United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Local Authorities

Local Authorities Major Group´s (LAMG)1
Position Paper March 2015
Advancing with Sustainable Development Goals
at the local and subnational level
A position paper for:
“Post 2 Post: Enhancing Stakeholder Engagement
in the Post-Rio+20/Post-2015 Process”
20 March 2015
1 ICLEI, nrg4sd and UCLG are acting as the Organizing Partners of the Local Authorities Major Group at the United Nations processes related to the post-2015 development agenda in conjunction with the High Level Political Forum for the implementation of the outcomes of the Rio+20. This Position Paper is also endorsed by the Global Taskforce of Local & Regional Governments for Post-2015 Development Agenda towards Habitat III which also encompasses some networks that are not part of the Local Authorities Major Group at the UN.
Advancing with Sustainable Development Goals at the local and subnational level
Local Authorities Major Group´s (LAMG) Position Paper March 2015-draft.v2
“Local Authorities Major Group’s (LAMG) Position Paper March 2015 – Advancing with Sustainable Development Goals at the local and subnational level“ presents; a brief overview of the progress since February 2014; responds to the outcome of the Open Ended Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on Goal:11 “Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”; refers to localization of other SDGs or embedding a territorial dimension; and lists selected initiatives on monitoring sustainability at the local and subnational level. It forms part of the European Commission-funded programme “Post 2 Post: Enhancing Stakeholder Engagement in the Post-Rio+20/Post-2015 Process” (Post 2 Post). The LAMG Position Paper March 2015 compliments the LAMG Position Paper in February 2014 entitled “Anchoring a Goal on Sustainable Urbanization in the heart of Post-2015 Development Agenda”.
I. Milestones since the submission of the LAMG Position Paper in February 2014
- April 2014: The 7th World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia was recognized as the event that mobilized the highest number of participants for a non-negotiation UN event. The Global Sustainable Public Procurement Programme was launched as the first programme under 10YFP on sustainable consumption and production.
- May 2014: ECOSOC first Integrated Segment focused on sustainable urbanization, enabling a broad and positive dialogue of local and subnational governments with Member States and an overwhelming support on Goal:11. ISO:37120 (Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life) was released as the first international standard on sustainability at the local level.
- June 2014: ADP Cities and Subnational Forum and Technical Expert Meeting on Urban Environment were convened at the UN Bonn Climate Change Conference, the first UN Environment Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya.
- July - August 2014: The SDGs OWG concluded with 17 goals and 169 targets including Goal:11 on cities and human settlements, the 2nd High level Political Forum convened in New York, 65th Annual UN NGO/DPI Conference concluded with a strong support to SDGs and Goal:11, the 1st PrepCom of WCDRR held in Geneva.
- September 2014: The 1st Preparatory Committee for HABITAT-III Conference was convened in New York. The Climate Summit 2014 hosted by the UN Secretary General resulted in numerous initiatives, including the Compact of Mayors and the Compact of States and Regions.
- October 2014: The Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Subnational Governments was convened during the 12th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity which included with additional decisions and progress, building upon the 2010 Nagoya 10 Year Action Plan. Zero Order Draft for 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was released with a strong emphasize on empowerment and engagement of local authorities.
- November 2014: UNFCCC Secretariat released ADP Technical Paper on raising pre2020 ambition together with its addendum on Urban Environment, including specific proposals on engaging local and subnational governments.
- December 2014: At COP20/CMP10, the Global Protocol for Community Scale GHG Emissions Inventories (GPC) was released as an international standard. Negotiators discussed incentivizing through regulatory frameworks and financial mechanisms which would enhance climate commitments of local and subnational action. The UNFCCC Secretariat and the COP20/CMP10 Presidency launched the NAZCA Platform where the carbonn Climate Registry is engaged as the prime data partner to link local and subnational climate action.
- January-February 2015: The LAMG provided active contributions to Post2015 Intergovernmental Negotiation sessions, as well as to the first High Level Political Debate of the 69th President of the General Assembly.
