Korea Civil Society Report for 2018 HLPF |
Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies
(Korean version is separately bound.)
Korea SDGs Network ⓒ 2018
Publisher | Korea SDGs Network
Day of Issue | 18 June 2018
Co-Presidents | Choony KIM, Eunsoon CHOI
Editor | Denise K.H. YOON
Authors | See ‘appendix 1’
Translators | See ‘appendix 1’
Cover design | Yujin NAM
Print | Sudosa Co. Ltd.
※ This report is supported by the Beautiful Foundation
1. Summary | i
2. Introduction | 01
3. The Progress and Major Issues of Thematic Goals for 2018 HLPF
1) SDG 6 | 03
2) SDG 7 | 08
3) SDG 11 | 12
4) SDG 12 | 21
5) SDG 15 | 31
6) SDG 17 | 36
4. Cross-sector Review: Human Rights and Gender Equality
1) Gender equality | 45
2) Persons with disabilities | 49
3) Youth’s perspective on SDG 11 | 54
5. Position on the Development of Korea SDGs and its Multi-stakeholder Engagement System in 2018 | 65
6. Conclusion and Recommendation | 68
▮ Appendix 1 | List of authors of the draft and translators | 76
▮ Appendix 2 | List of Organizations who sign on <Korean Civil Society Report for 2018 HLPF> | 77
▮ Appendix 3 | The introduction of the Korean SDGs Network | 78
The report is the second one summarizing major issues and activities, and recommendations of the Korean civil society in terms of SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 11, SDG 12, SDG 15, and SDG 17-the themes for the overhaul at 2018 UN High-Level Political Forum. The first report, ‘Korea Civil Society Report for 2017 HLPF’ was submitted to UN in April, 2017
The purposes of the report are 1) to record political, social, economic and environmental issues in Korea associated with UN SDGs for comprehensive understanding, 2 ) to build a learning process for capacity building, 3) to carry out the policy campaign to build a participatory, inclusive and integrated implementation system of SDGs in Korea.
The Korea SDGs Network formed a team to prepare the 1st draft on Mar, 13 in 2018. The draft was made public through the homepage of the Korea SDGs network and using the mailing list in order to collect comments and opinions from the network members and public from May 8 to June 1.
The report sums up main issues and recommendations for the goals of 2018 HLPF. The report aims to comprehensively overhaul the goals encompassing gender equality and human rights, the linchpin for UN SDGs implementation in 2018. However, it was impossible to measure how much progress has been made due to the lack of disaggregated statistics related to gender equality, people with disabilities and the youth. Korean civil society strongly urges the government to generate disaggregated statistics as a premise to SDG implementation with no one left behind.
Concerning SDG 6, major issues in Korea are as follows: 1) overdevelopment of dams, 2) water pollution and destruction of freshwater ecosystem due to the fact that more than 70% of rivers are enclosed by banks, obstructing flow of water, 3) bureaucratic water management policies excluding local residents. Thus, the existing water management policies need to be transformed into the policy driven by demand and water quality. In addition, the existing policy excluding sub basins should be modified because most water pollution taking place within watersheds originates from sub basins. Thus, management by sub basin is necessary with community participation building and unified water management.
With regard to SDG 7, main issues in Korea are: 1) energy demand and its effective management, and 2) transformation into the renewable-energy driven policy. As of 2013, the energy intensity of Korea is 0.25toe/$1,000, which is much higher than 0.14toe/$1,000 of the OECD average. The current energy pricing system needs to reform because of its irrationality that the rate of electricity, the 2nd energy source is set lower than that of the 1st energy source. Adequate pricing by energy source based on social consensus is required taking into account external costs such as the environmental tax or the carbon tax. On the other hand, the plan to increase power generation by renewable energy up to 20% is encouraging, given the circumstance that the proportion of renewable sources in the energy grid of Korea is only 2.2% as of 2015.
Regarding SDG 11, the limitations have been pointed out as in the following: 1) high cost of housing and lack of measures to deal with informal residential areas including ’gosiwon,’ infringement of human rights in the facilities accommodating persons with disabilities and social exclusion, 2) lack of universal public transport including mobility of people with disabilities, 3) the superficial participatory city-planning process, 4) the policy of safe city for women only focusing on the physical expansion of facilities.
In the case of housing, to secure a stable tenure of tenants and reduce their burden of housing costs, there is the need for regulating the rental period agreement and rent fee increase. The government should arrange generation of the statistics about informal housing such as ‘gosiwon’ or vinyl greenhouses and should take proper response measures. Also, it is required to stop the housing policy against human rights, supporting separate facilities accommodating persons with disabilities because the separation makes them excluded from the society. Strengthening welfare service is required to help persons with disabilities being integrated into the society.
