UNDP facilitate national discussions to prioritize the environmental dimensions of Iraqi vision 2030
By Sundus Abbas, SDGs focal point, UNDP Iraq.
Launching a roadmap to prioritize environmental SDG targets and indicators in Iraq is highly important for the Government of Iraq, taken in consideration the current baselines, environmental risks, trends, synergies and trade-off with other SDG targets, in line with the Implementation Framework of Environmental Dimension of SDGs in the Arab region.
UNDP Iraq and the Ministry of Planning organized a workshop to prioritize and localize the environmental dimensions of the SDG targets and indicators for the national contexts of Iraq with focus on Goal 2: Zero Hunger, Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation, Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy, Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production, Goal 13: Climate action, Goal 14: Life below water , and Goal 15: Life on land. This initiative came at a particular juncture, as Iraq will be presenting its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) report, at the High-Level Political Forum in 2019, to share its experience with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The two-day workshop (October 24-25, 2018) organized in Baghdad and engaged about 32 professionals and representatives from different ministries on assessing and discussing the necessary environmental SDG targets, to reflect national priorities of the National Development Plan (2018-2022) and Iraq draft Vision 2030, with the SDGs targets and indicators. During the workshop, expert from UNDP Regional Hub in Amman, (Dr. Walid Ali, Regional Climate Change Specialist) familiarized participants with matrix analysis tool to be used as facilitation technique to identify a narrow set of high priority environmental SDG targets and indicators. The tool was also shown the environmental dimensions of SDGs and the interactions with other SDGs including SDG 1, 5, 6, and 16.
Participants were divided into four environmental SDG working groups to discuss the applicability, baseline of environmental SDG targets and indicators for Iraq using the analysis matrix. Each group worked on identifying the interactions between environmental SDGs targets and indicator based on the National Development Plan 2030 and using the analysis matrix. Each group presented the preliminary findings of the analysis to implement further actions related to high priority environmental SDGs.
The Deputy Minister of the Planning, Dr. Mahar Johan, said: “This workshop conducted in close cooperation with UNDP and it is part of series workshops that aim to support the Iraqi government on launching environmental SDG targets prioritization and interlinkages with other SDGs targets, as Iraq is preparing the voluntary national report (VNR) at the High-level Political Forum to be submitted in 2019”. This workshop is a roadmap for environmental SDGs targets prioritization in Iraq to emphasize the effects of the environmental SDGs targets and indicators on other SDGs”.
The environmental SDGs findings from the analysis matrix will be further analyzed and consolidated by national experts across sectors, also in light of other strategic documents. Findings will be disseminated and used to further harmonize Iraqi National Vision 2030, with the environmental SDGs. The outcome of the workshop would play a crucial role to help Iraq facilitate implementation, monitoring, reporting and accountability of the environmental dimensions of the SDGs. The analysis shall also help Iraq showcase how the country has gone about implementing environmental SDGs in its core policy and planning frameworks during the country’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report at the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF).