The federal government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) determined the state's sustainability strategy by cabinet decision on 14 June, 2016. In the medium term, between 2016 and 2020, the government will focus on implementing its first sustainability strategy as well as monitoring its progress and updating it accordingly. Based on the example of North Rhine-Westphalia, this research project aims at exploring selected questions that typically arise during the implementation of a statewide sustainability strategy. The research will focus on the following two topics:
1. The compatibility of NRW's sustainability strategy with existing sustainability strategies on UN, EU and national level.
2. The analysis of interdependencies between different fields of action, cross-cutting topics and focal areas of the state's sustainability strategy.
The research project "Experiences of Implementing State-Wide Sustainability Strategies - Case Study: Sustainability Strategy NRW" comprises four parts - compatibility (part A), interdependencies (part B), "TEAM Sustainability" (part C) and sustainability radar (part D) - with a total of six research modules.
In part A, the compatibility of NRW's sustainability strategy is analysed with regard to the objectives and indicators used in NRW (research module A1) as well as procedures and instruments (research module 2) and sustainability strategies on UN, EU and national level. In addition, the existing variety and constellation of stakeholders in different fields of action in NRW is being analysed (research module A3).
In part B, the interdependencies in two central areas in NRW's sustainability strategy are analysed: First, the interactions within the system of objectives and indicators (research module B1). Second, the effects that the future sustainability assessment will have on state laws and regulations and the interdependencies it addresses (research module B2).
From the beginning, the "TEAM Sustainability" will be involved in the discussion process regarding the implementation of the state's sustainability strategy. "TEAM Sustainability" is made up of relevant statewide players from around the state, thus bundling the different facets and contents of the on-going debate surrounding sustainability. It continuously advises and reflects on the research project during scientific processing (part C).
The research module D "Sustainability Radar" serves the foresighted identification and investigation of central information on new sustainability and environmental policy topics, trends and dates.
Ministry for Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Manfred Fischedick (Vice-President, Wuppertal Institute)