Sustainable Development in Regional Strategies: Approaches and Solutions
Keywords:sustainable regional development, sustainable development goals, regional development strategy, methodology of regional development management, measurement of regional sustainable development, strategic plan, strategic management
The adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the Russian Federation in 2016 requires the introduction of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national strategies and policies. As most SDGs are already included in the main strategic planning documents, regional development strategies should be changed accordingly. This emerging practice of regional strategic planning needs to be carefully studied. Based on the analysis of socio-economic strategies of eleven Russian regions included in the Northwestern Federal District, the present study shows the incorporation of the SDGs into regional strategic plans. The findings lead to the following conclusions. The implementation of the SDGs in regional strategies is extremely heterogeneous, ranging from complete abstraction to their recognition as key development benchmarks. However, even the regions, which expressed the intention to follow the UN Agenda in their strategies, did not establish clear plans for its implementation. The economic component of sustainable development is considered a priority, while social and environmental components are underestimated, indicating that sustainable economic growth and related goals are seen as the main direction of regional development. Thus, sustainable development is yet to be achieved in the context determined by the UN Agenda and government strategic planning documents. It is necessary to further examine each region’s motivation for the introduction of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into regional strategies. Government and administrative bodies can use the research findings to improve approaches to strategic planning and management of the development of Russia and its regions.
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