By Sundus Abbas, SDGs focal point, Undp/Iraq.
Launching a roadmap to prioritize environmental SDG targets and indicators in Iraq is highly important for the Government of Iraq, taken in consideration the current baselines, environmental risks, trends, synergies and trade-off with other SDG targets, in line with the Implementation Framework of Environmental Dimension of SDGs in the Arab region.
UNDP Iraq and the Ministry of Planning organized a workshop to prioritize and localize the environmental dimensions of the SDG targets and indicators for the national contexts of Iraq with focus on Goal 2: Zero Hunger, Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation, Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy, Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production, Goal 13: Climate action, Goal 14: Life below water , and Goal 15: Life on land. This initiative came at a particular juncture, as Iraq will be presenting its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) report, at the High-Level Political Forum in 2019, to share its experience with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The two-day workshop (October 24-25, 2018) organized in Baghdad and engaged about 32 professionals and representatives from different ministries on assessing and discussing the necessary environmental SDG targets, to reflect national priorities of the National Development Plan (2018-2022) and Iraq draft Vision 2030, with the SDGs targets and indicators. During the workshop, expert from UNDP Regional Hub in Amman, (Dr. Walid Ali, Regional Climate Change Specialist) familiarized participants with matrix analysis tool to be used as facilitation technique to identify a narrow set of high priority environmental SDG targets and indicators. The tool was also shown the environmental dimensions of SDGs and the interactions with other SDGs including SDG 1, 5, 6, and 16.
Participants were divided into four environmental SDG working groups to discuss the applicability, baseline of environmental SDG targets and indicators for Iraq using the analysis matrix. Each group worked on identifying the interactions between environmental SDGs targets and indicator based on the National Development Plan 2030 and using the analysis matrix. Each group presented the preliminary findings of the analysis to implement further actions related to high priority environmental SDGs.