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Localizing the SDGs - Developing sustainability strategies at the local level  

Tuesday, 26 June 2018, 11.00 - 14.00

Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia to the EU,
Rue Montoyer 47, 1040 Brussels 

Localizing the SDGs – Developing sustainability strategies
at the local level


Since the adoption of the SDGs in September 2015, an increasing amount of attention is payed to their implementation at the local level. It is broadly accepted that in the “Century of Cities” (Michael Bloomberg), action at the local level will be paramount to building sustainable communities and to addressing the numerous challenges posed by the SDGs. Accordingly, a large number of activities have been launched to foster SDG implementation locally: The United Nations (UNDP and UN-Habitat) have set up a special platform for knowledge and information sharing (, and the OECD has started developing an ambitious programme to support cities (and regions) to develop, implement and monitor the SDGs. In the EU context, the SDG Multi-Stakeholder-Platform set up by the European Commission in 2017 has recently, upon the initiative of the Committee of the Regions and other organisations, decided to set up a subgroup that will focus on SDG implementation at the local and regional level. Similar initiatives at the national, regional and local level abound.

One such initiative is the project “Global Nachhaltige Kommune in NRW (GNK NRW)” (Global Sustainable Municipalities) that has been implemented in the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia between 2016 and March 2018. In a two and a half-year process, 15 local authorities ranging from small and medium-sized to large towns and rural districts have systematically been supported in the elaborating of a sustainability strategy addressing their individual local challenges, but based on the global framework of the SDGs. This project, the first phase of which has now come to an end and that will be continued, is to date the single most comprehensive project in Europe aiming at a strategic localization of the SDGs. The approach has also been taken up in other German regions.

The purpose of the event is to present the approach and the results of the project and to discuss its relevance from a European perspective.


Program of the event:

11.15   Opening and Welcome

  • Dr. Christian ENGEL, Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia to the EU
  • Viktor HAASE, Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia, Head of Department for Sustainable Development, Climate Adaptation and Green Economy


11.20   Globally Sustainable Communities: Localizing the SDGs in North Rhine-Westphalia and in Germany

  • Annette TURMANN (Service Agency Communities in One World), Dr. Klaus REUTER (Landes-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Agenda 21 e.V.)
  • Ariane BISCHOFF, Head of Strategy, City of Solingen


11.45   Panel discussion: What does it take to implement the SDGs at the local level in Europe?

  • Moderator: Johannes KRASSNITZER, United Nations Development Programme, ART Programme International Coordinator
  • Arnoldas ABRAMAVICIUS, Member and Vice President of the Bureau, Committee of the Regions, Major of Zarasai, Lithuania
  • Ariane BISCHOFF, Head of Strategy, City of Solingen
  • Seb DANCE, MEP
  • Claudia HAHN, European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment
  • Dr. Peter LIESE, MEP


12.45 Concluding remarks

  • Andrea POTH-MÖGELE, Council of European Regions and Municipalities, Executive Director European Affairs


The event will be followed by a light lunch. 


You can register by sending an e-mail to by 21 June 2018.


Organizer: Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia to the EU
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