Division Climate change, Rural development, Infrastructure
Division Economic & Social
Each of the competence centres focuses intensively on addressing at least three to four SDGs. For individual competence centres within the division, e.g. 4D40 (Water) and 4D50 (Energy), one sector is explicitly mentioned in one of the SDGs (SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation and SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy). Beyond this, the work of the competence centres helps to achieve other SDGs. These directly relate to the division’s topics, including at the level of the targets. Target 1.5 of SDG 1 (No poverty), for instance, is concerned with building resilience to climate-related extreme events and other environmental shocks and disasters.
We will go on to show some of the ways in which the competence centres link up with the SDGs and name some helpful links and documents that provide more information.
This competence centre’s main themes (reducing greenhouse gas emissions, climate change adaptation, climate finance, environmental policy and the green economy) are enshrined in various sections of the 2030 Agenda.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, climate finance and climate change adaptation mainly contribute to the achievement of SDG 13: Climate action, which is linked with negotiations in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. With this goal, the 2030 Agenda also confirms that development and climate issues have become indissociable. For example, SDG 2: Zero hunger and SDG 3: Good health and well-being depend heavily on climate change, especially in our partner countries.
Over and above this, the green economy and environmental policy make major contributions to achieving SDGs 12: Responsible consumption and production, and 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure, but also provide a general contribution to almost all of the other 2030 Agenda goals. For example, all so-called Rio Conventions and many other environment conventions are part of environmental policy. The idea of the (inclusive) green economy contributes in general to sustainable and employment-generating economic development, as well as to innovations in sectors such as energy supply, transport and agriculture. The green economy, for instance, also contributes to SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, and is enshrined in two of its targets (8.4 and 8.9).
Since the achievement of the environmental and climate-related goals will largely be determined in the cities, which in 2050 will be home to the same number of people that currently live on the entire planet, the themes addressed by the competence centre also make a major contribution to SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities.
The world’s growing population and changes in consumer habits are putting enormous pressure on Earth’s natural resources and soils. Forests are being cut down or are not sustainably managed, rivers, lakes, groundwater and oceans are being polluted or overused, and inappropriate farming methods are leading to soil degradation and polluting the environment with agricultural chemicals. Biodiversity and entire ecosystems with their services are being lost at unprecedented speed. The competence centre aims to conserve ecosystems and sustainably manage natural resources. It supports the sustainable management of natural resources and the conservation of terrestrial and water-based biodiversity so that human quality of life can be sustainably developed and improved, and human food security can be safeguarded.
The key goals of the 2030 Agenda for the competence centre are SDG 15: Life on land, SDG 14: Life below water, and SDG 2: No poverty. Other targets of SDGs 14 and 15 are to be achieved prematurely by 2020. This reflects the urgent need for action and the alignment of the SDGs with the content of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The topics addressed by the competence centre are also closely related with SDG 13: Climate action. In many regions, changes in land use are among the biggest drivers of emissions. Forestry authorities and the farming community are therefore increasingly focusing on reducing emissions. Ecosystem-based adaptation helps to increase human and ecosystem resilience.
Beyond this, the competence centre can make contributions to the achievement of other goals owing to the broad range of topics it works on. Intact marine and terrestrial ecosystems not only provide food, they also provide many other services such as plant pollination, recreation and inspiration for tourism, protection against erosion, landslides and flooding, or the storage of carbon dioxide. There is therefore a close link between the conservation of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services and many of the SDGs. The themes of sustainable agriculture, livestock production, fisheries and aquaculture are relevant not only to SDG 2 but also to SDG 1: No poverty. Healthy food and agricultural extension services contribute to SDGs 3: Good health and well-being and 4: Quality education (target 4.7), as well as water protection (pesticides and fertilisers) in SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation (target 6.6.). Healthy foods from animal and vegetable production contribute to SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production. In turn, adaptation in agriculture contributes to SDG 13: Climate action. Social and environmental production standards in farming and forestry, fisheries and aquaculture support the achievement of many SDGs
Three quarters of poor and hungry people currently live in rural areas of developing countries and emerging economies. Rural development is crucial for eliminating poverty (SDG 1: No poverty), achieving food security and producing sustainable supplies of food (SDG 2: Zero hunger), improving living conditions in rural areas (SDG 3: Good health and well-being) and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth). The themes addressed by the division that relate to rural development and food security cover the following priority areas: (1) agricultural policy and the development of rural areas, (2) land governance, (3) agro-based economic development, (4) agricultural trade and standards, and (5) food security.
Agricultural policy and rural development: Agricultural policy aims to design the framework conditions at national and regional level by means of conducive agricultural policy goals and instruments in order to harness the potential of the agricultural sector. When developing rural areas, a cross-sectoral and spatial approach is taken with the aim of achieving a durable improvement in the quality of life of the rural population. This makes it possible to address almost all of the SDGs based on the specific situation. Key SDGs are SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, with a focus on youth employment, SDG 9: Industry, innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 15: Life on land.
