December 06, 2019     cib    

Localising SDGs in Germany

Local governments play a crucial role in the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and municipalities concerned with sustainability are placing an increased focus on the SDGs. In Germany, more than 120 local governments have signed the resolution "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Building Sustainability at the Local Level" initiated by us at the German Association of Cities. Our member cities were invited to sign up a commitment for a sustainable agenda and to initiate activities and measures for sustainability such as awareness raising campaigns or reductions of CO2 emissions.

At the German Association of Cities we have also been working together with the Bertelsmann foundation and five other partners on the project “SDG Indicators for German municipalities”. The project looked at the 169 targets of the 17 SDGs, reviewed their relevance for German municipalities and developed a set of indicators to measure them. The project interface, the SDG Portal, was one of the three finalists of the UN SDG Action Awards in the category “Visualizer”. 

The work of the SDG Portal has been currently focusing on German cities but will soon be extended to Italian cities as part of a follow up project with the Bertelsmann foundation and in cooperation with the Italian local government association (LGA) AICCRE. 

In the spirit of further exchange among LGAs on the topic of localising SDGs, we are planning a Connective Cities dialogue event for LGAs from 7 to 9 April 2020 in Cologne, Germany. The workshop will provide a platform to share current projects but also to discuss open implementation challenges and develop cooperation ideas on localising SDGs.

So far the experience with the localisation of SDGs in Germany has shown that a broad partnership approach bringing together expertise from different stakeholders is the right way to support municipalities in the complex pathway to achieve local sustainability, very much in line with SDG 17 “Partnerships for the Goals”.

By Helmut Dedy, Executive Director, German Association of Cities
December 2019


In order to give more visibility to the Forum of Local Governments Associations, UCLG and CIB publish columns by CEOs on our websites. These columns will cover issues (internal or external) which the LGAs are dealing with at that moment.