The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) invited GCI Sustainable Water’s Dr Nina Hall to present at their inaugural Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Week on 28 November.
The UN ESCAP Week was initiated with the ‘Regional Seminar on Integrated Approaches for SDG Planning’.
This seminar was conducted to discuss whether the 17 UN SDGs need to be considered in terms of their interlinkages – to maximise the benefits and avoid unintended negative consequences.
This topic was explored in the second discussion paper from GCI’s Sustainable Water program, which called for the SDGs to be considered holistically and through interagency applications.
This paper attracted the attention of the UN ESCAP environment team as they were progressing similar investigations.
The seminar involved invited guests from Asian and Pacific countries, as well as Nina Hall as the only Australian representative.
They focussed on the SDG for water, sanitation and hygiene (SDG6) and sustainable urban development (SDG11) for the first approach to identifying the interlinkages between these and other SDGs.
The workshop involved presentations on methods to identify the connections, including from Nina Hall.
During her presentation, she introduced the GCI’s latest discussion paper, which examined effective community participation approaches to embed the SDGs at a local level.
Country representatives who had advanced the SDGs also presented, including a representative from Sri Lanka’s newly established Ministry for Sustainable Development, and on Fiji’s Green Growth Plan.
This was interspersed with interactive workshops to identify the interlinkages between SDGs, and the targets within them, based on several case studies in the Asia Pacific region. This UN participation was able to establish working relationships for GCI with Governments, NGOs and researchers working on SDG implementation.