Sustainable Development

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Make the global Sustainable Development Goals real [19/12/2017]

The 2017 Federal Report on Sustainable Development takes as its starting point the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) adopted at the UN. The report assesses 34 indicators showing the evolution of Belgium towards the SDGs and examines the gap between existing scenarios and the SDGs in 3 areas: poverty, energy and transportation. Current developments usually go in the right direction, but most often lag far behind the quantified objectives

What matters to Belgians ? Analysis of the determinants of individual well-being in Belgium [02/06/2017]

This Working Paper analyses the determinants of individual well-being in Belgium, using data from the EU-SILC survey. The analysis shows that on average health, both mental and physical, is the key determinant of well-being for Belgians. Enjoying sufficient income to access what is regarded as the prevailing standard of living in Belgium, having a job and being surrounded by loved ones also have a significant and positive impact on well-being. Besides these results for “average” Belgians, the analysis of different sub-groups highlights that these determinants are not of equal importance to all Belgians. These results contribute to the FPB’s work on the search for indicators complementary to GDP.

The well-being of Belgians: income is just part of the picture [02/06/2017]

Health is the main determinant of the well-being of Belgians. Income matters but to a lesser extent. Having a job and being surrounded by loved ones also have an impact on well-being. These results apply to an “average” Belgian. The analysis of different sub-groups shows that these determinants are not of equal importance to all Belgians.

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The Task Force on Sustainable Development (TFSD) of the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) acts since 1998 under the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, of which it is one of the actors. Its missions include reporting on the evaluation of sustainable development policies and proposing long-term foresight scenarios.

A development is sustainable if it enables the needs of the current generation to be met equitably without compromising the satisfaction of the needs of future generations.

A sustainable development that addresses social, environmental and institutional problems on a systemic basis is guided by the following five cross-cutting principles:

  • all countries' responsibility for the state of the planet, and especially of the rich ones;
  • double equity, both among today’s generation and between the present and future generations;
  • integration of the economic, social and environmental components of development;
  • precautions against the risk of serious or irreversible damage and the need for preventive measures;
  • public participation in the decision-making process by making information available to the public.

These five principles were adopted in 1992 by the international community at the Rio Conference and the sustainable development concept is best known mainly thanks to three world conferences organised by the United Nations :

  • The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992);
  • The UN World Summit on Sustainable Development;
  • The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro, 2012 = Rio +20).

The overarching goals of a sustainable development that were adopted in 1992/2002 and confirmed in 2012 (Rio +20) are :

  • Eradicating poverty;
  • Changing unsustainable production and consumption patterns into sustainable ones;
  • Protecting and managing the natural resources on which economic and social development is based.

To contribute to the follow-up of the commitments made in this framework, the FPB regularly publishes the Federal report on sustainable development in accordance with the Law of 5 May 1997 regarding the coordination of the federal policy on sustainable development. The law also introduced the Federal plan for sustainable development.

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