The Integrated Approach and the Environmental Dimension in the 2030 Agenda

This document of Cepei and UN Environment is the result of reviewing the fourteen Voluntary National Reports on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, presented by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in the years 2016 and 2017.

Javier Surasky

July 10, 2018

The analysis focuses on the incorporation of an integrated approach to sustainable development, as well as the environmental dimension, in the process of monitoring and evaluating the Agenda.

The main conclusions showcased that although there is an explicit reference to the need to use the integrated approach, linking the three dimensions of sustainable development, the logic of silos has not been overcome nor is there a true integrating vision. Some countries mention specific approaches that can help in this transition, but their concrete application in terms of planning, participation, implementation and follow-up is still lacking.

Regarding environmental issues, although they are integrated into all the SDGs at the level of formulating their goals, the environmental dimension only appears incipiently in the review of each one of them. An additional effort is necessary to integrate environmental sustainability into all areas of national agendas. As well as reflecting explicitly the efforts that countries are already making for the implementation of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements and the progress in the regional processes in environmental matters.


These are some recommendations resulting from the analysis:

✔ Strengthen integrated approaches for sustainable development in the process of implementing the 2030 Agenda at the national level, which will be reflected in the preparation of the National Voluntary Reviews.

✔ Advance in the alignment of existing national development plans with the 2030 Agenda, as well as in the preparation of roadmaps that comprehensively define the changes necessary for a transition towards sustainable development.

✔ Include environmental authorities in the institutional arrangements established to coordinate and follow-up on the 2030 Agenda as a good practice to strengthen the integration of the environmental dimension. Also, expand the non-governmental actors involved in the monitoring and implementation of the SDGs to strengthen this dimension.

✔ Consider progress in the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and their contribution to specific goals of the SDGs.

✔ Report the efforts at the regional level with the implementation of the decisions of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment and the Latin American Initiative for Sustainable Development (ILAC) and use these areas to strengthen the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda both in its implementation and in its tracing.

About the author

Javier Surasky

PhD in International Relations and International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, has taught courses in different postgraduate careers, including the Master’s Degree in International Relations and the Master’s Degree in Human Rights at the National University of La Plata (Argentina).