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UNECE support to implementation of Sustainable Development Goals kicks off in Montenegro

Strengthening environmental governance and the development of environmental policies both play an important role in the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On 11–12 February 2019, a UNECE expert mission visited ministries and stakeholders in Podgorica to kick off a project that will assist Montenegro in formulating actions to achieve relevant SDGs. The assistance is based on the recommendations provided in the Third Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Montenegro, published out in 2014. The project “Evidence‐based environmental governance and sustainable environmental policies in support of the 2030 Agenda in South‐East Europe” is supported by the United Nations Development Account.

Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires an integrated approach rather than goal-by-goal or target-by-target efforts. As current administrative structures are largely based on divided sectoral policies, such an approach challenges conventional processes and pushes different sectors to seek synergies between their separate sectoral plans. Policymakers usually lack tools to identify which interactions are the most important to tackle, and evidence to show how particular interventions and policies help or hinder progress towards the global goals. An important dimension of the project is to create an understanding of how to promote an integrated approach and policy coherence to inform better planning, through cross-sectoral collaboration and explicit recognition of the trade-offs that sometimes have to be made.

Green economy and sustainable development are recognized as priorities in Montenegro. However, knowledge and capacity is insufficient to enable their practical implementation. Despite progress achieved in implementing many of the recommendations of the third EPR, much more needs to be done to enhance the environmental dimension of sectoral policies. Further work is also needed to ensure the implementation and enforcement of environment-related provisions in sectoral policies and legislation, as part of the efforts to achieve the global goals.

To this end, the expert mission provided an opportunity to conduct a review of the implementation of the third EPR recommendations and an assessment of the steps to be taken to facilitate the achievement of the related SDGs. The review provides a basis for the further development of policy packages with concrete actions to implement the EPR recommendations and relevant SDGs. The policy packages will also contribute to the improvement of the country’s strategic planning within negotiations with the European Union on Chapter 27 of the acquis, addressing environment and climate change.

The project, targeting five countries of South Eastern Europe, is implemented in cooperation with UNEP, UNDP and the United Nations Country Teams in the period 2018–2021.

For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/environmental-policy/environmental-performance-reviews/unda-project-on-eprs-and-sdgs.html