NICVA and NI Environment Link join forces to progress the Sustainable Development Goals

NICVA and NI Environment Link are establishing a working group to explore how the voluntary and community sector can help progress the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in NI.

This follows a roundtable discussion hosted by NICVA and NI Environment Link in April 2019.  The discussion assessed the current state of play in NI and explored how organisations are aligning their work with the SDGs. While a survey showed that 51% of NICVA members are aware of the Goals (NICVA,UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Awareness Survey 2019) roundtable participants felt that the sector has and important advocacy and awareness raising role to help deepen understanding of the Goals and ways in which the voluntary and community sector and government can better implement the Goals.

Roundtable discussions focused on the need for mechanisms to showcase work on the SDGs. Not only would this help inform government about the role of the voluntary and community sector in the implementation and the progression of the SDGs, but it would enable sharing of information and good practice and promote collaboration within and between sectors.  Participants also felt that the sector has a crucial role to play in challenging and holding government to account on their duty to implement the SDGs.

This is especially pertinent following the publication of the UK government’s Voluntary National Review of progress towards the SDGs. In relation to NI, the review states that the ‘principles of sustainable development [are] being embedded in the Northern Ireland Executive’s highest-level strategy, the draft Programme for Government’.  Compared to the contributions from other devolved nations, there is minimal detail on Northern Ireland within the report which demonstrates the lack of buy-in to the SDGs agenda from across NI government Departments.  Further assessment is required to more comprehensively reflect what government is doing under each of the Goals and identify gaps to further progress towards delivery of the Goals.  

The SDGs working group will bring together a coalition of sectoral interests to explore how to raise awareness, promote collaboration and further progress around the delivery of the SDGs in NI. If you are interested in being part of this working group or wish to find out more information, please get in touch with [email protected].


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