II. Response of the Global Task Force to UN SG´s Synthesis Report
The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for the Post-2015 Agenda Towards HABITAT-III (GTF) presented its response to the UN Secretary General’s Synthesis Report on 16 December 2014.
GTF welcomed, in particular; the call for innovative partnerships including local authorities (§22); the recognition of the direct and active participation of local governments in the consultative process; the emphasis on the need for stronger effective, participatory and inclusive governance (§50) and the call for more policy coherence at all levels (§55); for a rigorous and participatory review and monitoring framework with the involvement of stakeholders at all levels, including local governments (§56 & §145), as well as the recognition that sub-national and local authorities are currently leading the change for sustainable development and that they require adequate resources a and capacities with which to do so (§94and §128). GTF also expressed significant concerns about the lack of any reference to “fiscal decentralization”, as recommended by the Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (p.19) and that despite the fact that Synthesis Report recognizes the role of local authorities in leading investments in local infrastructures (§94).
Advancing with Sustainable Development Goals at the local and subnational level
Local Authorities Major Group´s (LAMG) Position Paper March 2015 draft.v2
GTF also underscored that, in addition to implementation, as a sphere of government, local and subnational authorities should also participate in policy making. Finally GTF called for a clear disaggregation of indicators by urban areas and territories, in order to identify the most vulnerable groups of the population and ensure that no-one is left behind; as well as for the inclusion of local and subnational governments in both the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and the technology facilitation initiative proposal (§125).
III. UrbanSDG Campaign Proposals on Goal:11 on cities and human settlements
The integrative nature of Goal: 11 “Make Cities and Human Settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, especially around implementation, implies considerable synergy with at least 11 other SDGs and their Targets and Indicators. First, this presents an opportunity to condense the overall SDG Indicator set to enable parsimony that would facilitate effective local, subnational, national, and global implementation. Second, the territorial dimension of indicator sets of other SDGs strengthens universal coverage, especially aiding those countries in the middle of the urban transition.
Following the conclusion of the work of OWG, members of the Urban SDG Campaign met in London (August 2014) and Bangalore (January 2015) in order to provide additional inputs to support the Goal:11. The final outcome document was built on the agreed Member State consensus recorded by the OWG and the subsequent guidance provided by the UN Secretary General. Care has been taken to maintain the integrity and structure of Goal 11 and the associated Targets, except in response to a significant gap or development opportunity. The document including revisions of the Goal 11 with its Targets and Indicators was presented as an input to the global consultation of the UNSDSN´s report on Indicators and a Monitoring Framework for the SDGs. (Annex-I)
IV. How to localize other SDGs or embed a territorial dimension
While SDG Goal: 11 is expected to be the prime relevance for local and subnational governments in terms of ownership for implementation, there are a number of other targets that are relevant for local and subnational level in both urban and rural areas.
“Localization” (or embedding a territorial dimension) often refers to the implementation of the goals at the local and subnational level by all actors, particularly by local and subnational governments as they have exclusive and shared responsibilities, for example on service provision in many areas related to the SDGs and the safeguard of the common good. It can also refer to the monitoring of progress at local and subnational level, contributing to a key factor of the widely urged Data Revolution By collecting and analyzing territorially disaggregated data, it is possible to assess inequalities within countries and redirect efforts towards prosperity, and thus inform better decision-making and resource allocation at all levels, as well as enable communities and civil society organisations to hold their governments transparent and accountable. In the monitoring and progress review framework and envisaging multilevel governance approach, existing local and subnational institutions and capacities are relevant for attaining efficiency and reducing costs. Thus, the appropriate resources to strengthen local and subnational capacities should be allocated. (Annex-II)
V. Selected bottom-up initiatives for monitoring sustainability at the local and subnational level
Pursuant to their longlasting track record of leading the global efforts on sustainability, ambitious local and subnational governments and their networks have also been developing innovative models for monitoring and review of their progress. These voluntary initiatives have a significant potential to provide substantial contributions to the global discussions on the monitoring framework for the SDGs and the overall data revolution in the post2015 development agenda. (Annex-III)
Local Authorities Major Group expresses warm gratitude to all Member States, Co-Chairs, the UN-system institutions, and other Major Groups and Other Stakeholders partners who have provided a valuable support for the adoption of Goal: 11 “Make Cities and Human Settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” as one of the most important elements for a global transformation to sustainability in the post2015 development agenda. We look forward to advancing on the effort-sharing between all levels of government to collectively achieve the targets, to confer reliability and accuracy to the assessment of progress by putting into practice different level of monitoring with agreed common guidelines and methodologies. Local and subnational governments are keen to play a more active role in the definition, implementation and follow-up of the transformational post-2015 development agenda. Hence, we urge nations to ensure, concrete mechanisms and modalities to enable a true collaboration and coordination of all levels of governments beyond the concrete outcomes of the UN Post2015 Summit and permeate other relevant global processes in particular disaster risk reduction, climate change, financing for development and HABITAT-III.
