SL Behind Schedule In Estimating Its Financial Commitment Towards Sustainable Development Goals

Ifham Nizam

December 7, 2022


Sri Lanka was yet to estimate its financial commitment towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and had not assessed its potential gains from such an investment and is yet to align its national economic policies, financial systems and investment strategies with the 2030 Agenda, noted Executive Director of the Centre for Environment and Development, Uchita de Zoysa, last week.

 Speaking at the Symposium on the National Crisis from a Sustainable Development Assessment: Based on 2022 Independent Monitoring, Evaluation & Reviews of the SDGs, on Friday, in Colombo, Zoysa said Sri Lanka had not been able to mobilise additional external or internal resources required for transformative action towards achieving the SDGs. The symposium was organized by FIAN SL.

 The United Nations has estimated that USD 5 trillion to USD 7 trillion per year is needed between 2015 and 2030 to achieve the SDGs globally, and USD 3.3 trillion to USD 4.5 trillion per year in developing countries. Estimates also show that achieving the SDGs could open up USD 12 trillion of market opportunities and create 380 million new jobs, and that action on climate change would result in savings of about US$ 26 trillion by 2030, he added.

Zoysa also said that a ‘Domestic Resource Mobilization Framework for SDGs’ was formulated in 2020, in Sri Lanka, as an independent contribution to the national effort, and as a transformative model for the rest of the world, as well.

 The framework addresses recalibrating four critical contexts towards implementing the SDGs; the policy context, the localising context, the financing context, and the transformation context. Domestic resource mobilisation will be defined by addressing systemic issues for resource governance, resource relationships and resource regeneration.

 Resource Governance is how resource flows are regulated, he said, adding that it is managed within the tiers of governance, national-provincial-local, as well as the self-governance of resources by non-state actors, including international, private, civil society, community and individuals. Resource Relationships are how the flow of resources through investment and financing transpire between different stakeholders and actors. Resource Regeneration is how resources are invested within the ecosystem for intra-generational equity and harvested for inter-generational equity.

The Domestic Resource Mobilization Framework for SDGs in Sri Lanka’ is a linkages model of elements, facilitating the recalibration of the contexts that SDGs are implemented across the governance tiers and supported by tools. “It intends to support the efforts of the Government and its stakeholders towards implementing the SDGs in Sri Lanka. The Framework provides a platform to design policy instruments and strategic interventions towards advancing sustainable development,” he added.

 He said that aiming to provide greater strategic foresight, the Framework does not attempt to present a prescriptive proposal on national planning and budgeting. The Framework is to inspire resource mobilisation for transformative action across national, subnational and community levels as a whole of society. The objective of the Framework is to engage public, private, civil society and all stakeholders at national, subnational and community levels in reimagining domestic resource mobilisation, reorganising the resource flows, and reinvesting in transformational pathways towards the recalibration of the context of implementing the SDGs.

 Expert panelist Professor Sarath Kotagama said that to improve the ecosystem services, Sri Lanka needs to increase the forest cover in the Central Hills and wet zones.

He also said that here is a debate on the definition of the forest. “We need to come out from this confusion to solve the national crisis and environmental issues in this country,” he stressed.

Courtesy: The Island