Land governance: One of the pillars of rural development is to formalise binding and equitable land rights. For a large proportion of the world’s people, land is the direct source of their livelihood, but around 70 per cent of people have no access to formal land registration systems. At the same time, there is growing demand for land. This leads to a rise in the purchasing and leasing of large areas of land by national and international investors, often connected with the expulsion of the local population, risks to local food security and in many cases substantial environmental pollution. Indigenous peoples, women and marginalised groups are particularly affected. Owing to population growth in many countries, the demand for land both for urban expansion and for farming is likely to rise still further. Legal certainty and long-term land-use and land ownership prospects, as reflected in SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 2: Zero hunger and SDG 5: Gender equality are therefore key prerequisites for investment, economic development and sustainable and productive agriculture.
Agro-based economic development: In most rural regions of developing countries, agriculture is the key driver for development. The value chain concept plays an important role because it links up farm products with processing companies and trade through to exportation. In this context it is important to design agricultural processes so that they are environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially equitable. That means that women in particular need to be involved as actors (SDG 5: Gender equality), and working conditions need to be socially acceptable and make it possible to earn a living wage (SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth).
The variety of approaches for developing agro-based value chains includes the comprehensive promotion of specific sub-sectors through to measures in special fields such as farmers’ cooperatives, agricultural finance and statutory regulations and standards. The promotion of value chains can be combined with spatial rural and regional economic development. We advise our partners on implementing measures that strengthen the competitive advantages of a region and create a conducive environment for the private sector (SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure). Access to knowledge and actors’ skills are key factors in this connection (SDG 4: Quality education).
Agricultural trade and standards: The expansion of agricultural trade and the simultaneous promotion of farmer-based agriculture may generate income and employment as well as inclusive growth in competitive value chains. Agricultural production and trade also influence food security by importing foods or producing them domestically. Compliance with statutory requirements for food safety and standards for sustainability and quality are essential in this context. The focus is on meeting the requirements related to the three pillars of sustainability: economy, environment, and social considerations. This creates links with SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 3: Good health and well-being, SDG 5: Gender equality, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production, and SDG 15: Life on land. Beyond this, the establishment and promotion of multi-stakeholder partnerships helps to improve the sustainability of value chains and thus contributes to SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.
Food security and resilience: Food of insufficient quantity and quality robs those affected of life opportunities and educational prospects, impairs their health now and in the future and shortens their life expectancy. Almost half of all deaths among under-fives are at least partly due to malnutrition and undernourishment. Chronic ailments such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer are often the result of eating too much of the wrong types of food. When a large proportion of the population is affected by malnourishment, this affects not only the individuals concerned: the ensuing constraints on physical and mental development in infancy and, later , on acquiring an education and leading a productive working life have a massive impact on gross national product and on societal potential for shaping positive change processes. Today, there are very few countries that can claim not to be affected by at least one of the manifestations of insufficient nutrition.
Food security is a cross-sectoral approach that is linked with various sectors and themes (agriculture, health, WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene), social protection and education) and helps to achieve many of the SDGs. The main ones are SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 2: Zero hunger, SDG 3: Good health and well-being, SDG 5: Gender equality and SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth.
Measures in the three main areas of intervention for the competence centre (water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), water resource security (WRS) and waste management and recycling) make a direct contribution to the achievement of SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation, which is therefore the primary goal for the water-related themes of the competence centre.
WASH and WRS are also essential for achieving SDG 3: Good health and well-being and SDG 2: Zero hunger. Integrated waste management and recycling measures contribute in particular to achieving SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities (target 11.6), SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production (targets 12.3, 12.4 and 12.5) SDG 13: Climate action (targets 13.2 and 13.3) and SDG 14: Life below water (target 14.1). The themes of water, wastewater and waste management are also addressed by many other SDGs such as SDG 1: No poverty (target 1.4) and SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth (target 8.4).
In the energy sector, the three themes renewable energy, energy efficiency and access to energy relate directly to SDG 7: Clean and affordable energy, and make an indirect contribution to achieving SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities and SDG 13: Climate action. A sustainable energy supply is also the basis for developments in the fields of health and agriculture, and SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 2: Zero hunger and SDG 3: Good health and well-being. A new thematic area has emerged due to the increase in violent national and regional conflicts, and the ensuing forced migration of large sections of the population. With regard to refugees, the aim is to provide energy to refugees and internally displaced persons in camps, which contributes to SDG 7.
The 2030 Agenda aims to reconcile global economic progress and social justice, while respecting the Earth’s environmental limits.
Division 4D with its five competence centres, Climate Change and Environmental Policy (4D10), Forests, Biodiversity, Agriculture (4D20), Rural Development, Food Security (4D30), Water, Wastewater, Waste Management (4D40) and Energy and Transport (4D50), jointly address global development-related and environmental issues.
With its broad range of topics, the division covers a large proportion of the 2030 Agenda’s SDGs. The division’s topics and objectives are reflected particularly in those SDGs that are concerned with the sustainable use of resources, resource conservation and environmental protection. Natural resources and conservation of the biosphere form the basis for achieving the social and economic development goals (e.g. terrestrial and water resources for food and water supply). The major transformation called for by the Agenda will therefore be substantially determined by the development of these issues and the extent to which we will manage to stay within the Earth’s environmental limits in the coming decades.
Source: p.6 SwedBio
Project examples from the themes covered by Division 4D (across competence centres), prepared by the Sector Network on Natural Resources and Rural Development Asia (SNRD Asia) and the Sector Network on Transport, Environment, Energy, and Water in Asia (TUEWAS)