South Sudan First State of Environment Report Emphasizes Sustainable Resource Management for Peace
UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
story highlights

The report reviews the historical and geographical context and the socioeconomic and natural drivers of environmental change, and provides recommendations for addressing climate change impacts and natural hazards.

According to the report, adapting and implementing the SDGs will require relevant ministries to review targets and indicators, and prioritize and incorporate them into national policy documents to help sectoral planning.

The report provides recommendations for achieving the SDGs, peacebuilding through natural resources and using the environment as an investment platform in South Sudan.

7 June 2018: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and South Sudan’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry issued the first-ever report on the state of the environment in South Sudan. Titled ‘South Sudan: First State of Environment and Outlook Report,’ the publication highlights that droughts, floods, pollution, deforestation and conflicts could worsen South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis and threaten the livelihoods of ten million of the country’s 12 million people.

The report acknowledges that ongoing conflict hinders the country’s ability to sustainably manage and develop its natural resources, and states that competition over access to resources could exacerbate conflicts and forced migration. It concludes that sustainable and equitable management of resources, such as forests, oil, water and minerals, will contribute to peace and economic prosperity. The report’s recommendations aim to help South Sudan: protect its ecosystems and generate income by promoting agriculture, fishery and industrial development; establish mechanisms for protecting and sustainably using natural resources; and develop climate resilient communities.

The report reviews the historical and geographical context and the socioeconomic and natural drivers of environmental change; provides recommendations for addressing climate change impacts and natural hazards; and analyzes pressures and responses related to agriculture, forestry, biological diversity, water resources, the urban environment, energy and petroleum, and mining and industry.

For example, the report recommends harnessing the country’s natural resources to create jobs, generate revenue to fund basic services and improve its standing in the Human Development Index (HDI), which could improve the country’s prospects for peace and stability. More specifically, it recommends improving: resource governance and sustainability; accountability; community participation; mechanisms for dispute resolution, reduced competition for resources and improved transboundary resource management; land tenure issues and land management; and wealth-sharing arrangements among conflicting parties to build peace.

Sustainable and equitable management of resources, such as forests, oil, water and minerals, will contribute to peace and economic prosperity.

Regarding SDG implementation, the report states that South Sudan’s main challenges relate to, inter alia: institutional arrangements; adequacy of financing and means of implementation; and partnerships with stakeholders and the private sector. It explains that adapting and implementing the SDGs will require relevant ministries to review targets and indicators, and prioritize and incorporate them into national policy documents to help sectoral planning.

The report provides recommendations for achieving the SDGs, peacebuilding through natural resources, and using the environment as an investment platform in South Sudan. The study makes recommendation of particular relevance to, among others, SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 15 (life on land), SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals).

For example, the report recommends that South Sudan, inter alia: manage internal migration; develop the agriculture and fisheries sectors; develop an industrial base to create income-generating activities and employment; attract investments for infrastructure financing and tourism; develop policy and legislative frameworks and strengthen institutional capacity for natural resource development, management and conservation; establish enforcement mechanisms for protecting wetlands, forests and wildlife; and increase climate resilience.

The report further recommends that the government: determine how best to remedy the land tenure issue, and propose and implement the necessary legislation; develop wildlife tourism by implementing sustainable tourism strategies and policies; take steps towards meeting its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), including by seeking donor support; link energy development plans to climate vulnerability; include adaptation targets in its revised NDC; and prevent and resolve transboundary disputes over water resources, so water acts as a “catalyst for cooperation” among Nile Basin countries.

The report also calls for, inter alia: building national capacity to collect, manage and share environmental data and information to track environmental change and assess implementation of programmatic goals; addressing access to natural resources; an investment platform that considers the growing role for environment and natural resources; and a portfolio of opportunities to attract investment.

The report was launched on World Environment Day on 5 June 2018. [Publication: South Sudan: First State of Environment and Outlook Report 2018] [Summary for Policymakers] [Report Landing Page] [UN Environment Press Release]


related events


related posts