SDSN Events Discuss Translating SDGs into National Context
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The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) jointly organized an international symposium and workshop with government, academics, private sector and civil society partners to discuss translating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national contexts and promoting implementation.

post2015-time-global-action1 March 2016: The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) jointly organized an international symposium and workshop with government, academics, private sector and civil society partners to discuss translating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national contexts and promoting implementation.

Supported by the SDSN Malaysia chapter and partners, the two consecutive events, titled ‘Road to 2030: Global and National Perspectives on Implementation of the SDGs,’ took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with participants from Asia and beyond.

At the half-day symposium, on 29 February, speakers and participants focused on the role of science, technology and innovation (STI), and national arrangements for implementing the SDGs. K. Yogeesvaran, Economic Planning Unit, Malaysia, highlighted efforts to establish a national institutional and governance structure for implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including a high-level steering committee and SDG roadmap for Malaysia, formulating of national indicators, a database and internet portal, and a framework for strategic communications. Norichika Kanie, UNU-IAS and Keio University, proposed comparing relevant national policies, goals and targets with the SDGs, and facilitating domestic discussions on harmonizing them. A panel of speakers addressed national readiness for SDG implementation in Australia, Cambodia, Germany, Indonesia and Malaysia. Participants then discussed presentations on ecological footprints, and how to account for countries’ offshore impacts. In this regard they considered greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Germany and land use impacts in the UK.

After the symposium, a one-and-a-half-day workshop discussed opportunities for and obstacles to delivery of the SDGs, with particular reference to energy generation, and sustainable consumption and production (SCP). Four roundtables addressed: mapping current national preparedness for SDG delivery; interlinkages between national, regional, and global levels of implementation; using science in the SDG follow-up and review process; and SCP.

Participants considered: cities as a venue for effective implementation; renewable energy targets; the role of stakeholders in follow-up and review; and the value of open data, among many other issues. They noted that a domestic overview of the potential impacts of all the SDGs will be needed to manage policy trade-offs between efforts to eradicate poverty as well as reduce GHG emissions. They agreed that action on the SDGs will contribute to achievement of the mitigation and adaptation targets set out in the Paris Agreement on climate change of December 2015, and they highlighted the importance of addressing other issues relating to sustainable development, including population growth and urbanization.

Wrapping up the workshop, Kanie suggested next steps, including reporting on national responses to the SDGs in Asian countries, organizing thematic workshops at the regional and national levels, proposing institutional arrangements for stakeholder engagement, and producing case studies of SDG implementation in the areas of energy and SCP.

Supporting partners of the workshop included: the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT); the Office of the Science Advisor; the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS); University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and LESTARI; the Keio Research Institute; and the Project On Sustainability Transformation beyond 2015 (S-11 project of the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund, or POST2015). [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [POST2015 Website]


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