Advancing with Sustainable Development Goals at the local and subnational level
Local Authorities Major Group´s (LAMG) Position Paper March 2015-draft.v2
This document presents a summary of the 12-14th January 2014 Bangalore Consultation on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Targets and Indicators of the global Urban SDG Campaign, as a culmination of a 15-month process of consultation. Texts written in italic and underlined are suggestions of the UrbanSDG Campaign to the original outcome of the OWG.
UrbanSDG Campaign proposal for a revised text of OWG Outcome Document - Goal:11 "Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable"
UrbanSDG Campaign proposal for indicator
By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services, including the upgrading of slums.
Percentage of urban population living in slums or informal settlements
By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, energy-efficient and accessible transport systems for all people and goods, improving road safety and expanding public and non-motorized transport, with attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations.
Percentage of people within 0.5 km of public transit running at least every 20 minutes
By 2030, achieve more equitable and efficient land use through participatory urban and regional planning and management.
Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate at comparable scale
Strengthen cities efforts to protect and promote cultural and natural heritage
Secondary indicators only.
By 2030, significantly reduce the social, health, economic and ecological risks and impacts of disasters, environmental change and disease outbreaks by better designing and managing cities, protecting people in vulnerable situations.
Percent of cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants that are implementing risk reduction and resilience strategies informed by accepted international frameworks (such as forthcoming Hyogo-2 Framework).
By 2030, reduce the adverse environmental impacts of cities, paying special attention to biodiversity loss, air quality, construction materials, and waste management
Percentage of urban solid waste regularly collected and well managed
By 2030, provide, maintain and encourage access to safe, inclusive and multipurpose public space
Area of public space as a proportion of total city space
Prepare and implement a national urban and human settlements policy framework.
Presence of a national urban and human settlements policy framework
By 2020, increase by x% the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, develop and implement in line with the forthcoming Hyogo Framework holistic disaster risk management at all levels.
Covered under Indicator 11.5 above.
Support national, regional and local governments through financial and technical assistance to strengthen revenue streams, regulatory and institutional capacity
Sub-national government revenues and expenditures as a percentage of general government revenues and expenditures
Advancing with Sustainable Development Goals at the local and subnational level
Local Authorities Major Group´s (LAMG) Position Paper March 2015-draft.v2
Selected indicators to localize SDGs or embed a territorial dimension
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Proportion of the population in the lowest quintiles that spends more than [xx per cent] of its income on basic services (water, sanitation, energy, education, health, transport)
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
% of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption in urban and rural areas
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Levels of Particulate Matter, Injury/Mortality rate due to traffic accidents per 100.000 population per year
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
Public expenditure on education as % of total government expenditure
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Proportion of seats held by women in national and sub-national elected office or managerial positions held by women in local administrations
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
% of; population using basic drinking water services at home, living in households whose excreta are safely managed, urban wastewater flows treated to national standards either collective or individual facilities, by domestic and industrial source.
