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Green Growth and Sustainable Development Goals - A Development Agenda for Post-2015

Conference in Seoul - Republic of Korea

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
4 - 5 November 2013 Governance & Economy Department Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) Sustainable Development
Governance & Human Rights

Seoul - Republic of Korea

The Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) organised the conference as part of a contribution to a world-wide effort to discuss and support sustainable development as an answer to sustainable development implementation challenges.

The main theme of the conference focused on the obstacles hampering the realization of a greener future, bringing together experts from the fields of business innovation and academia, representatives of Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and renowned international experts on sustainable development.

The Conference took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea in collaboration with ASEF's partner organization ASEIC (ASEM Small & Medium Enterprises Eco-Innovation Centre). Participants had the opportunity to cement their knowledge on:

  • Green Growth
  • SDGs and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda following the 2012 Rio+20 Conference in Brazil.


Launch of the New ENVforum "Small Planet" Report

This year’s Conference in Seoul provided the ideal venue to launch the ENVforum's most recent publication titled: “Sustainable Development Goals and Indicators for a Small Planet-Interim Report." The project aims to contribute to the development of a universal set of SDGs in terms of its substantive content and process design. Its specific objectives include the following:

1. Develop and test a methodology in selected Asia-Pacific and European countries to identify a system of SDGs, and to provide guidance for the methodology’s broader application at the global and national levels.

2. Identify illustrative SDGs and underlying targets and indicators that are guided by global and informed by national priorities as expressed in existing national sustainable development strategies and strategic development plans in selected ASEM countries.

3. Provide countries in Asia-Pacific and Europe a foundation for developing their own SDG and indicator sets by producing national thematic templates that reflect their respective priorities, goals, targets and indicators.

4. Support the implementation of SDGs by providing guidance regarding their integration into policies and programs.

The research was guided by the principles and priorities expressed in various fora and agreements for SDG development; considered various processes related to the global post-2015 development agenda and SDGs; and was grounded in applicable findings of social and natural sciences and the results of high-level integrated assessments and thematic reports of the UN System. Complementing guidance available through global processes and documents, the project drew on national goals and priorities from sustainable development strategies, medium-term development plans, and similar documents of eight Asian (Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore) and six European (France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland) ASEM-member countries.

In order to identify a short set of illustrative SDGs, the project developed and adopted a unique methodology that connects global and national perspectives through an iterative process. This dual-level approach ensured that the SDGs have universal relevance and meet global criteria for sustainability while being grounded in national sustainable development priorities, goals and targets.

A PDF version of the interim report is available for download on the top-right corner of this page. A final version of the Report is available here.


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

Project Updates

  • The Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) presented the outcomes of its research, Sustainable Development Goals for a Small Planet: Connecting the Global to the National Level in 14 Countries of Asia-Pacific and Europe at the 4th Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Evening Cafe on 16 December 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.

    This research provides a complete set of illustrative Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), anchoring development goals to reflect on-going realities in countries, and suggesting an approach to systematically embed sustainable development in achieving these goals. The research identified and matched pre-existing national development plans and indicators in 14 sample countries with 26 priority areas of SDGs. Based on this, the research team proposed a package of 11 overall goals and respective sub-goals.

    In 2014, the ENVForum aims to continue making a meaningful contribution towards the post-2015 global development agenda. Towards this aim, this research will provide useful input to relevant policy processes, as well as a methodology that sets a precedent and a reference for countries and future related studies.

    The electronic version of the report can be accessed here.

  • The ENVforum organisers are pleased to announce that an electronic copy of the newly published “Sustainable Development Goals and Indicators for a Small Planet – Interim Report” is now available on the ASEF website. The official launch took place during the ENVforum Conference “Green Growth and Sustainable Development Goals – A Development Agenda for Post-2015” which was held on November 4-5 2013 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

    The interim report contributes to the debate on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now taking place around the world. A specially designed methodology analyses SDG proposals from a national development plan perspective. Additionally, it showcases an illustrative set of SDGs and related indicators to serve as a possible template for ASEM governments on the way to designing their own national goals and targets.

    The report was welcomed great interest from an audience of prominent Sustainable Development experts, representatives from NGOs, civil society and international organisations during its launch in Korea as well as its presentations on different forums.

    Please click here for the interim report.

  • Putting Water in the Spotlight

    Published on 01 Nov 2013

    Leading figures in the international community and Heads of State from across the world met with one another at the Budapest Water Summit on 8-11 October 2013, in Hungary, Budapest. The Summit brought together participants representing governments, international organisations, civil society, academia and the private sector. The high-level Summit took place in parallel with different fora including a Civil Society Forum.

    The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) through its Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) was one of the co-organisers of the Civil Society Forum. ASEF representatives were involved in chairing a session dedicated to the rights to water and sanitation. The plenary session featured the latest results from the ENVforum’s research project, ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Indicators for a Small Planet’. A separate side event, ‘A Quest for Sustainable Development: Aspirations Versus Reality-Check for Water Governance’, showcased the recommendations from ENVforum’s research outlining the rights to water as a potential sustainable development goal.

    The valuable contributions from the Civil Society Forum discussions were forwarded to the final declaration of the Summit. The declaration will influence future discussions on SDGs in the lead up to 2015 and will ensure that water remains as important to policy-making as it is in our daily lives. 

  • The Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) is proud to celebrate its 10th Anniversary this November. Since 2003, ASEF’s ENVforum initiative has provided a platform for policy dialogue and produced policy recommendations on common environmental and sustainable development issues for Asia and Europe.  Of late, the ENVforum has focused on research and professional training on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help government officials to interact with civil society experts for better and more inclusive policy development.

    Recognising the team effort underpinning all of its accomplishments, the ENVforum wishes to thank all those who have collaborated with its initiatives and extend its heartiest thanks to the following partner organisations: ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC), Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), Hanns Seidel Foundation Indonesia (HSF), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). With their continued support, the ENVforum will continue with its mandate.

    ENVforum’s 10th Anniversary will be celebrated during the annual ENVforum Conference on 4-5 November 2013 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. This conference will feature the findings of the ‘SDGs for a Small Planet’ report, published by the ENVforum that contains guidelines on SDGs. This report is an outcome of a research that received appreciation from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) during the recent Asia-Pacific Ministerial Dialogue meeting on the Post-2015 development agenda, in August 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. This report contains recommendations on the methodology and priorities to be adopted, along with adequate indicators to measure improvement of the SDGs.

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