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A clear lack of progress in environmental SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region, a new UN report shows

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Bangkok (ESCAP News / Press Release): There is strong evidence that the Asia-Pacific region needs to accelerate action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and significantly change current negative trends, especially those that deplete and deplete its environmental resources, a new report said today. the United Nations Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The Report on the achievement of the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region for 2020 draws attention to the region’s weak performance on most measurable environmental goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For example, the share of renewable energy fell to 16 percent, which is one of the lowest in the world. The region also emits half of the world’s greenhouse gases, doubling since 2000. 35 percent of countries are still losing their forests.

“Our analysis shows that the Asia-Pacific region has struggled the most with two goals: promoting responsible consumption and production and climate action. In fact, the region is not even moving in the right direction, ”said Ms. Armida Salsia Alisjahbana, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

“These findings are alarming for the region to urgently promote the rational use of natural resources, improve the management of chemicals and waste, increase resilience to natural disasters and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change through integrated policies,” she added. . Alishabana.

On the positive side, many countries are moving resolutely and are showing significant progress in improving the quality of education (goal 4) and ensuring access to affordable and clean energy (goal 7). The report shows that achieving these two goals is quite affordable. The region is also making good progress in meeting growth targets. Real GDP per capita growth in the Asia-Pacific region was more than twice the global average in 2017, and at the same time, at least 18 countries in the region are experiencing lower income inequality.

However, to develop more sustainably and equitably, the region’s current economic progress must be combined with people’s well-being and a healthy environment. Progress has been too slow in areas such as gender equality (goal 5) and building sustainable cities and communities (goal 11). ESCAP warns that the region is unlikely to be able to achieve any of the 17 SDGs by 2030 without the concerted additional efforts of all stakeholders.

Progress has also been uneven across the five subregions of the Asia-Pacific region, especially in reducing inequality (target 10), responsible consumption and production (target 12), and peace, justice and strong institutions (target 16). However, a positive example of collective progress in all five subregions is access to electricity, where there is steady improvement, especially in rural areas.

The availability of SDG data has increased significantly over the past few years in the Asia-Pacific region from 25 percent in 2017 to 42 percent in 2020. slow progress. According to ESCAP, this underscores the urgent need to strengthen the relationship between policy and data in the region.

ESCAP’s flagship annual publication in partnership with five other UN agencies Report on the achievement of the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region uses the latest data for the SDG global indicators to determine where further efforts are needed in the region and where the impetus for future progress is growing.

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