Recognizing the need to support the implementation of these agreements, the 51 Asian and European Heads of States or Governments of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) decided to launch the “Sustainable Development Goals Creation in ASEM Countries” research project through the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum). In order to undertake the research, a small group of leading experts from Asia-Pacific and Europe was commissioned through the International Institute for Sustainable Development-Europe (IISD-Europe).

In order to identify a short set of illustrative SDGs, the project developed and adopted a unique methodology that connects global and national perspectives through an iterative process. This dual-level approach ensured that the SDGs have universal relevance and meet global criteria for sustainability while being grounded in national sustainable development priorities, goals and targets. The study also adopted a conceptual framework linking the means (natural capital and economic processes) and ends (human well-being) of development that ensured that all key dimensions of sustainability (socio-economic development, environmental sustainability and governance) are covered by the goals and sub-goals and that their ordering is logical.

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