MAIN MESSAGES – SWEDEN’S VNR
Sweden’s Voluntary National Review 2021 builds on progress made on its implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda since 2017.
Sweden is well ahead in achieving the SDGs but some challenges remain
Sweden is in a favourable position in its implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Peaceful and democratic conditions, ambitious national targets for a sustainable transition, openness to collaboration with others at home and abroad, and a dynamic business climate have together created a strong foundation for sustainable development and welfare. Sweden ranks highly in many international comparisons on SDG implementation. However, consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are hampering progress and exacerbating existing challenges. Economic and social inequalities in Sweden are increasing. Young people are exposed to more mental health challenges, violence and bullying. Sweden also has challenges relating to sustainable consumption and production, and the transition towards a circular economy.
SDG delivery and accelerated actions require:
- Political commitment to policy coherence for sustainable development
In December 2020, the Swedish Riksdag (Parliament) approved a government bill with an overarching objective for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda: Sweden will implement the 2030 Agenda to achieve economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development through a coherent policy nationally and internationally. Implementation will be guided by the Agenda’s ‘leave no one behind’ principle.
- Delivery on leaving no one behind
Sweden is committed to delivering on the principle of leaving no one behind. This is a commitment to realising human rights, gender equality, addressing inequalities within and between countries, universal social protection, strengthening empowerment and participation, and the transition towards resource-efficient, resilient and climate neutral economies. Moreover, Sweden views promoting multidimensional poverty reduction, social dialogue and decent work as critical elements, as well as improving data to monitor progress on compliance with the principle.
- Child and youth perspectives
The perspectives, engagement and innovation of young people are of great importance to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Issues of importance to Swedish young people include the environment and climate, gender equality and preventing oppression and discrimination.
- A whole-of-society approach
Multiple actors in Sweden are involved in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Government agencies and municipalities are working together to implement the 2030 Agenda. The research community is contributing with cutting-edge research and innovation on sustainable development. Civil society is paving the way through its own efforts and by pushing decision-makers to act. The business community is at the forefront of integrating the 2030 Agenda into their business models and driving new innovations. Trade unions are pushing for social dialogue and decent working conditions.
- Going local
Municipalities and regions play an important role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs are put in practice and innovations are developed and tested at the local level, which in turn contributes to implementation nationally and globally. In conjunction with Sweden’s VNR, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions has conducted a voluntary regional review. Helsingborg, Malmö, Stockholm and Uppsala have also carried out voluntary local reviews for the first time.
- Going global
Sweden will remain a strong voice for the global implementation of the 2030 Agenda and be a trusted partner worldwide. Sweden will work to build back better and greener in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mitigating and adapting to climate change, and halting biodiversity loss and restoring ecosystems, are necessary to achieve all SDGs. Sweden has increased funding to tackle climate change and has stepped up efforts to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystems. Sweden will continue to focus on global health, including the fair distribution of vaccines. Sweden will always stand up for democracy, the rule of law and equality, including gender equality.
- Financing for development
Sweden is one of the most generous aid contributors globally and the Government is committed to allocating 1 percent of Sweden’s GNI to official development assistance (ODA). However, ODA is not enough. New forms of partnerships and innovative financing are needed, and domestic resource mobilisation must be strengthened. Debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries need to be addressed by engaging all official and private creditors. Financial flows need to shift by adopting green financial instruments and stopping investment in fossil fuels.
|Full Report||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
|Sustainable Consumption & Production Patterns||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
|Waste Management||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
|Rural Development||CSD-16; CSD-17;|
|Atmosphere/Air Pollution||CSD-14; CSD-15;|
|Human Settlements||CSD-12; CSD-13;|
|2003 Status Report|
We, the partners have committed to aim to ban no later than June 2020, the placing on the market of rinse off cosmetic products that contains plastic micro beads that are intended to be used to exfoliate or cleanse the human body. It is broadly documented that ingestion of marine litter, including micro plastics can have negative consequences on the physical condition of marine animals and even lead to death. Ingestion of micro plastics is also of concern as it may provide a pathway for transport of harmful chemicals into the food web. Both OSPAR and HELCOM Regional Action Plans address ...[more]
The best opportunity to slow the rate of near-term warming globally and in sensitive regions such as the Arctic is by cutting emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – most notably methane, black carbon and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Widespread reductions, which complement the need for aggressive global action on carbon dioxide, contribute significantly to the goal of limiting warming to less than two degrees. Reducing SLCPs can also advance national priorities such as protecting air quality and public health, promoting food security, enhancing energy efficiency, and allevi...[more]
Sweden and Monaco share a deep commitment to the preservation of our oceans a well as a clear intention to support the implementation of sustainable development goal number 14 of the Agenda 2030 - SDG14. The two countries also have a strong will to engage government agencies, academia, companies and civil societies in these efforts as a broad approach has proven to be key to success. By organizing a follow-up event to The Ocean Conference in New York in June 2017, Sweden and Monaco wish to join forces in moving from words to deeds in facilitating the exchange of experiences and know-how in d...[more]
The Blue Action Fund makes funding available for the activities of national and international non-governmental organizations in their efforts to help conserve marine and coastal ecosystems with the following objectives: - The safeguarding of marine biodiversity: by creating new protected areas and by improving the management of existing ones. - The sustainable use of marine biodiversity: in fishery, aquaculture and in tourism. BMZ in cooperation with KfW Development Bank founded the Blue Action Fund as a response to the funding gap for the conservation of marine biodiversity, in partic...[more]
