National Voluntary Review to the HLPF: Czech Republic

Monday, June 19, 2017
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
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Goverment Statements

This report is the voluntary review of Czech Republic for the 2017 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.  

Read or download the full report below, or read the original by the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform here

The Czech Republic’s Voluntary National Review provides information on the process of implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the national level. It focuses mainly on outlining national objectives and vision to be achieved by the 2030. In addition, it also analyses the starting points of implementation in six key areas.

The structure of the review builds on the strategic framework Czech Republic 2030, which was adopted by the Government in April 2017 and will serve as the main implementation platform for the SDGs in the Czech Republic. Czech Republic 2030 defines long-term objectives not only in social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development, but also in governance, global development and regions and municipalities. It sets 97 specific goals aimed at improving people’s wellbeing, while respecting sustainable development principles. The document will serve as an overarching framework for sectoral, regional and local strategies. Selection and adoption of specific measures will be carried out by relevant bodies of the public administration and supported by activities of non-state actors. The division into six key areas (People and Society, Economy, Resilient Ecosystems, Regions and Municipalities, Global Development and Good Governance) is based on an expert analysis, which was carried out in the initial stage of the document preparation.

The sustainable development agenda is coordinated on the national level by the Government Council on Sustainable Development (GCSD), chaired by the Prime Minister. The work of the GCSD is supported by its secretariat in the Sustainable Development Department of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic. Work on the strategic framework Czech Republic 2030 started in 2015 and was carried out in cooperation with hundreds of experts and stakeholders gathered in the GCSD and its nine thematic Committees.

Analysis of the relevance of the SDGs in a national context shows that all of the SDGs and most of the targets of the 2030 Agenda are applicable on the national level but have not yet been achieved. However, the level of progress differs significantly not only among the 17 SDGs but also within them.

While none of the SDGs have been fully accomplished, each goal contains targets, which can be considered as strengths. Examples of such strengths and weaknesses (i.e. targets where progress has not been satisfactory) are showcased in each key area in order to provide a balanced and a deeper view into the current state of implementation of selected SDGs. National Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Czech Republic

Institutional Structure For Sustainable Development In The Czech Republic

The Czech approach to the 2030 Agenda implementation builds on two important concepts: sustainable development and wellbeing. In order to consider development beyond the GDP and the economic growth, progress in the implementation of the strategic framework Czech Republic 2030 will be measured by indicators related to its specific goals and by indicators focusing on different topics of quality of life and wellbeing. The selection of strengths and weaknesses outlined in the report is based on the above or below OECD average score in the respective SDG analysed in the OECD Pilot Study Measuring Distance to SDGs Targets (2017). Due to a lack of available data for all of the SDG targets, these examples must be considered as only being indicative.

Despite shortcomings in the availability of data, the Voluntary National Review provided an important opportunity to re-assess national sustainable development priorities in relation to the SDGs and critically evaluate the current state of implementation. The report has been prepared with the support of the Government Council for Sustainable Development and its Committees and consulted with relevant stakeholders. National Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Czech Republic

The key area People and Society mostly covers SDGs from the People (SDG 1, 3, 4, 5) and Prosperity (SDG 8 and 10) categories of the 2030 Agenda. The distance to the target values varies significantly among the available indicators. In particular, poverty reduction, unemployment rate and combat against communicable diseases are already close to the 2030 target levels. However, gender equality, non-medical determinants of health (emissions of hazardous substances, harmful use of alcohol and tobacco) as well as quality of earnings and lifelong learning opportunities are still far from the 2030 aspirations.

The Prosperity (SDGs 7, 8, 9 and 10), Planet (SDGs 6 and 12) and partially also People (SDG 1) categories of the 2030 Agenda are covered in the key area Economy. The Czech economy has performed well in recent years, with GDP surpassing pre-crisis level and growth rising again. However, energy management results are mixed: on the one hand, all households have access to modern energy facilities and there is a growing use of renewable energy; on the other hand, there is significant room for improving energy efficiency in consumption and production.

The key area Resilient Ecosystems primarily focuses on goals and targets in the Planet category of the 2030 Agenda (SDG 6, 13, 14 and 15). With the exception of climate action, the Czech Republic is ahead of or in line with the OECD average results for every underlying goal. Close to the target levels are particularly results in protection of biodiversity and creation of favourable conditions for terrestrial ecosystems. Besides the Planet goals, SDG 2, 11 and 12 are also addressed in this key area.

The key area Regions and Municipalities brings a sub-national perspective to the implementation of the SDGs and provides a framework for mainstreaming sustainable development to regional and local policies. This key area touches upon all of the categories of the 2030 Agenda and realisation of its vision contributes to the implementation of SDGs 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16 and 17. The Czech Republic scores above the OECD average particularly in water, sanitation and equality related targets, however, the country also faces challenges related to the growing regional disparities in wage and quality of the environment. National Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Czech Republic

The 2030 Agenda category of Partnership is covered by the key area Global Development (SDG 16 and 17). Performance based on the available indicators in this category is unbalanced. The Czech Republic has a strong comparative advantage in supporting other countries throughout their transition to democracy and a market economy, building on its own experience. However, there is still a large gap in meeting targets for reaching international commitments in Official Development Assistance.

Sustainable development cannot be successfully implemented without robust institutions, which are able to act coherently and make appropriate policies. Achievement of SDG 16 and the systemic issues of SDG 17 is therefore a vital precondition for success in the implementation of all other goals and targets. The key area Good Governance mainly addresses the Peace category of the 2030 Agenda (SDG 16) with the special focus on challenges related to transparency, accountability and effectiveness of public institutions. However, emphasis is also placed on equality (SDG 5 and 10) and Partnership (SDG 17) ensuring that no one is left behind. Adoption of Czech Republic 2030 is followed by the preparation of its implementation plan. The document will establish adequate mechanisms ensuring compliance between the strategic and specific goals of Czech Republic 2030 and objectives of other sectoral strategies, concepts, programs and measures.

Furthermore, work towards achievement of the goals of Czech Republic 2030 will also be supported by the voluntary commitments framework, which will allow civil society, private sector and other actors and individuals to participate in the implementation and encourage partnerships between various sectors of the society. Public institutions will continue to promote sustainable development principles and raise awareness about the SDGs. The compliance of sectoral and regional strategic documents, programs and measures with Czech Republic 2030 and progress on national goals will be monitored by the biannual analytical Report on Quality of Life and its Sustainability prepared by the GCSD.

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National Voluntary Review to the HLPF: Czech Republic