The Sustainable Development Report 2019 – Mediterranean Countries Edition is a synthetic review of the fourth edition of the Sustainable Development Report 2019, including integrated contents and tables editing, specifically focusing on 23 Mediterranean countries. It was drafted by a team of experts of the University of Siena – Santa Chiara Lab, as hosting institution of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the Mediterranean Area (SDSN-Mediterranean), in an effort to raise awareness on the SDGs and foster the implementation of transformation strategies.
Scope of the report is to facilitate the interpretation of the SDG Index through aggregated results in order to better understand current trends towards SDGs and drive common action in the Mediterranean area. The first part of the Report focuses on the six transformation to achieve the SDGs, as elaborated in the Sustainable Development Report 2019, the SDG index and related dashboards, while the second part includes the profiles of the Mediterranean countries analyzed and their performance on SDGs.
Four years after the adoption of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, the Report shows that no Mediterranean country is on track to meeting all the goals. The average value of the SDG Index (71.4) hypothetically locates the Mediterranean region around the 49th position of the world rank. Besides the good records for SDG 1 (countries are progressing well towards ending poverty), the Mediterranean area obtains the worst ratings of the index on SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger), 5 (Gender Equality), 9 (Industry Innovation and Infrastructure) and 14 (Life below Water). Among the measures required, consistent efforts must be addressed to improve policies and practices in the food sector, for instance, promoting sustainable agriculture and behaviors concerning diets and food waste; action is also needed for supporting and improving women integration at all levels of society; public and private investments addressed to SDG-oriented research and innovation must rise sharply in most countries, etc.
Gradual progress and policy changes are not enough. Deep transformations to achieve the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement are becoming urgent. As the Report illustrates, the Mediterranean region presents high environmental, social and cultural diversity and transnational partnerships are often complicated but indeed engaging and promising. The Region still has a very long way to go and needs proactive behaviors by governments, businesses, citizens and all the stakeholders to finally close the gap between rhetoric and action.