The Swedish Government is contributing to the CBD Special Voluntary Trust Fund (BE) for Additional Voluntary Contributions in Support of Approved Activities for the period 2017-2020. The work in CBD on costal and marine biodiversity is important for the success of Goal 14 and Agenda 2030. Sweden has therefor committed to make a financial support to the work of the CBD on Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas, marine spatial planning and the Sustainable Ocean Initiative, in particular regarding sectorial integration. The contribution from Swedish Government to the CBD Trust Fund (B...[more]
Objective This voluntary commitment has the objective of underpinning true ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning in Sweden and neighboring waters through the integration of semi-quantitative spatial assessments of the cumulative environmental impact in the planning process and stakeholder consultations. In short: With the Symphony method marine planners can easily assess the expected environmental impact of any drafted plan through a science-based and transparent spatial analysis. By integrating this information in the planning process and dialogue, sustainable solutions can be identif...[more]
Marine litter is one of the most pervasive pollution problems affecting the marine environment globally. The universal challenge of addressing and managing marine litter is a useful illustration of the global and transboundary nature of many other marine environmental problems. Marine litter results from human behaviour, whether accidental or intentional. The greatest sources of it are land-based activities, including: wastes released from dumpsites near the coast or river banks, the littering of beaches by tourism and recreational users of the coasts, fishing industry activities and ship-...[more]
Sweden commits to further develop ecosystem-based management of fish and fisheries in Sweden as an integral part of achieving sustainable fisheries. As a first step the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management has been commissioned by the government to develop a strategy for how ecosystem based management of fish and fisheries can be developed to form an integrated part in achieving the aims for marine and water management. The strategy shall consider cost implications of developing ecosystem based management and shall highlight the effects of climate change on fisheries management. ...[more]
An important element in work on eco‐cycles is sustainable waste management. Source: UNCSD Secretariat (2010) Questionnaire for the Member States on Experiences, Success Factors, Risks and Challenges with Regard to Objective and Themes of UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) Eco Cycle strategy is aimed at bringing about a society with non-toxic and resource-efficient cycles. This includes prevention of waste, changed patterns of consumption, more efficient production methods and waste management with a greater focus on recycling. The natural cycle strategy looks at materials a...[more]
A new large research vessel has been commissioned and will be delivered to Sweden, in 2019. Sweden has not had its own larger research vessel since R/V Argos was discontinued in 2011 and currently Sweden rent similar vessels from Denmark and Finland. Every year, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) carry out a variety of expeditions and surveys as part of a national environmental monitoring effort of the waters around Sweden. SLU implements five internationally coordinated surveys annually, and uses trawling and ad...[more]
Green tax package in Sweden reduces greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to reach set goals in EU for share of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Source: Swedish Ministry of Environment In the fall of 2009 the Swedish Parliament decided on an environmental tax package. The various measures are implemented carefully and gradually in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015 so that households and companies have time to adapt. A particular focus was on taking steps towards a more uniform national price on fossil carbon dioxide by way of reducing existing deviations from the general carbon dioxide tax l...[more]
Växjö's progress toward becoming a sustainable community has been dependent upon the commitment shown not only by decision-makers but also by the city's residents. Source: The ICLEI Case Study series Växjö has designed numerous projects to popularise sustainability and educate citizens about ways in which they can personally reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Växjö's many successful programmes help to raise awareness and encourage citizen engagement. Two such programmes are the Teleborg school photovoltaic (PV) system and Climate Idols, which show how citizen involvement is key to im...[more]
The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]
Unwanted catches and discarding is a major problem in commercial fisheries around the world. Both the ecological and economical sustainability of a fishery is directly affected by the amount of unwanted catches. One of the main purposes of the new common fishery policy of the European union is to reduce unwanted catches as far as possible. Therefore, an obligation to land all catches of quota species (discard ban) has been introduced. Unwanted catches can be avoided by changing the fishing operation, starting with the choice of when and where to fish and by choosing a more selective gear f...[more]
Societal Innovation enabling Sustainable Development and a cross-sector eco-system transitioning to a Circular Economy. A modular scaleable platform supporting and connecting a network of ‘smart circular regions’ supporting the technical infrastructure to facilitate efficient community resource management. Supporting resource categories that include secondary material markets, transparent food systems, physical asset management, product-service network. Promoting the circular economy to enable regenerative communities and a wellbeing economy. Supporting Cities & Regions, organisations...[more]
Sweden will meet the target for SDG 14.5 and the marine part of the CBD Aichi target 11 within the Swedish territory. Meeting the targets for marine protected areas has been slow and has proved to be challenging. With a decision in December 2016 to designate four new MPAs and expand two existing to suit conservation needs to protect the harbor porpoise Sweden doubled the area of MPAs from 6.7 percent. By the 30th May 13.6 percent of Swedish territorial water and EEZ is protected as MPAs. In June 2016 The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management presented the National Action plan for ...[more]
The initiative aims to: Provide a forum for exchange of knowledge and expertise among governments, international organisations, civil society, think-tanks, the private sector, and other stakeholders on the policy implications of SDG implementation. Help governments and stakeholders to strengthen their capacities for analysing policy coherence challenges, and adapting institutional mechanisms, policy-making processes, and policy coherence monitoring and reporting systems to the needs and vision of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs; and Support national efforts for reporting progress on SDG Target 17...[more]
The Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development initiative seeks to identify and support new and sustainable approaches to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy solutions for increasing agriculture productivity and/or value in developing countries.
