The SDGs translate world’s most challenging sustainability problems into 17 sustainability goals with 169 subgoals. In Belgium, national policy regarding sustainable development is laid out in art. 7bis of the Constitution, which states that : “In the exercise of their respective competences, the federal State, communities and regions pursue the objectives of sustainable development in its social, economic and environmental dimensions, taking into account intergenerational solidarity."
According to this law, each level of administration should thus contribute to sustainable development. To this end, Belgium created the Interministerial Conference On Sustainable Development (IMCSD) in 2012. Here, federated entities reunite to collaborate on sustainable development. The work originally concentrated on the preparation of a national strategy, collaboration around sustainable government projects and discussion of international dossiers. Following the approval of the United Nations' Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, the Consultative Committee's mandate was expanded on 24 February 2016.
The Interministerial Conference on Sustainable Development (IMCSD) is charged with the following tasks:
- contributing to the implementation in Belgium of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. This includes aligning Agenda 2030 with the Belgian national strategy for sustainable development.
- preparing the Belgian contribution to the European and multilateral reporting concerning the implementation in Belgium of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, This includes the preparations for the forum at a high political level on sustainable development, as well as any preparations regarding relevant reports at Belgium's initiative on the progress made and the challenges in Belgium that arise from the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development
- contributing at an administrative level to the preparation of the standpoints that Belgium will defend at EU and UN level regarding the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and which will be discussed and adopted through the COORMULTI and DGE meetings that are organised by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
- involving partners to support the IMCSD in carrying out these tasks. The following partners will be eligible for this: authorised coordinating bodies in the field of sectoral policy, representatives of civil society, the private sector and the academic world.
NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
“The National Strategy for Sustainable Development is an important tool in the Belgian implementation of the 2030 Agenda and contains the vision as collectively arrived at by the various federal and regional authorities. The context also describes a series of priority themes around which the various authorities shall take action. In concrete terms, the authorities wish to see awareness campaigns around the SDGs (awareness, action and evaluation), sustainable government projects, sustainable living and construction, sustainable food, and the instruments for the promotion of sustainable development. This national strategy makes it possible to combine the efforts of all entities and improve the coherence of actions between the authorities.
You can consult the full National Strategy for Sustainable Development here. The joint advice on this text from the advisory councils can be found on the FCSD's website.
“The aim of this national strategy is to form a basis for a coherent approach to the policy lines for sustainable development in Belgium. This strategy consists of an overarching framework and the strategic documents of the various entities.
The strategic documents are:
- Federal: Federal Strategy (Act of 05/05/1997): Long-Term Vision, Federal Plan for Sustainable Development (link is external)
- Flanders: “Vision2050 – A long-term vision for Flanders (link is external)”
- Wallonia: Strategy for Sustainable Development (link is external)
- Brussels-Capital Region: Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (link is external)
- German-Speaking Community: Regional Development Concept ("Nationale Strategie Nachhaltige Entwicklung")