SINGLE COUNTRY PROFILE

Basic Information
Year of approval of the SD strategy and updates

Our Sustainable Future – A Framework for Sustainable Development for Ireland  (OSF) was published in June 2012. The OSF was adopted by the Irish Government in 2012 as part of Irelands input into the Rio+20 Summit in 2012.
The OSF takes account of developments at international and EU level designed to deliver an effective transition to an innovative, low carbon and resource efficient future.  If was developed focusing on identifying key gaps where progress since 1997 has been limited and setting out a range of measures to address the outstanding challenges.
The original NSDS was adopted by the Irish Government in 1997. For the World Summit on SD in 2002, Ireland published “Making Ireland’s Development Sustainable - Review, Assessment and Further Action”.

Type of SD strategy

OSF covers all three dimensions of SD plus international issues.

Lead ministry/institution in the SD strategy process
Link to the SD strategy document
Further information about the SD strategy process

No information available. 

Agenda 2030 Implementation

The SDG National Implementation Plan 2018-2020 sets out Ireland’s overall framework for implementing the SDGs, characterised by a ‘whole-of-Government’ approach. Political oversight is provided by the Government, while the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has overall responsibility for promoting the SDGs, and for overseeing their coherent implementation across Government

A key commitment under the SDG National Implementation Plan involves mainstreaming the SDGs across national policies, so that when relevant sectoral policies are developed or reviewed, Ireland’s commitments under the SDGs will be taken into account.

Ireland’s current national Sustainable Development Strategy, Our Sustainable Future, is an important component of Ireland’s framework for implementing the SDGs, as is Ireland’s Foreign Policy, The Global Island, which reinforces our commitment to contribute to international peace, security, human rights and sustainable development, and Ireland’s new Policy for International Development, A Better World, which signals a deepening and intensification of Ireland’s efforts to achieving a world that is equal, peaceful and sustainable for all to realise the pledge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reach ‘the furthest behind first’. Aligned with A Better World and the SDGs is Ireland’s new Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Partnerships Strategy which supports marine partnerships, education links between Ireland and other island nations, and representing SIDS priorities within the European Union.

Many of the measures through which Ireland will achieve the SDGs will take place within the context of Project Ireland 2040, which is the Government’s overarching policy initiative to make Ireland a better country for all our people, a country that reflects the best of who we are and what we aspire to be. Project Ireland 2040 is made up of the National Planning Framework to 2040 [NPF] and the National Development Plan 2018-2027 [NDP].

Leading Ministry and respective unit

Overall political oversight for national SDG implementation is provided through the Cabinet, with each Government Minister having specific responsibility for implementing individual SDG targets related to their Ministerial functions. For this reason, each of the 169 SDG targets has been assigned to a lead Government Department. The choice to assign Ministerial responsibility for each target was taken to ensure that individual Departments take ownership of those SDGs most relevant to their work and to provide additional clarity to stakeholders.

Other ministries involved

All ministries are involved.

Main contact point for the implementation process

Department of Environment, Climate and Communications

Emer Griffin: Emer.Griffin@decc.gov.ie

Links to main websites/documents on national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs
Voluntary National Reviews

Ireland submitted a Voluntary National Review in 2018.

Vertical Integration

Our Sustainable Future has been developed as a whole-of-Government undertaking. Its implementation will require an active and central Government driven approach.

While Ireland’s political and administrative systems are relatively centralised by international standards, local government has a crucial role to play in translating national policies into tangible practical actions that can help to deliver the SDGs at the local and community level. Increasing local government engagement with the SDGs is an important task during the lifetime of the SDG National Implementation Plan 2018-2020.

Horizontal Integration

The High Level Inter-Departmental Group for Sustainable Development, Chaired by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, will drive delivery of the OSF as official level, including monitoring progress on implementation of sectoral measures.
The High Level Group will submit an annual progress report to the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy

Ireland established structures at official level to facilitate implementation. A Senior Officials’ Group [SOG] on the SDGs, made up of Assistant Secretaries from all Government Departments, has been established to provide strategic coordination and to report, as required, to Cabinet. This Group is chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach [Prime Minister], with support from the National Sustainable Development Unit. It is assisted by an SDG Interdepartmental Working Group [IDWG], again comprised of representatives from all Government Departments. The IDWG is responsible for developing national policy in relation to SDG implementation, preparing Ireland’s VNRs and other SDG reports, and developing national arrangements of stakeholder engagement.

