The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), represented by the ProAgenda 2030 Programme in Bolivia, the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme, in cooperation with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), held the virtual forum "Challenges for the planning and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean" on Friday, October 9, 2020.
The event was organized in the context of GADeR-ALC, GIZ's Sectoral Network for Environmental Management and Rural Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), which seeks to encourage the exchange of programs and projects in the region. More than 70 people attended the virtual forum, representing 16 countries including Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, the US and Germany.
Three presentations were carried out by representatives of three divisions of ECLAC:
- Alejandro Bustamante and Alicia Williner, of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute of Economic and Social Planning (ILPES),
- Pauline Léonard, of the Statistics Division, and
- Alba Llavona with Marina Gil, from the Natural Resources Division.
The event was moderated by Antonio Levy of the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme, together with Julia Davidson, of the ECLAC in Chile, and Patricia Venegas with Ignacio Benavides of GIZ’s Bolivia's ProAgenda 2030 programme.
Starting the event, Rayén Quiroga, head of Environmental Statistics and Climate Change at ECLAC, stressed the importance of the statistical basis for monitoring the Agenda 2030. She pointed out that planning with indicators to monitor the progress of the 2030 Agenda goals, national development plans and sectoral policies as tools to guide sustainable and inclusive development is absolutely vital. She concluded her presentation indicating that "what is not measured does not exist, it is not seen".
Alicia Williner and Alejandro Bustamante of ILPES highlighted in their session "Planning for Development: Links between Planning and Implementation", the Regional Planning Observatory and presented an analysis of LAC countries that joined forces in creating national development plans (NDPs) and strategies to work together towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. The case studies of ECLAC-supported countries were presented, that showed challenges such as linking plans to the national budget, understanding of interactions between the different SDGs, country-specific NDCs, appropriation of the process by various actors, and gender mainstreaming. A specific focus was laid on the current Covid19 pandemic, which stresses even more the need to work jointly towards achieving the Agenda 2030. Building upon that, Pauline Léonard of the Statistics Division of ECLAC outlined that "environmental indicators [act] as a pillar of monitoring the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" and stressed the importance of environmental statistics and the 2030 Agenda in the context of the pandemic. She noted that the statistical community is currently facing an increased demand for environmental statistics, as there is a growing need to statistically describe the environment and its relationship with humans. However, there is still little capacity to produce reliable statistics, as well as little data collection as for the countries of the region.
Alba Llavona of the Natural Resources Division of ECLAC concluded the event with a presentation on the "Implementation of policies with Nexus focus on LAC: indicators and policies based on evidence in the case of Bolivia". The Nexus approach is a model for the development of multisectoral actions focused on the study of interrelationships between the water, energy and food sectors. This is reflected by the interrelation of the three SDGs (2, 6 & 7) which should not be considered independently. Therefore, the WEF Nexus approach seeks work towards SDGs comprehensively in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda in a more cost-effective and time-efficient way based on increasing synergies and diminishing trade-offs.
The methodological guide for the evaluation and implementation of the Nexus approach, a practical guideline developed by ECLAC under the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme for the design of multisectoral actions in the field of water, energy and food was introduced, as well as a roadmap for the evaluation of actions already implemented or in the process of implementation. The case of Bolivia was presented as an example, where the implementation of this approach was supported by ECLAC.
The forum was concluded by a summary of the main challenges arising from the implementation of this approach, such as the need for multipurpose planning based on participatory and consensual processes; the need to develop a maintenance protocol and emergency plans, among others. The most necessary aspect, which does not yet exist, is to define the appropriate indicators to monitor and evaluate the impacts of the Nexus approach on the population and ecosystem.
During the event, a multiple-choice questionnaire was filled out by the forum attendees, which yielded interesting results related to topics presented during the forum. For example, in relation to the ILPES presentation, most participants responded that the effectiveness of the link between planning and implementation in their respective countries is only regular. Regarding the greatest difficulties encountered in producing environmental statistics in their respective country, most participants indicated the lack of economic resources and scarcity of available data.
A recording of the virtual forum is available online (in Spanish).