The Director presents UNDP’s perspective on SDGs and the environment

Jul 3, 2016

The Director of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, Dr. Balazs Horvath, delivers his keynote speech on UNDP’s perspective on SDGs and the environment (Photo: USPC)

The Director of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC), Dr. Balazs Horvath, presented UNDP’s work on the SDGs and the environment at the First Incheon ODA Forum entitled “SDGs and the Environment: Roles of Incheon” co-organized by the Incheon International Development Cooperation Center (IC-IDCC) and the Korea Environment Institute (KEI) on 28 June 2016.

In his keynote speech, Dr. Horvath provided an overview of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, highlighting the importance of integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development under the principles of universality, integration and ‘no one left behind.’

He described how support for the environment is an integral part of UNDP’s strategic plan, interlinked with the work on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the context of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda, and presented UNDP and its environment-related programs as relate to the roll out of the SDGs. Showcased among others was UNDP’s portfolio on biodiversity and ecosystems which currently covers over 500 projects in 132 countries and involves the integration of biodiversity and ecosystems issues at the country level.

Dr Horvath also discussed UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme to support the production of sustainable agricultural commodities, the thematic areas of UNDP’s water and ocean governance portfolio, UNDP’s contribution to sustainable land management and the fight against desertification. He also highlighted UNDP’s work on inclusive green economy as it relates to the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) and other ongoing initiatives, and thanked Korea for its valuable support to the partnership.

Dr Horvath also emphasized how the 2030 Development Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, and reiterated the universal and integrated nature of the SDGs that aim to benefit all, eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities. “We need to work together to take bold and transformative steps to shift our planet onto a sustainable and resilient pathway,” he noted in his concluding remarks.

The workshop demonstrated a growing interest of various Korean stakeholders in exploring climate change, DRR, and overall environmental initiatives in the context of the 2030 Agenda. Participants to the event included representatives from the World Bank, ESCAP, Incheon National University, Incheon Metropolitan City, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), as well as members of various NGOs, private firms and university students from in and around Incheon.

UNDP currently supports climate change programs in 143 countries and territories, focusing on the three main elements of mitigation, adaptation and support for Low Emission Climate Resilient (LECRD) strategies. UNDP was the first UN agency accredited to access the Green Climate Fund (GCF)’s resources to scale up climate change mitigation and adaptation for sustainable development, and had two proposals funded in 2015 and four more just approved in June 2016.