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
% of population with access to reliable electricity, % of renewable energy production/consumption by the local/subnational government/community
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Annual net employment creation rate (formal, informal, gender, age, urban, rural) (%),
Resource productivity
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Mobile/Fixed broadband subscriptions per 100,000 inhabitants
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Palma Ratio (ratio of richest 10% of the urban population’s share of gross national income (GNI) divided by the poorest 40% of population’s share)
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Refer to UrbanSDG Campaign Bangalore Outcome
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
% of solid waste collected from total households, public institutions, business, including industrial and construction waste, % of sustainable goods and services in overall local public procurement
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Total amount of GHG/CO2 emissions per capita / CO2 intensity, % of municipalities /districts with climate change mitigation/ adaptation; risk reduction and resilience plans ,
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas & marine resources for sustainable development
% of municipalities replacing deep sea discharge facilities with modern waste treatment
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
% of cities engaging in the Cities Biodiversity Index or in the implementation of 2010 Nagoya 10-Year Action Plan
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Government budget data publicly available at all levels, Public advertising of all government procurement, Trust and Citizen satisfaction in government institutions
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
% of ODA supporting sub-national government programmes, urban and rural infrastructures
1 The list is based on the summary of the UCLG Inputs to Global Task Force Working Paper as of November 2014, with additional inputs by ICLEI (in italics) and nrg4sd (underlined), respectively.
Advancing with Sustainable Development Goals at the local and subnational level
Local Authorities Major Group´s (LAMG) Position Paper March 2015-draft.v2
Name of the Initiative
Possible Use
carbonn Climate Registry
The carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) was launched at the World Mayors Summit on Climate in Mexico City on 21 November 2010 as the global response of local governments to measurable, reportable and verifiable (MRV) climate action. As of December 2014, through thousands of climate and energy commitments, GHG emission inventories and mitigation/adaptation actions reported by more than 500 entities from 45 countries, it is the world´s leading reporting platform of local and subnational climate action, supporting more than 10 global initiatives including Compact of Mayors as its central repository and Compact of States and Regions as one of its reporting platforms. cCR is also prime data partner of the NAZCA Platform launched by the UNFCCC Secretariat and Peruvian Government at UN Lima Climate Change Conference.
Data Source
Cities Biodiversity Index and Outlook
The Cities Biodiversity Index (or Singapore Index) serves as a self-assessment tool for cities to benchmark and monitor the progress of their biodiversity conservation efforts against their own individual baselines with its 23 indicators that measure native biodiversity in the city, ecosystem services provided by biodiversity and governance and management of biodiversity.
As reference for decision- and policy-makers of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Parties on the complementary roles of national, subnational, and local authorities for the implementation of the UN Strategic Plan on Biodiversity 2011–2020 through decision X/22, the “Cities and Biodiversity Outlook” (CBO) Serve as the first and seminal global analysis of how urbanization and urban growth impact biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems.
Indicator and Data Source
EcoMobility SHIFT Indicators
Ecomobility means minimizing the need to travel, promoting an optimal mode choice and realizing proper infra and services for all modes, using the potential of active and collective modes and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. The 20 EcoMobility indicators are classified into three categories: Enablers, Transport Systems & Services and Results & Impacts. The indicators are originally applied by 6 European cities and now being expanded to Australia and Johannesburg, S. Africa host of 2015 Ecomobility World Festival.
Global Protocol for Community Scale GHG Emissions Inventories (GPC)
As a global reporting standard, the GPC enables cities and communities to consistently measure and report GHG emissions and develop climate action plans and low-emission urban development strategies. It allows local governments using this consistent standard to; Set emission reduction targets, track performance, responding to regulations and requirements of local GHG programs, build and report GHG inventories which are compatible with international standards, Allow horizontal aggregating and vertical integrating city GHG data, Provide solid proof of GHG developments for carbon financing.
ISO:37120 Sustainable Development of Communities -- Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life
The first international standard on city data, was published in May 2014 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The Standard includes a comprehensive set of 100 indicators – of which 46 are core – that measures a city’s social, economic, and environmental performance. The indicators are categorized under 17 themes on city services and quality of life.
Data Source