Towards localising the Sustainable Development Goals
Association Climate Chance (Climate Chance)
Presented at the 2021 High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the fifth report « Towards the localisation of the SDGs », coordinated by the United Cities and Local Governments network and to which the Climate Chance Observatory contributed, analyses the efforts of local and regional governments to implement the SDGs. The lessons learned and the initiatives presented in this report show that the only way to ensure the protection and health of everyone is to take care of everyone. Local and regional governments hold the key to ensuring that no one, and no territory, is left behind in the years ahead.
To download : 5th_report_gtf_hlpf_2021.pdf (14 MiB)
This year’s report was presented by the Mayor of Kazan and President of UNACLA, Ilsur Metshin, as part of the collective’s participation in the FPHN 2021, at the « Local and Regional Government Day » on 10 July. The event brought together more than 30 mayors and representatives of local and regional governments, members of the Global Taskforce, UN and civil society partners, and more than 150 participants. This year’s report focuses in particular on the 43 countries that will be introducing voluntary national reviews (VNRs) in 2021.
Despite the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, GLRs have continued to promote initiatives to accelerate the localisation of the SDGs and to reaffirm their commitment to the global sustainable development agendas through their integration into their development plans and strategies.
The report highlights how GLRs are helping to promote a safe, fair and environmentally sound recovery at all levels, and identifies the challenges that need to be addressed to make the most of their potential. It also shows how the global movement to localise the SDGs has progressed over the past year. In this respect, the proliferation of sub-national reporting initiatives deserves particular attention, as the total number of voluntary local reviews (VLRs) has doubled globally (from around 40 VLRs in May 2020 to more than 100 in June 2021); while at the same time, 15 voluntary sub-national reviews (VSRs) have been launched in 14 countries around the world, representing more than 16,000 local and regional governments between them.
The report discusses the challenges of involving LGAs in monitoring and reporting: although an increasing number of voluntary national reviews explicitly recognise the role of LGAs in the implementation of the SDGs, the fact remains that only 37% of them have been involved in the process of producing the VREs. This involvement varies greatly from one region to another: it has increased in Europe and Asia-Pacific, but has stagnated in Africa and declined in Latin America.
The report makes six major recommendations, which are also imbued with ways forward, to ensure the achievement of the SDGs and recovery taking into account everyone’s needs, starting from the local level:
Align recovery plans for COVID-19 at all levels with global development agendas: The Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework and the New Urban Agenda, among others, are based on principles that must be placed at the heart of recovery, namely the protection of human rights, the fight against poverty and inequality, as well as the promotion of the ecological transition and the development of resilient communities. The New Urban Agenda, in particular, must be integrated into national and local public interventions for recovery in the face of COVID-19, because of its crucial importance in accelerating and territorialising the implementation of the SDGs.
Ensuring equitable access to health and public services for all, placing human rights at the heart of recovery: It is essential to put in place people-centred spatial planning and policies adapted to the local context in order to ensure a sustainable and inclusive urban and territorial recovery that integrates informal neighbourhoods and activities into the urban fabric.
Promoting a safe, equitable and environmentally friendly recovery that benefits everyone, by involving GLR in its definition and implementation: It is essential to strengthen public service and infrastructure systems based on social policies that reduce the inequalities that COVID-19 has only accentuated.
Capacitate LGIs with funding and multi-level coordination mechanisms tailored to their needs: Recovery plans must include financial support to ensure that LGIs are able to maintain the provision of public services as a cornerstone of health systems, foster healthy cities and territories, and achieve global development agendas.
Strengthen the contributions of GLRs to the localisation of the SDGs by integrating them into coordination mechanisms and reporting processes at national level: Localisation of the 2030 Agenda requires that the SDGs are taken into account in plans, policies and initiatives at local and regional levels. Formally recognising VLEs and VIAs and incorporating their analysis, data and results into voluntary national reviews are critical steps towards redoubling efforts at all levels in support of the global localisation movement.
Renew the multilateral system by recognising the voice of GLRs at the global level and fully involving them in decision-making processes: The role of GLRs is increasingly seen as essential to the achievement of universal development agendas, therefore their voices, views and participation should also be fully institutionalised at the global level. Global fora such as the HLPF and UN regional fora on sustainable development offer opportunities to become multi-level and multi-stakeholder spaces, and for the international community to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring that GLR have a place at the global decision-making table.