EMG Report Discusses UN System-wide Collaboration on SDGs
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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The UN Environmental Management Group (EMG) released a report titled, ‘Draft Synthesis Report on System-wide Contributions to the Implementation of the Environmental Dimension in the Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2017'.

While highlighting concerns over performance indicators and alignment approaches, the report discusses the extent of agency collaboration and how the UN can better address underlying drivers of environmental damage.

October 2017: The UN Environmental Management Group (EMG) released a report titled, ‘Draft Synthesis Report on System-wide Contributions to the Implementation of the Environmental Dimension in the Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2017,’ which surveys EMG member agencies’ efforts to map specific environmental actions, describes partnerships and trends within the UN system, and highlights good practices, data visualizations and opportunities for collaboration between agencies.

The UN is undergoing a reform process that, in part, includes repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This report was drafted in the context of this reform to help foster collaboration and convergence with regard to environmental strategies within the UN system. The 23rd EMG Senior Officials’ Meeting, held the 20 September 2017, welcomed the report, which will be submitted to the 3rd meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 3) in December 2017.

Overall, the report recognizes the importance of tracking progress towards SDG implementation. While highlighting concerns over uncoordinated performance indicators and approaches meant to align agency plans to the Goals and targets, the report also discusses the extent of agency collaboration and how they can better address the underlying drivers of environmental damage. The report recommends balance between the comparative advantages of agencies and “coherence-driven cooperation” to increase transparency, accountability and buy-in or financing from stakeholders.

The report provides recommendations on environmental action that could be more effective through a coordinated UN system response.

The report aims to help agencies, inter alia: communicate efforts across and break down institutional silos; develop long-term environmental approaches and strategies; and provide guidelines to the EMG regarding its strategic focus. The report provides recommendations on environmental action that could be more effective through a coordinated UN system response, including addressing SDG targets related to: climate change; biodiversity; sound management of chemicals and waste; water security; energy; soil, land, land degradation and desertification; and oceans. It also identifies cross-sector collaboration and nexus opportunities under the SDGs related to environment and: poverty; women, health and human rights; natural capital accounting; sustainable consumption and production; and disaster reduction and post-conflict. It explains that the EMG can continue to help its member agencies with policy integration, information exchange and capacity building, through the UN System-wide Framework of Strategies (SWFS). Along with the Nexus Dialogues, the EMG launched the SWFS to enhance support for countries implementing the environmental dimension of the SDGs.

The EMG, established in 2001, is a UN system-wide coordination body on environment and human settlements, which is chaired by the Executive Director of UN Environment (UNEP) and supported by a Secretariat provided by UN Environment. [EMG Newsletter] [Publication: Draft Synthesis Report on System-wide Contributions to the Implementation of the Environmental Dimension in the Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2017] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Launch of SWFS]


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