Review

Political oversight of implementation of Our Sustainable Future will be delivered through the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy and, where necessary, at Government.
The High Level Inter-Departmental Group for Sustainable Development, Chaired by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, will drive delivery of the OSF as official level.

 Ireland will produce national reports on its implementation of the SDGs every two years, beginning in 2018. For those years in which Ireland has also committed to presenting a VNR to the HLPF, a single report will be presented at both the national and global level.

Indicators

The present indicator set, compiled by the CSO as a response to the commitment in Our Sustainable Future, complements two existing CSO indicator reports namely  ‘Measuring Ireland’s Progress’and Environmental Indicators Ireland  With a view to minimising the overlap between these three indicator sets this report has been limited to 55 indicators. Work on identifying verifiable sources in areas where there is not adequate supporting data continues with a view to enhancing the indicator set in future publications.
The indicators are presented under four domains: Global Indicators; Economy; Social; and Environment. The Global Indicators domain contains seven indicators and gives a worldwide overview (the other three domains only contain data for Ireland and the EU). Essentially the Global Indicators domain presents a snapshot of Ireland’s standing in the world.
The Economy domain contains thirteen indicators and these are designed to show trends in Ireland since 2000 and to benchmark Ireland against other countries in the European Union. The Social and Environment domains also show the trends since 2000 and benchmark us in Europe.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protects the environment through its licensing, enforcement and monitoring activities. Details about the EPA's activities can be found at: epa.ie

In developing the SDG National Implementation Plan 2018-2020, Ireland has also mapped its sectoral policies against the 17 SDGs and all 169 related targets, in order to identify which national policies are most relevant to which SDGs and their associated targets, and the extent of interlinkages between different national policies which can contribute to the achievement of multiple SDGs.

The Central Statistics Office [CSO] is Ireland’s national statistical office and is tasked to impartially collect, analyse and make available statistics about Ireland’s people, society and economy. The identification and management of national data needed to meet Ireland’s SDG reporting requirements will be undertaken by the CSO, in consultation with the SDG Interdepartmental Working Group. In addition to Ireland’s formal periodic SDG reporting, the CSO and Ireland’s National Mapping Agency, Ordnance Survey Ireland [OSi], have launched a website for exploring, downloading and combining publicly available national SDG data using geographic information systems.

Government of Ireland. Ireland: Voluntary National Review 2018 Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda to the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. p. 12.

Government of Ireland. Ireland: Voluntary National Review 2018 Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda to the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. p. 19.

Participation

Our Sustainable Future was prepared following a Public Consultation process in late 2012/early 2013 and a Consultation Conference in the Spring of 2012 where the general public and representatives of a wide range of Non-Governmental bodies participated.
The OSF was approved by Government prior to the World Summit “Rio+20” held in June 2012 as part of Irelands input to the Summit.

Stakeholder engagement is an important part of policy development and implementation in Ireland and key stakeholders were consulted as part of the preparation of the SDG National Implementation Plan 2018-2020. Ireland has established a national SDG Stakeholder Forum to inform further development of the national SDG framework and to provide a mechanism for key stakeholders to be engaged on an ongoing basis in national implementation of the Goals. The first meeting of the Forum was in June 2018 (subsequent meetings were held in October 2018 and January 2019). The Forum comprises representatives from, among others, the NGO community and other civil society groups, the private sector, the trade union movement, the agricultural sector, youth, academia, the education sector, Government Departments, and the Local Government sector. The Forum is convened and chaired by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. The Forum is intended to provide a mechanism for all stakeholders to discuss national implementation and reporting processes, share examples of best practice in implementing the SDGs, discuss challenges to achieving the SDGs, and to be informed of SDG relevant events and processes taking place internationally. While this knowledge exchange and dialogue within the Stakeholder Forum is extremely important, the Irish Government wants to go further in developing a partnership approach to implementing the SDGs. As a first step in this process, the Stakeholder Forum will asked to develop proposals for raising public awareness of the SDGs and fostering public engagement with initiatives to achieve the Goals. This participative approach to stakeholder engagement draws on the experience of Ireland’s Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR] Forum. While the range of stakeholders will be significantly wider in relation to the SDGs, and this can be expected to present challenges to the “bedding in” of the new Forum, Ireland considers that enhancing stakeholder participation over the lifetime of the National Implementation Plan is a priority.

There is also a bottom up alliance of NGOs, called "Coalition 2030".

Subnational Activities

No information available.