Responsible plastic management, substantially emanating from EU measures and national initiatives targeting the main sources of plastic pollution and which includes the following key factors: A sound waste management, including regulation, waste statistics, guidance, a national waste management plan and waste management plans in all municipalities. Separate collection of different wastes, a deposit system for PET bottles and aluminum canes and high targets for recycling. Information and education about the importance of both separated collection of waste and the impact of littering, throug...[more]
The Swedish Maritime Strategy was established in 2015, signed by 4 ministers covering environment, fisheries, rural affairs, enterprise, innovation and infrastructure. The strategy is a policy document with the aim and vision to promote a: Competitive, innovative and sustainable maritime sector that can contribute to increased employment, reduced environmental impact and an attractive living environment. The goal was to create an integrated and sustainable management of marine resources and maritime activities. In order fulfil the commitment and to secure the three legs of sustainability - ...[more]
The Swedsh Government commit to financially support to IUCN to strengthen knowledge generation and taking measures within the ocean and climate context. The support contributes to capacity development, knowledge generation and methodological development, particularly in developing countries, contributing to the implementation of SDG 14, in particular 14.2, 14.3 and 14.5. The Swedsh Government also commit to financially support to The Ocean Foundations "Ocean acidification program". The support contributes to training researchers in monitoring and measuring, and, if possible, contribute to...[more]
The Swedish Government is supporting a Source to Sea approach on a global and regional scale for land based pollution and in particular marine litter. More than 80 percent of marine pollution and litter comes from land based sources. There is a need to identify pathways of pollution, from land to sea, using a Source to Sea Approach, and take necessary action. The Swedish Government increases its financial support to: The Clean Seas Campaign on marine litter. The campaign aims to secure commitments from Governments, as well as private sector enterprises and members of the general public....[more]
2010: Sweden’s strong commitment to Women’s and Children’s health is clearly reflected in Sweden's policy for global development , in Sweden's international policy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and in the Policy for Gender Equality and the Rights and Role of Women . In the bilateral development cooperation support is primarily given to the strengthening of national health and education systems with a focus on a broad SRHR approach. A range of funding and other mechanisms is used. Policy dialogue and strategic partnerships are essential to raise awareness and build c...[more]
On the 1st of June 2017 the Swedish Government decided to start developing a new strategy for global action on the environment, climate, oceans and natural resources. This is the first time oceans are explicitly highlighted as a focus area. The forthcoming strategy will enable the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to support global action for Sustainable Oceans, including support to normative processes and institutional capacity building, during the period 2018-2022. The funds, preliminary totalling up to 750 million USD in grants over the 5 year period, amount to sig...[more]
Sweden will support for the Implementation of the 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures and complementary Instruments to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. This will be done through the five-year global umbrella Programme to support coastal and small island developing States in building capacity to adopt and implement the provisions of the PSMA, complementary international instruments and regional mechanisms to combat IUU fishing. Sweden will also support The Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record), which provi...[more]
The Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF) is a platform that promotes industrial skills development among young people in emerging economies. Working with the private sector through Public Private Development Partnerships, the LKDF supports the establishment and upgrading of local industrial training academies to help meet the labour market’s increasing demand for skilled employees, ultimately contributing to inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The long-term success of local industrial academies that partner with the LKDF is ensured through constant monitoring of e...[more]
The Swedish government commits to reaching the target of an ecologically representative, coherent and well-managed network of MPAs by 2020. The commitment contributes to achieving the SDG targets 14.2 and 14.5, the Aichitarget 11 on protected areas and fulfilling EU environmental legislation goals. Relevant conservation measures regulating fisheries contribute to achieving conservation objectives for each MPA, as well as the functionality of the MPA network. Conservation measures will be based on scientific evidence and fisheries regulations are designed as far as possible in consultation w...[more]