Tuesday, 18 August 2020
The Finnish Government programmes and national implementation strategies for sustainable development have continuously been assessed in the past 20 years. These assessments have helped to improve the design and implementation of sustainable development strategies.
Finland is committed to providing a systematic, open, transparent, inclusive and participatory follow-up to and review of the implementation of Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals and targets at all levels. Monitoring the progress and reviewing the achievements on a regular basis is essential for ensuring accountability to the Finnish society and the global community.
For the national process, there is an open online platform with 10 thematic indicator baskets entailing approximately 50 indicators that are updated on a yearly basis. Experts and the public can give their comments online on the progress and chosen indicators. All data, trends and comments are compiled every spring to be elaborated in a national “State and future of Sustainable Development” –event organized by the Prime Minister’s Office in cooperation with the National Commission on Sustainable Development
The National Audit Office of Finland identified NAOF audits as part of the official four-year monitoring and evaluation cycle. The government is committed to submit a Voluntary National Review to the High Level Political Forum of the UN every four years following this audit. Furthermore, the NAOF is currently developing a model for integrating the Sustainable Development Goals as part of all external auditing, which is also drawing international interest.
In 2018, the government commissioned an independent and comprehensive evaluation of national sustainable development policies. Three Finnish organisations worked on the evaluation: Demos Helsinki, the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The core research team also benefited from external support from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). The evaluation gave some key recommendations of how future governments should move forward in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The evaluation process is explained in more detail in the IIED publication “Evaluation to connect national priorities with the SDGs”. Every year, all line ministries in Finland are required to compile their policies and measures on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda into the government’s annual report to the parliament. According to the National Audit Office report, the Government Annual Reports have provided a comprehensive summary of the yearly policies and measures for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Finland, compiling key areas, key actions and actors. However, Annual Reports on the implementation have been rather descriptive and entailed only little quantitative measures.
The aim of this report is to address a carbon-neutral, resource-wise and competent Finland where non-discrimination and equality is secured. In line with the Government priorities, the implementation of Agenda 2030 in Finland builds on two themes: To achieve a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland. The focus should be on improving the energy, resource and material efficiency and sustainably increase the share of renewable forms of energy. Finland must produce environmentally friendly services and innovations, promote their exports, and develop low-emission economic sectors and transport models.
To secure non-discrimination, equality and a high level of competence in Finland, Finland must prevent youth and long-term unemployment, exclusion of various population groups, polarization of labour markets, and segregation of living and residential areas. Finland must also reduce health disparities, promote gender equality, support lifelong learning, and raise the level of education and competence of the population. Non-discrimination includes equal access to services at the different stages of ageing.