UN DESA and UNDP conducted a training workshop on the Climate, Land, Energy and Water Systems (CLEWs) integrated analysis in La Paz, Bolivia from 16 to 20 April 2018. The Global CLEWS model provides useful insights about the relationships among water, energy, climate, and land and material use at the global scale. It was developed to inform Rio+20 discussions and will soon be upgraded to provide useful insights about the interlinkages among climate, land, materials, energy and water underlying the relationships among many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Progressing towards the Sustainable Development Goals requires looking at synergies and trade-offs among different goals. Modelling is a great way to analyze and compare different scenarios.
One of the objectives of the workshop was building an inter-ministerial analytical team in support of policy coherence for sustainable development. Incorporating the expertise from different institutions enriched the discussions and supported the integrated analysis with important insights and perspectives. Participants were engaged in hands-on exercises with the CLEWs framework, exploring key policy areas of interest to the Government, namely; i) energy exports; ii) bio-fuels production; iii) water quality and treatment; iv) introduction of gas-to-liquids technology, and v) agricultural modernization. At the end of the workshop, preliminary results from the scenario modelling exercises were presented.
The workshop was attended by 28 government officials from several institutions, including the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit (UDAPE) of UN DESA, the Ministry of Planning and Development (MPD), the Ministry of Environment and Water (MMAyA), the transmission system operator (CNDC), the National Electricity Supply Company (ENDE), the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service (SENAMHI), the state-owned oil and gas company (YPFB), the Ministry of Rural Development and Land (MDTyR ), the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and staff from the UNDP-CO.
Click here to find out more about the Global CLEWS.
Propelled by better health and education, lower vulnerability and an economic boom, Bangladesh, the largest least developed country (LDC) in terms of population and economic size, looks likely to leave the LDC category by 2024. For the first time, the country met the three criteria for graduation at the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) triennial review in March 2018. “Bangladesh has seen broad-based gains in health, education, infant mortality and life expectancy,” said Daniel Gay, Inter-Regional Adviser on LDCs in UN DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division. “These have in turn driven economic growth, and latterly reduced economic vulnerability, so it’s a real success story.”
UN DESA has undertaken three missions to Dhaka since late 2017 as part of its capacity-development work, most recently conducting a workshop as part of the country’s celebrations on meeting the criteria, when the Prime Minister hailed the achievement as a milestone in Bangladesh’s history. As part of its capacity-development work UN DESA will soon begin work on an impact assessment aimed at understanding the implications of graduation on the economy.
Every three years, the CDP, which comprises 24 independent development experts from around the world reviews the list of LDCs, based on a rigorous methodology using a wide range of sustainable development indicators. The CDP measures the LDC category on the basis of per capita income, a human assets index and an economic vulnerability index. A country must exceed thresholds on two of the three criteria at two consecutive triennial reviews to be considered for graduation. Up to now, no country has managed to meet all three criteria.
“We have been achieving robust economic growth for the last number of years — over 6 per cent — and also pursuing a policy of inclusive growth”, said Masud Bin Momen, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, as he commented on the country’s success. He also stressed that growth has involved all sectors of society “…especially women’s economic empowerment and gender mainstreaming.” Since 1996, the per capita gross national income in Bangladesh has outstripped the LDC average and has recently risen above the threshold used by the CDP. The economy has developed largely through textile and garment exports. Remittances, natural gas, shipbuilding and seafood, as well as information communications and pharmaceuticals are all emerging sources of foreign exchange and economic growth. This economic boom has helped people living in poverty. Since 1990 about 50 million people left extreme poverty, as defined by the World Bank, a reduction in the poverty rate from 40 per cent to 14 per cent. Bangladesh’s thriving non-government organizations have also helped provide vital health and education services to the poor, translating into rapid improvements in the human assets index used by the CDP. Increases across the five components of the human assets index – infant mortality, maternal mortality, undernourishment, adult schooling and adult literacy – meant that Bangladesh exceeded the threshold on this index for the first time in 2016. Bangladesh is also unusual in that it has enjoyed a reduction in economic vulnerability. The economic vulnerability index has consistently decreased since 2003, the first year it fell below the CDP’s official threshold, partly due to greater export stability and diversification.
Ambassador Momen described the role of the United Nations as an important partner in the country’s development efforts. “They have been providing consistent support in capacity-building and by undertaking various projects, and also helped in the build-up of our technical capacity in various social sectors,” Mr. Momen said. Bangladesh’s graduation will have implications for the economy, although many of the main stakeholders – including the government and private sector – believe that graduation would be a major step forward in the country’s history and therefore an event to be welcomed.
“All of this is very much part of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”, said Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Director of the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), adding that the graduation from the LDC category is an important part of the efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
At the triennial review, the CDP reviewed the data for all developing countries to identify countries that meet the LDC criteria for inclusion or graduation. It recommended that Bhutan, Kiribati, Sao Tome and Principe and the Solomon Islands graduate from the LDC category. UN DESA will continue to conduct capacity-development work in several of these countries aimed at helping them understand what it means to leave the category and how to prepare for the future.
Booming Bangladesh, a country preparing to leave the LDC category, is a success story likely to inspire others.
UN DESA will be holding a national workshop in Conakry, Guinea, from 23 until 27 April, 2018 to discuss and validate the outcome of the support by the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) of the United Nations Forum on Forests in mobilizing financing for sustainable forest management in the country. Focus will be on validating the draft project concept and pre-feasibility study on sustainable forest management to be financed by a multilateral financing mechanism. This workshop is the culmination of the collaboration between the GFFFN and the Ministry of Forests and Water, and will include stakeholders from related sectors, especially, environment, agriculture and energy, water and rural development, as well as other development partners that are operational in Guinea.
UN DESA will be holding a national workshop in the Islamic Republic of Iran from May 18 to May 30, 2018 to discuss and validate the draft project concept on sustainable forest management to be financed by a multilateral financing mechanism. This project concept is the result of ongoing close collaboration between the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) of the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Forest, Rangelands and Watershed Management Organisation (FRWO) of Iran, whereby the GFFFN provided capacity building and technical advisory services to FRWO in mobilizing financing for sustainable forest management. The workshop will include stakeholders from related sectors (notably environment, agriculture, petroleum and energy) as well as the private sector, civil society and relevant intergovernmental organisations.
UN DESA is organizing a national workshop in Antananarivo, Madagascar from 14 to 15 June, 2018 to discuss and validate the outcomes of the support by the the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) of the United Nations Forum on Forest in mobilizing financing for sustainable forest management in Madagascar, namely (i) a draft national forest financing strategy, and (ii) a draft project concept on sustainable forest management to be financed by a multilateral financing mechanism. This workshop is the culmination of the collaboration between the GFFFN and the Ministry of Environment and Forests and will include stakeholders from related sectors (notably environment, agriculture and energy) as well as the private sector, civil society and relevant intergovernmental organisations.
In the framework of the UN Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), seven UN agencies namely UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN Industrial Development Organization, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UN Conference on Trade and Development, International Telecommunication Union, World Intellectual Property Organization and UN University-Maastricht have developed a 5-day capacity building course on the framework, policies and measurement of innovation in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The course aims to introduce the participants to the five aspects of innovation: policies, conceptual framework of the STI for SDGs, design and implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is organizing, in collaboration with the IATT-WS6, a regional capacity building course on Technology for Development: Innovation Policies for SDGs in the Arab Region. The course will be held during the period 15-19 April 2018 in Amman-Jordan.