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Study on Sustainable Development Goals in ASEM Countries

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
January 2014 - April 2014 Governance & Economy Department Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) Sustainable Development


The Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) conducted a research project to identify the methodology based on existing best practices in sustainable development with particular relevance for the creation of sustainable development goals (SDGs). Specifically, the project proposed options for the creation of SDGs as well as possible sustainable development indicators (SDIs) based on experiences both at national and international levels.

Specifically, the research was:

  1. examine national strategies for (sustainable) development / green growth or similar plans and strategies and their monitoring and evaluation tools in selected ASEM countries;
  2. propose a set of SDGs and associated indicators based on country realities; and
  3. identify implementation challenges at a country level.

At the moment the Part 1 of the research was completed that consists of the methodology and illustrative goals for sustainable development. 

The work on Part  1 was conducted for Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) by IISD-Europe (Switzerland, project leader), Earth Council Asia-Pacific (Philippines) and PublicStrategy for Sustainable Development (Belgium) in collaboration with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Japan), who contributed its expertise to the project.

The selected ASEM countries for this research were Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea in Asia and France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Switzerland in Europe. Additionally, ASEF was conducting research with focus on Poland and Singapore. 

This research is a part of the 3-year programme “Sustainable Future: Goals for Asia and Europe” of the ENVforum. As a part of the research project ASEF representatives were taking part in the international meetings dedicated to the dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals.

The ENVforum is actively involved with UN consultations on SDGs, such as consultations related with the work of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons and Open Working Group, and hope to channel to the outcomes of the research to UN General Assembly and post-2015 related processes. It also collaborates on the topic with the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).


  • ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC)
  • Hanns Seidel Foundation, Jakarta Office
  • Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
  • Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) - Government of Sweden
Funded by the European Union

Project Updates

  • The first two parts of the study on Sustainable Development Goals in ASEM countries have been published and acknowledged as substantial contributions to the knowledge exchange and negotiation process leading up to the formation of the post-2015 development agenda.

    These publications are available for download in the following links:

    1. Sustainable Development Goals and Indicators for a Small Planet, Part I: Methodology and Goal Framework

    This publication is a tool for government officials to guide on the formulation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a national level. It presents a set of illustrative SDGs created by analysing the connections between proposed SDGs and national strategic documents.

    2. Sustainable Development Goals and Indicators for a Small Planet, Part II: Measuring Sustainability

    This publication presents a set of illustrative indicators to measure progress in achieving SDGs. It aims to reflect individuals countries’ respective priorities, goals and targets with regard to sustainability.

  • What is your vision for future global goals?

    The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and its partners invite you to share your visions for future global goals on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) e-Inventory. The interactive resource aims to help people make sense of the wide range of proposals suggested for the post-2015 development goals. The e-Inventory also provides a mechanism for users to submit their own recommendations for global goals.

    Submissions to the e-Inventory will ultimately be shared with governments and with the United Nations coordinating bodies on SDGs and the Post-2015 development agenda.

    To find out more on existing proposals, or make your own submission, visit

    ASEF supports this initiative through its Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) programme

  • ASEF, through its Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) programme, is partnering with the  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) e-Inventory.

    The SDGs e-Inventory is an online tool to crowdsource stakeholder proposals for global goals for the post-2015 period. It offers a platform to collect different visions for new universal goals for development. The visions are provided by individuals, organisations and networks from developed or developing countries and from across a variety of sectors, including NGOs and the private sector.

    Acting as an online repository, the e-Inventory supports stakeholders, including governments and intergovernmental organisations. It helps them become better informed about the wide range of proposals, expectations and evidence-based arguments on SDGs as well as other global goals for development. All such goals are proposed as part of the on-going discussions on the post-2015 development framework.

    To find out more, search existing proposals, or make your own submission, please visit   

    If you are interested in ASEF’s work on SDGs, please click here.

  • Representatives of ASEF’s Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum)  took part in consultations for the High - Level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda,  which met 25-27 March 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. The outcomes of the consultations were forwarded to the HLP members  for consideration during their discussions.

    The HLP includes  leaders and top experts from across the developed and developing world. The panel was set up to discuss ‘global partnerships’ and the ‘means of implementation’ for the world’s next development agenda. In the lead up to the meeting, the HLP organisers convened a consultation meeting of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), which was held 23-24 March 2013.

    During this joint HLP and CSO meeting, participants were divided into five thematic working groups examining five issues namely - vision and priorities, global partnerships, means of implementation, global governance and accountability, and informal economy and inclusion. The discussions focused on setting the alternative development agenda following the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, which will conclude in 2015.

    Ms Grazyna PULAWSKA, ASEF’s ENVforum representative participated in the session dedicated to the ‘means of implementation’. This session contributed to the need for transparency and accountability of delivery mechanisms for the post-2015 development agenda. This agenda is one of the key issues addressed in the ENVforum’s on-going research on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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