German municipalities begin to localize the SDGs

Posted by Fabienne Perucca, UN-Habitat March 7 2017 0
Fifteen municipalities and the provincial (Land) government of North Rhine Westphalia in Germany are developing SDG implementation strategies. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and facilitated by SKEW (Municipalities for one world, a Service for Development Initiatives) and the LAG NRW (Sustainability Network North Rhine-Westphalia).

The SDG project supports municipalities develop their SDG roadmaps, facilitated by LAG 21 with participatory planning tools and scientific consultation. In all 15 local governments, the strategies use the same planning process designed with invited representatives of all stakeholders, from civil society, administration and political representatives.

“The SDGs are recognized as an important tool for policy orientation to all government levels, and allow us in the municipalities to articulate what we can do , what we do and where are our chances and limits”, said Thomas Pieperhoff, advisor to the Mayor of Dinslaken.

During SDG strategy development, many cities report a well-informed and committed civil society, while they see a more cautious attitude from officers in local departments, who remain uncertain of the implications of the 2030 Agenda. SDG strategies are perceived as a chance to foster more integrated planning and more crosscutting knowledge exchange between departments.

Collaboration between departments was highlighted as a key result of the sustainability strategy of North Rhine Westphalia, the first provincial SDG strategy in Germany.

“The Strategy of North Rhine-Westphalia defines clear objectives. Meanwhile, the idea of sustainable development is deeply rooted in all political parties and departments. That is why the strategy will last over different political trends and elections. It’s less about the “should we” of a sustainable development – discussions are more about the “how should we do it?” Judith Schwethelm, representative of the ministry for environment, climate change and agriculture, North Rhine Westphalia.

Many municipalities addressed consumption and production patterns in their strategies. For example, Muenster has a “Sufficiency” Vision of for urban growth. Decent work and infrastructure are very important for several intermediary cities and towns, which have mobile labor forces, and fair trade policies have been implemented by the city of Dortmund under Mayor Sierau. 

However, there is a long way to go to avoid the SDG strategies being shelved, as has been seen in some previous processes. The complexity of the issues and responses makes things more difficult in larger cities, where specialized managers who are essential for implementation may find it had to engage. It is therefore crucial to bring the strategic brainstorming process to an operational level, which is not only more informative to political leaders, but also tangible to the technical level that needs to commit to implementation.Vertical cooperation is also very important, in particular as municipalities are widely acknowledged as barometers for development trends at national level. This was seen in the refugee crises, as well as in the lack of social services, in particular care, fire and disaster prevention.

Some municipalities are considering proposing legal and political instruments to other spheres of government. For example, the city of Dinslaken is exploring proposing a national law to restart obligatory social service for all citizens. Municipalities and social institutions like the Red Cross, hospitals or elderly residences would be supported in meeting the demand for services, and young people would be trained in civic values.

In the near future, the SDG initiative will be extended into more German regions and will continue to provide good lessons internationally.

German municipalities begin to localize the SDGs

0 Responses
*Comments may later be moderated if found unsuitable or offensive. The discretion lies solely with the administrator.

Have any story that you’d like to contribute?

We’d love to have it!

Museon Exhibition: One Planet

29 Oct - 1 Dec , The Hague, Netherlands The
Posted by Admin
Organized by Museon

5th Assises of Decentralised Cooperation

10 Jul - 11 Jul , Brussels, Belgium
Posted by Admin
Organized by European Commission, European(...)

High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Developm(...)

10 Jul - 19 Jul , New York, United States of America
Posted by Fabienne Perucca
Organized by Economic and Social Council

Intercultural Cities 2017 Milestone Event - Urban(...)

28 Nov - 29 Nov , Lisbon, Portugal
Posted by ICCities TEAM
Organized by Council of Europe - ICCities P(...)

Summercourse: A local perspective to the Sustainab(...)

3 Jul - 7 Jul , The Hague, Netherlands The
Posted by Fabienne Perucca
Organized by The Hague Academy for local go(...)

XII Ibero-American Congress of Municipalities - A(...)

24 Sept - 28 Sept , Manizales, Colombia
Posted by Admin
Organized by Gobierno de Caldas, Unión Iber(...)

Tutored e-learning course on ´enhancing developmen(...)

8 May - 30 Jun , Home based (e-learning) , Germany
Posted by Fabienne Perucca
Organized by Development Partners Working G(...)

Renewable Energies for Sustainable Development

6 Sept - 1 Nov , Geneva, Switzerland
Posted by Angela Montano
Organized by UNITAR, University of Strathcl(...)

Sustainable Urban Mobility in Developing Countries(...)

18 Sept - 9 Dec , Curso de e-learning basado en el hogar, Switzerland
Posted by Angela Montano
Organized by UNITAR & Deutsche Gesellschaft(...)

Sustainable Urban Mobility in Developing Countries(...)

18 Sept - 8 Dec , Home-based e-learning course, Switzerland
Posted by Angela Montano
Organized by UNITAR in partnership with the(...)

Sustainable Urban Mobility in Developing Countries(...)

18 Sept - 8 Dec , Cours en ligne, Switzerland
Posted by Angela Montano
Organized by UNITAR en partenariat avec la(...)

Collaborative Leadership

26 Jun - 14 Jul , Geneva, Switzerland
Posted by Angela Montano
Organized by UNITAR (United Nations Institu(...)

UN Summer Academy 2017 "Localizing the 2030 Agenda(...)

21 Aug - 25 Aug , Bonn, Germany
Posted by Admin

Tercera Conferencia Internacional en Reducción del(...)

12 Oct - 13 Oct , Varsovia, Poland
Posted by Jorge Diaz
Organized by Universidad de Varsovia