The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depends on their successful localization. Namely, on the capacity of countries to adapt these global goals to their local realities, and, from that perspective, to identify significant and impactful actions to achieve them. Localization exercises imply open discussions and knowledge sharing among stakeholders, key local actors, and organizations with deep capacity and expertise on sustainable development projects.

In order to contribute to the process of localizing the SDGs in the Andean Region, on 5 May the Andean chapter of the SDSN held a meeting of SDSN member organization’s representatives and special guests. The event took place at the Secretariat of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), located in Quito, Ecuador. The meeting convened over 40 people from 23 different organizations, encompassing academia, civil society, youth groups, government, and international organizations and coming from Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

The aim of the event included:

  • Stocktake of the 2030 Agenda and the state of its implementation in the region
  • Share relevant experiences and solution initiatives from participant organizations
  • Discuss some of the challenges to advance in the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs
  • Share ideas on how the network may contribute to overcoming some of the identified challenges
  • Promote trust and partnership among participants

The dialogue used the 2030 Agenda as the general framework, while discussions were focused on two main themes as identified by a pre-event survey exercise:

  1. Data for sustainable development
  2. Climate change and the protection of biodiversity

During the 1 day event, the following regional challenges were identified:

  • Articulation and trust-building: The need to create and maintain spaces for multi-stakeholder, multi-sectorial, and multi-organizational open dialogue
  • Dissemination, consolidation, and appropriation: The need to promote a local appropriation of the Agenda and the adoption of the SDGs in government and in the community
  • Capacity-building: The need to aid business and governments’ statistical capacity for monitoring SDG indicators
  • Policy coherence: The need to promote policy coherence at different levels of policy-making, with regards to the SDGs

In accordance with these challenges, and considering the initiatives presented by participant organizations, outcomes from the event include:

  • SDSN Andes platform for solution initiatives: The creation of an online “area” to 1) share ideas, projects under planning and/or under development, along with a list of the technical, human, and financial requirements to materialize them; 2) promote multi-organizational dialogue and crowdsourcing initiatives; and 3) allow organizations to identify opportunities for collaboration, as well as guide the SDSN Andes Secretariat in the ways in which it can support member organizations and articulate multi-organizational projects. This will be created within the SDSN Andes website in the following three months.
  • SDSN Andes advocacy for the SDGs: The development of joint statements to be presented to national and local governments in the Andean Region, advocating for the mainstreaming of SDGs in public plans and policies, along with the need to conceive pathways to achieve them, and also stating the capacity and willingness of network members to collaborate in such endeavor. A first statement will be presented to the newly appointed Government of Ecuador within the next four months.
  • Workgroups to support statistical capacities for SDGs indicators: The articulation of work groups among academic institutions to support National Statistical Organizations in their efforts to assess and report on SDGs indicators. In what remains of 2017, first efforts will be directed to support the work of the INEC.
  • Workgroups to support citizen awareness for the SDGs: The possibility to scale and replicate the initiative (of the Grupo FARO and FFLA) to create participatory platforms for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs.
  • Workgroup for environmental flow policy and assessments: In what remains of 2017, collaborate with IKIAM, ESPOL, and INABIO in the materialization of their initiative to advocate for the regulation of environmental flows. Aid national institutions in its assessment.

These will constitute the priorities of the SDSN Andes Secretariat for the coming months.

Challenges, Opportunities, and Actions (next steps)

Arrows show how actions reflect on identified opportunities, which in turn answer to identified challenges.

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