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Voluntary Local Review on the SDGs in Bonn

On the occasion of the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York, Bonn Mayor Katja Dörner virtually presented Bonn's second Voluntary Local Review (VLR) on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With its first Voluntary Local Review, Germany’s United Nations City of Bonn is particularly committed to the municipal implementation of the 17 SDGs and to regular reporting on this process to the United Nations.

As one of the first cities in Germany and worldwide, the City of Bonn submitted its first Voluntary Local Review on the SDGs in 2020, which received a great deal of positive feedback on the international stage. 

For the preparation of the second Voluntary Local Review, which is now available, the City of Bonn has participated in the testing of the "Sustainable Municipality" reporting framework, which was developed by the German Council for Sustainable Development. This novel format combines quantitative indicators and qualitative reporting aspects in sustainability reporting. The report also maps the developments in the municipal fields of action for sustainability since the adoption of the Bonn Sustainability Strategy in February 2019.

Central role of cities in implementing the 2030 Agenda

"This publication shows how Bonn is concretely setting out on the path to a fairer and more sustainable society. At the same time, it also highlights the role that cities should play in addressing current global challenges," affirms Marina Ponti, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign based in Bonn.

A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has shown that more than 65 percent of all sub-goals of SDGs cannot be achieved without the participation of cities. In 2018, the City of New York has therefore launched an initiative to encourage sustainability reporting of cities to the United Nations. In the meantime, more than 200 cities worldwide have joined this movement, including the City of Bonn in 2020. A good 20 cities have already submitted reports on their local situation.

Reporting structure aligned with Bonn's municipal sustainability strategy

The structure of the Bonn VLR follows the systematics of the City of Bonn's municipal Sustainability Strategy. It was adopted in February 2019 with the aim of initially implementing the SDGs in six municipal fields of action: 

  1. Mobility
  2. Climate and Energy
  3. Natural Resources
  4. Work and Economy
  5. Social Participation and Gender Equality
  6. Global Responsibility and One World

On the basis of 46 indicators, the report illustrates the developments in these areas and shows the extent to which they are relevant for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Bonn. The VLR Report thus links for the first time the City of Bonn's long-standing sustainability reporting with the goals the City set itself with the Sustainability Strategy adopted in 2019.

Bonn’s first SDG Report 2020

The report was presented to an international audience by then Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan on October 23, 2020, at the Daring Cities conference organized digitally by the international cities network ICLEI.