In relation to mobility of people with disabilities, the number of low-floor buses should be expanded and people with disabilities need to be involved with the process of transport infrastructure building.
With respect to SDG 12, resource-circulating economy and social economic aspects have been overhauled. 1) To achieve resource-circulating economy, a comprehensive plan for resource circulation beyond waste management is require because of the absence of a plan for resource circulation encompassing the entire stages of consumption and production from the economic perspective. The incentives need to be introduced for the active participation of businesses, the main actor in the resource-circulating economy. 2) From the perspective of social economy, despite that all the seventeen SDG goals are associated with social economic aspects, the study on parties of social economy, government, civil society as well as the effort to raise awareness are recommended because there have been insufficient analyses and studies in the policy context.
Regarding SDG 15, major issues in Korea are as below: 1) designation of reserved areas and their expansion, and protection of habitats for threatened species with local resident participation, 2) the forest destroyed at Mt. Gariwang due to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and its restoration, 3) restoring the forest in North Korea. A good case is the designation of Hwapo wetland in Bonghwa, Gyungnam Province, a habitat of an endangered species, a White Oriental Stork in 2017, which is the outcome of constant communication among the government, environmental organizations and local residents. To the contrary, a bad case is also introduced, which involves destruction of half of the reserve to build the Alpine ski slope for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics although it was the protected area for forest genetic resources. The policy applied to protected areas is reproached in that it is susceptible to economic development. In the meantime, resuming the restoration project of the destroyed forest is proposed as part of inter-Korean exchange.
In relation to SDG 17, it is criticized with the following reasons: 1) lack of comprehensive and transparent information of international development, 2) the percentage of ODA/GNI lower than that recommended by UN and of the OECD average, 3) the high proportion of credit assistance and low proportion of grant aid, urging the faithful implementation of SDGs and Busan Partnership.
For actual citizen participation in city planning, the participatory planning process should be institutionalized, and appropriate financial and human resources need to be allocated to facilitate information supply and deliberation processes. Building disaggregated statistics is required in the areas of migration, refugees, gender minority, people with disabilities and North Korean female defectors in order to establish the policy for a safe city for the vulnerable including the female-friendly city.
The MGoS engagement system like UN MGoS system in the process of Korea SDGs development in 2018 is introduced by Korea government as an additional participatory channel for multi-stakeholders. It is welcoming that the government introduced an innovative participatory platform embracing the proposal by civil society. However, it is concerning that the actual participation of major groups is not easy and that adequate information is not provided at proper time, which may eventually lead to collecting opinions with no substance, given that 9 months are too short period to establish ‘the national SDGs.’ It is meaningful to introduce an innovative participatory system, but the system should enable the national SDGs to be continuously rectified and supplemented on the basis of MGoS system.
To boil down, the political regime change in 2017 served as an opportunity to transform the polices related to water, energy and resource circulation from the perspective of quantitative growth and management to the perspective of qualitative growth and management. However, the policies related to human rights protection including housing rights, universal mobility and safety for the vulnerable are still problematic. The policy for protected areas is unsettling because of its susceptibility to development and conflicting local interests.
Recently, MGoS that introduced by the government in the process of establishing ‘the national SDGs’ is operated against its original purpose because of the government’s tendency to focus on project outcomes rather than a political consensus.
The core principle of SDGs implementation, ‘no one left behind’ means the process of political consensus among various actors, which is consistent with the national agenda of the current government stressing citizen participation. Besides, the fundamental principles of SDGs such as ‘the precautionary principle,’ ‘the principle of common but differentiated responsibility,’ and ‘the principle of integrated decision-making,’ which are universal principles agreed by 193 nations in the world to achieve sustainable development, should be reflected in the future policy-making process.
For policies to be sustained regardless of regime change, universal principles for sustainable development should be reflected in each individual policy making. To this end, the open, transparent, formal and systematic participation process in which various actors can take part must be built from policy making to evaluation. For the voluntary and active participation, information provision and promotion should be carried out in advance. In other words, the administration-driven governance should be transformed into the participatory governance.
It is not too much to say that the sustainable development in Korea depends on the success of ‘MGoS engagement system’ pursued by the government this year. Civil society hopes that the government effort in the process of establishing ‘the national SDGs’ is meaningful, and we can give a positive evaluation about the outcome in ‘the 2019 civil society report.’
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