Sustainable Development in Ireland

In Ireland, the set framework for Sustainable Development, which was launched in 2012,  is titled “Our Sustainable Future”. This framework identifies some 70 measures to be implemented across Government and also tasks a High level Inter-Departmental Group to ensure that the vision set out in the policy document is turned into adequate action (DCCAE, 2019).

The framework is approached as a whole-of-Government initiative, where all ministers are given responsibility in implementing sustainable development goals that are appropriate in relation to their specific sectors. 

The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications was assigned the task of producing the first SDG National Implementation Plan 2018-2020 and the Voluntary National Review (VNR), which both were published in early 2018.


Sustainable Development Policy in Ireland

Ireland has had national sustainable development strategies in place for over 20 years with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals already addressed through a range of national policies. The ‘2018 - 2020 Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan’ has been created in direct response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development where it identifies four strategic priorities to guide policy implementation which include: Awareness, Participation, Support and Policy Alignment. It also identifies the responsible Government departments for each of the 2030 Agendas 169 targets. Arrangements for interdepartmental coordination, stakeholder engagement and periodic progress reporting at both national and international levels, are set out in the SDG National Implementation Plan. For more information on the SDG National Implementation plan please see here. 

Ireland's first Voluntary National Review was formed in 2018 to allow the Government to take stock of national progress to date, and to reflect on the efforts still required. Ireland's first VNR was submitted to the United Nations in June 2018. It was then formally presented to the High-level Political Forum at the UN Headquarters in New York in July 2018. The report states that Ireland is well placed to achieving its Sustainable Development Goals set under the 2030 Agenda. Ireland can be seen as excelling in the socially driven sustainable development goals, especially with regards to SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. A more mixed status is observed with regards to performance on other goals and existing challenges, especially when it comes to the environmentally based SDGs e.g. Biodiversity and Habitat Destruction, Climate Action etc. For more information on the Voluntary National Review please see here. 

To see Ireland's progress on individual Sustainable Development Goals please visit Ireland's SDG Geohive website. National Sustainability Information for Householders can be found at the Environmental Protection Agencies Live Green website.

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