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04 AUGUST 2023


ASEAN Mayors Forum Highlights Commitment to Localizing SDGs for Sustainable Development


There is a growing interest and effort among local governments across the ASEAN in integrating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators into their short, medium, and long-term development plans, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines president and Quirino governor Dax Cua said.


"Firstly, it is essential to mainstream the SDGs into local development plans. Our policymakers must view the SDGs as a roadmap towards sustainability. By identifying prioritized goals and addressing apparent gaps in achieving the SDGs, we can chart a path towards a more sustainable future for our cities and municipalities," said Cua as he presented the outputs of a parallel session on SDG Localization during the main plenary of the ASEAN Mayors’ Forum on August 2nd in Jakarta, Indonesia.


The said session brought together distinguished local leaders and policymakers to discuss and share insights on developing Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR) and SDGs Action Plans at the local level.


Notable best practices were showcased during the session, with cities and municipalities sharing their successful initiatives.


Jambi City presented "Bangkit Berdaya," Siem Reap City shared "One Window One Service," Kiang Municipality demonstrated "Mangrove Rejuvenation," the Philippines highlighted "National Youth Commission," Banyuwangi Regency showcased "Smart Kampung," and West Kalimantan presented "SIPOHON."


Despite these achievements, Cua acknowledged that there were challenges in implementing the SDGs at the local level.


He said that there is a consensus among the local leaders present in the session that data collection remains a significant challenge.


"Additionally, limited budgets, a lack of human resources, and inadequate infrastructures and technology pose constraints," Cua added.


Cua also relayed that the following recommendations were proposed:


Mainstreaming SDGs into Local Development Plans: Policymakers are urged to view the SDGs as a roadmap towards sustainability, identifying prioritized goals and addressing gaps in achieving them. By integrating the SDGs into local development plans, cities, and municipalities can chart a path towards a more sustainable future.


Fostering Collaboration with Private Sectors and International Networks: The private sector is pivotal in driving innovation, investment, and expertise that can complement efforts towards sustainable development.


Engaging with international networks will facilitate cross-border knowledge-sharing and capacity-building, enabling participants to learn from each other's successes and challenges.


Community and Youth Participation: Involving local communities at every step of the process is vital for the success of development projects. Their invaluable insights and contributions must be embraced. Equally important is the active engagement of youth, who can be the change agents of tomorrow and play a significant role in the localization of the SDGs.


Cua said that the ASEAN Mayors Forum reaffirms its commitment to sustainable development and acknowledges the power of local government units to make a substantial impact on the path toward a brighter future for all citizens.


"Together, as ASEAN cities and municipalities, we have the power to make a substantial impact on the path towards sustainable development and a brighter future for all our citizens," the governor said.

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