|Photo by Mario Gomez.|
I thought I would continue the discussion by featuring some of the other nations that reviewed their efforts.
Bhutan. Bhutan has a very well regarded sustainable development approach known as the Gross National Happiness Index. Unlike many indices that focus on issues like income and productivity, the plan focuses on evaluating the happiness of the population. You can read about Bhutan's plan here. I had a post about the index earlier this year here.
Costa Rica. Costa Rica has focused on sustainable development for a considerable amount of time (since the original Earth Summit in 1992). They continue to advance sustainable development in innovative ways. They hope to be carbon neutral within the next decade.
Uganda. Uganda has a sustainability plan that is focused on goal setting to 2040. This is one of the longest-term sustainability plan that I know of that has been created in a sustainable development context. Uganda has aggressive goals to advance to a developed economy by that time, but there are national challenges of finances, capacity building, institutional support, and local capacity.
Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen. Each of these countries has been involved in sustainable development planning in some way, but they have the same challenges: security, violence, and conflict. I hate to put these nations together since they are addressing these issues in very different ways, but it is still useful to examine them as a group. In Lebanon, the challenge is that the country is very polarized and the government transitions frequently, making it difficult to prioritize sustainable development within national strategies. In Jordan, sustainable development has been infused in the discourse of the country for some time. However, the conflict in surrounding regions make it difficult to actualize sustainable development within national strategies. Jordan was most recently impacted by refugees from Syria. Yemen has been greatly impacted by conflict and the government does not have full control of the total geographic extent of the country. Thus, it is difficult to conduct widespread sustainable development initiatives that have great impact. Yet, Yemen has been infusing sustainable development within existing planning processes. These three countries are struggling with making progress on sustainable development. It is worth noting that many countries have similar issues.