The Voluntary Local Review of the Sustainable Development Goals in Helsinki

Posted by UNDP , UNDP May 2 2019 0 Perspectives

Helsinki wants to be a pioneering local implementer of global responsibilities and in September 2018, it decided to follow New York’s example and submit, as the first city in Europe, its Voluntary Local Review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the upcoming High Level Political Forum in July 2019. 

Where did it start?

As part of the first phase of the review, the city set up an expert group consisting of members from the Helsinki’s Central Administration and Urban Environment Division. The group also invited experts from the key strategy projects of the city to join and contribute to the process.

In this initial phase, the expert group analyzed how the Helsinki City Strategy contributes to the implementation of the whole Agenda 2030 by mapping connection to all the goals, from SDG1 to SDG16. The initial report then outlined the city strategy around three main themes:

  1. Securing sustainable growth,
  2. Developing services and
  3. Responsible management of finances.

These themes include fourteen goal clusters that implement at least one SDG at the local level. 

In this way, the review aimed to highlight the city strategy’s connection to the SDGs, and illustrate Helsinki’s strategic goals and their measurements. The goals are highlighted with concrete cases, by which the city implements its strategy and, at the same time, the SDGs.

The cases, included in the analysis, were compiled from the key strategy projects, such as Carbon Neutral Helsinki 2035 program, city budget and action plans of the different city divisions. 

This first part of the reporting was published on 3 April, 2019 at the Helsinki Symposium.

But the work in not over yet.

The review work will be further developed. The final voluntary local review, linked to SDG4, SDG8, SDG10, SDG13 and SDG16, is expected to be completed during the spring, in order to publish it in June 2019 and submit it to the UN in July 2019. 

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