Kick off Meeting of the Development Account Project “Enabling Policy Frameworks for enterprise sustainability and SDG reporting in Africa and Latin America”


21 November 2019
Pretoria
, South Africa


 

A kick off meeting on the implementation of the Development Account 11th Tranche Project entitled Enabling policy frameworks for enterprise sustainability and SDG reporting in Africa and Latin America was held by UNCTAD and the Department of Trade & Industry of South Africa on the 21 November in Pretoria, South Africa.

The project’s objective is to strengthen the capacities of Governments to measure and monitor the private sector contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular to provide data on target 12.6 “Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle” and indicator 12.6.1. “Number of companies publishing sustainability reports.” It also entails developing of a national action plan towards achieving high quality sustainability reporting and conducting training activities on the SDG reporting by companies including based on UNCTAD Guidance on core indicators for entity reporting on contribution towards implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Regional workshop is also planned at a later stage of the project to share good practices and lesson learned.

The kick off meeting launched a participatory process that is a key for the multistakeholder nature of the Development Account Project. Enterprise sustainability is a broad and cross cutting topic that is typically under the purview of several government entities and other stakeholders. Therefore the efficient dialogue and ongoing communication among key stakeholders is critical to enhance coordination and capacity building impact of the project. During the meeting UNCTAD shared details on the objectives, activities and expected outputs of the project and presented UNCTAD tools, such as the Accounting Development Tool (ADT), the Guidance on Core Indicators (GCI) as well as the Metadata Guidance on the SDG indicator 12.6.1 that will be used during the implementation period. National coordinator explained how the assessment phase of the project will be organized based on the ADT application, including how it will be used towards development of an enabling policy framework for enterprise sustainability and SDG reporting.

Opening the meeting on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Maria Ria Nonyana-Mokabane, Chief Director of CCRD Legislative Drafting in the Department of Trade and Industry said:  “Good business must take heed of the SDGs as an established part of business development and find ways of incorporating same in its policies as well as integrating the SGDs into normal practice. Sustainability reporting is a strategic imperative that enables companies to look into the future, predict trends and influence business strategies for the better”.

Tatiana Krylova, Head of Enterprise Branch of UNCTAD also commented: “SDG is a common agenda of the government and the private sector.  However, there is a lack of institutional and technical capacity to adapt national corporate reporting environments to the new demands spurred by the 2030 Agenda and effectively assess the private sector contribution towards attaining the SDGs. UNCTAD’s project intends to assist in building such capacity.”

The kick off meeting was attended by over 30 participants from the key national entities as well as country SDG focal points, including government, academia, standard setters in various areas of enterprise reporting, national statistical office, professional accounting organizations, experts in sustainability etc. A 3-day national workshop is the next step of the project that is tentatively scheduled for mid-May 2020.

Besides South Africa, there are three other beneficiary countries in the project:  Brazil, Colombia, Kenya. The project also builds on UNCTAD cooperation with UN Environment and UN DESA in the area of the SDG reporting. For more information please click​ here.

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Co-organizer(s):
Department of Trade & Industry of South Africa
Sponsor / funding:
The project is financed by the United Nations Development Account

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