and options for making progress towards the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It visualizes human development and dependencies on the Earth, challenges for the nexus between food, water, energy and land, and new concepts for partnerships and coalitions. The book is not intended to be comprehensive - its ambi­tion is to enlighten and inspire discussions on ways forward. You can find more information and a download link of the book here.

Poland: Activities for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SD

The Polish Ministry of Economic Development is the national coordinator for the Agenda 2030 and its SDGs implementation in Poland. The Polish perspective of actions for the sustainable and economic development has been formulated in Strategy for Responsible Development (SRD). The concept of the sustainable and responsible development, on which the Strategy was built, is consistent with the vision of the 2030 Agenda. The convergence of the Strategy and Agenda is noticeable at the level of the goals, areas and priority actions. Recently, the Ministry of Economic Development has published a booklet, which explains what the 2030 Agenda is and how the national Strategy for Responsible Development intends to fulfill the SDGs.

The Ministry of Economic Development is intensifying its efforts on the promotion the 2030 Agenda and building a broad partnership around SDGs in Poland. On 5 June 2017, the conference, titled "The Agenda 2030 for SD - the goals for the world, the challenge for the country, the responsibility for all",was held. During the conference, 47 institutions, representing mainly businesses, expressed intentions to work together in the partnership for the effective of the SDGs. The representatives signed the jointly agreed declaration, recognizing that achieving ambitious goals and targets will be possible through effective joint action, mobilization of forces, synergies, a vibrant and enhanced partnership that is open to all stakeholders. The Ministry of Economic Development committed to appoint Multi-Stakeholder Forum - platform for knowledge, experience and best practices sharing. Forum will bring together representatives of the government and local administration, NGOs, social and economic organizations, science, business.

Moreover, Poland will prepare its Voluntary National Review for the HLPF 2018 and preparations of the national report will start soon.

Spain: Catalan Plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SD

The elaboration of the Catalan Plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda has already started following a Government decision of 14 February 2017. The main features of Catalonia's Plan for 2030 Agenda implementation are the following:

  • The plan has been conceived with two phases. In the first one (March-June 2017), concrete and localized milestones (or commitments) need to be set by the Government. In September a consultation process will be launched and the plan should be approved at the end of 2017.
  • An inter-ministerial commission has been established to coordinate the elaboration of the National Plan, ensure consistency between the different commitments included in the plan, and monitor compliance with the 17 SDGs. The inter-ministerial commission is composed by the secretaries-general of all ministries within the Government of Catalonia and is attached to the Ministry of Transparency and Foreign and Institutional Relations and Affairs. It will approve the final Plan proposal to be sent to the Government.
  • The inter-ministerial commission also includes a Technical Committee, whose main function is to develop the National Plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This technical commission consists of representatives of all ministries in the Government. Each ministry, according to its main functions, will coordinate the work of different ministries on a specific SDG.
  • The Advisory Council for Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS) assumes the technical and material assistance to Interdepartmental Commission and the Technical Committee. In this role, the council will facilitate the work of the different ministries and will ensure consistency between the various SDGs. The CADS report on the main challenges for meeting SDGs in Catalonia, which is already available in English.

Voluntary National Reviews from HLPF 2017 already available

Most Voluntary National Reviews that have been prepared by the various countries for the HLPF 2017 are already available to download or will be available very soon. Please go to the HLPF 2017 website and check their availabilities.

European Commission/Eurostat: New EU SDG indicator set

On 22 November 2016, the European Commission adopted the Communication "Next steps for a sustainable European future" (COM(2016)739). This Communication presents the EU's answer to the 2030 Agenda and includes two work streams. The first work stream is to fully integrate the SDGs in the European policy framework and current Commission priorities, assessing where we stand and identifying the most relevant sustainability concerns. A second track is related to reflection work on further developing our longer term vision and the focus of sectoral policies after 2020, preparing for the long term implementation of the SDGs. The Communication also announces a detailed regular monitoring of the SDGs in an EU context from 2017 onwards, and the development of a reference indicator framework for this purpose.

By end of April 2017, Eurostat has finalised the EU SDG indicator set, which will be used for regular monitoring of the SDGs in an EU context. The new EU SDG indicator set is the result of a broad, inclusive process, which involved other Commission Services, the EU Member States, the European Statistical Advisory Committee, non-governmental organisations, academia, etc. The indicator set received the favourable opinion of the European Statistical System Committee on 18 May 2017 and the list of indicators is now available on Eurostat's website, at: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/sdi/overview. The full online implementation of the indicator set, including the figures, is foreseen in November 2017 together with the publication of Eurostat's first EU SDG monitoring report.

European Commission: European Consensus on Development signed

At the European Development Days on 7 June 2017, the EU and its Member States signed the European Consensus on Development - a new, collective vision which outlines how they will work better together to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. The document was signed by President Jean-Claude Juncker, HR/VP Federica Mogherini, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, and Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, on behalf of the Council and Member States. The European Consensus on Development constitutes not just a shared vision, but also a framework for action on development cooperation by the EU and its Member States, aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Further information is available here:

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