Council of (Pacific) Regional Organisations Sustainable Development Working Group members, UN and member states
Sponsored by UNEP
Objective & Description
Pacific Islands Forum Leaders committed to the development and implementation of National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS) within each country by 2008 (Pacific Plan Initiative 5.1, 2005). All Pacific SIDS have an overarching development plan many with a long term vision, including goals, guiding principles and strategic areas. The NSDS is intended to complement rather than replace existing planning and strategy development, the aim being to ensure the principles of sustainable development are embedded into planning processes, rather than developing a separate strategy document. In some cases, national development plans have been renamed to highlight a focus on sustainable development where it was considered appropriate.
Governance & Coordination Mechanisms
Although it is clear that development plans are ultimately matters for national governments to determine, Pacific SIDS have called for the support of the international community to formulate and implement NSDS and incorporate guiding principles for sustainable development into all sectoral policies. Since 2005, a substantial amount of support has been given to Pacific SIDS. These efforts have been coordinated through the through the Pacific NSDS Regional Support Partnership, established to promote joint planning, support and implementation among relevant regional and international development organizations and partners to improve the formulation and implementation of NSDS. The partnership, involving regional organizations and the United Nations system, operates under the guidance of the Sustainable Development Working Group coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).
National commitment to sustainable development is clear, but significant challenges remain. Unfortunately, many governments and individuals, both in the Pacific and globally, have misunderstood the meaning of sustainable development. In particular, it is often confused with, and been taken to be primarily about, environmental management. Furthermore, some Pacific SIDS have found it demanding to incorporate sustainable development into the structure of their existing development plans.
The following recommendations are made to ensure enabling environments continue to be strengthened at the national level:
(a) Establish and communicate a long term national strategic vision that is linked to medium term goals/targets and short term actions
(b) Transparent and effective coordination across sectors (“horizontally”)
(c) Clear and complementary links between local, national and international policy and governance initiatives
(d) Establish national and regional policies that address science and technology and the protection of natural resources to support sustainable development and build resilience to the impacts of climate change
(e) Streamlined, efficient and effective national effort to link NSDS, MDGs and other internationally agreed sustainable development goals and commitments
(f) Genuine partnerships between government, development partners, the private sector, NGOs, and the community at large.
(g) Sustainable financing including an increased allocation of domestic resources for NSDS that contributes to social and economic development and environmental protection and adaptation activities.
Arrangements for Capacity Building and Technology Transfer