The role of Colombian environmental authorities in complying with the SDGs

María del Pilar García, Director of the Environmental Law Department, explored the obstacles encountered in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, and attributed part of this failure to the crossroads between different entities.

In 2015, 193 world leaders committed to 17 objectives contributing to sustainable development (SDGs).  This commitment will remain in government and academia agendas for the next 15 years (2030).

With the above in mind, the Environmental Law Department held the Conference “Sustainable Development Objectives and the role of environmental authorities in their compliance,” offered by Professor García, who made a historical tour of the agenda.

“The SDGs intend for countries to take measures to improve well-being and at the same time safeguard the planet. The idea is that the objectives be read holistically, with the understanding they cannot be achieved singly, but are a call for collective action,” said María del Pilar García.

To delve into the subject and place it in perspective, the speaker cited SDGs (1, 2, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15) relating to environmental issues and how the Colombia Government, through a CONPES document, has sought to respond to the attainment of the targets before 2030.

“The CONPES Document 3918 of 2018 establishes goals and strategies for meeting the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs in Colombia. The document creates a roadmap for each of the goals, including indicators, responsible entities, and the resources required to bring it to fruition,” she added.

However, the detailed analysis of the SDGs evidenced the absence of environmental authorities responsible for several of the features outlined in the objectives to achieve their effective implementation and pointed out the need for participation, not only public but also private.

Additionally, the Colombian case indicated how CONPES intersects many other targets set by the Government to meet other economic objectives, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Green Growth Strategy (National Planning Department) and the implementation of the Peace Agreement, among others.