North Macedonia country profile - SDGs and the environment

Briefing Published 02 Dec 2020 Last modified 02 Dec 2020
2 min read
North Macedonia’s Partnership for Sustainable Development UN Strategy positions environmental sustainability as one of four priority areas. The Strategy sets out that, by 2020, individuals, the private sector and state institutions will base their actions on the principles of sustainable development, and communities will be more resilient to disasters and environmental risks.

Under the partnership, this prioritisation will involve nine SDGs (SDGs 2, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15), reflecting the importance of environmental protection and resilience as per the 2030 Agenda (UN, 2016).

Environmental sustainability is one of four priority areas for North Macedonia. It involves SDGs 2, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

North Macedonia embarked on mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into its National Sustainable Development Plan in December 2015, with the aim of developing an SDG Plan 2016-2030, based on an assessment of needs and potential, as well as setting targets relevant to the national context (Spasenovska et al., 2017). The plan is under the overall responsibility of the vice-prime minister’s cabinet and aims to mainstream the 2030 Agenda at the national level. The government will also integrate SDG implementation into a four‐year government programme for the period of 2016‐2020 and harmonise it with the relevant sector strategies, plans and programmes (Wiederkehr et al., 2016). 

A multi‐stakeholder process will be launched (including decision-makers and stakeholders at the national, regional and local level, as well as non-governmental stakeholders from academia, the private sector, donor agencies, NGOs, etc.), with the support of the UN Development Programme. The objective is to prioritise the SDGs, localise the targets, select local target indicators, develop a budgetary framework and review the relevant national sectoral strategies and the level of adjustment needed to align them with the SDG agenda (Wiederkehr et al., 2016). 

To lay the foundations for implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the government has undertaken a joint initiative with the UN to integrate the SDGs into the national planning process. This will start with the prioritisation of SDGs and the localisation of targets, as well as the selection of local indicators (Spasenovska et al., 2017). All resident UN agencies, together with the UNECE, will support North Macedonia to adapt the SDGs to local conditions and to establish a system for tracking progress. Similarly, all UN agencies will support its alignment with EU standards and legislation, including through peer-to-peer exchanges with EU Member States (UN, 2016).


Spasenovska, M. and Chichevalieva S., 2017, Challenges in Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into the National Sustainable Development Planning and the Role of the WHO, United Nations Development Group, United Nations, New York, USA.  

UN, 2016,Partnership for Sustainable Development United Nations Strategy for 2016-2020, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Country Team, Skopje, North Macedonia. 

Wiederkehr, F., et al., 2016, Macedonia –Draft SDG#6 Strategy,  Advancing the Human Right to Water and Sanitation through Inclusive Business Approaches (AGUASAN), Switzerland, accessed 29 November 2019.


The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.


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