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Alignment of the Goals of Sustainable Development 2030

Alignment of the Goals of Sustainable Development 2030:

 

The goals of sustainable development represent the controlling elements in the development of the ninth five-year development plan 2016-2020 issued by the Royal Decree No. 1/2016. The plan included a set of sectorial goals relevant to the objectives of sustainable development 2030. The plan provides for the following:

  • Coping with the developments of international development covenants, the most important of them is “Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development”, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 28, 2015. In this regard, Goal No. 8 “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” has special importance. In implementation of the principles of the said agenda, the main goal of the plan was achieving the transformation of economy from depending on oil only as the main individual and main source to diversified economy, to which other promising sectors contribute to mitigate the impacts and consequences, resulting from price fluctuations of international oil markets.

 

Here follow the details of the actions taken by the Sultanate of Oman to achieve the goals of the seventeenth sustainable development as basically reflected in the ninth 5-year plan (2016-2020):

 

First, second and third goals: They are goals related to eradicating poverty and hunger and ensuring the enjoyment of healthy life styles and welfare for all ages. Based on ratings by the World Bank, the Sultanate belongs to high income countries and is considered one of the top countries in respect to the indications of human development. The Sultanate does not suffer poverty issue in light of the international definition of poverty; average daily individual income is US$ 2, meanwhile, the average income in the Sultanate exceeds US$ 26000 annually. So, the objective of the plan is the achievement of growth rates, which would maintain this level and secure the welfare of Omanis.

 

Fourth goal: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

 

Advancement of education is one of the major pillars of the ninth 5-year development plan. Education qualifies citizens in general and the youth in particular to labour market.  The plan provides for focusing on comprehensive social development and its main principles are education, training and operation with the goal of advancing educational levels of Omanis in 2040. The third goal of the plan provides for creating productive and rewarding employment opportunities to citizens by means of amending education and training path in the Sultanate within the framework of the national education strategy, so education and training deliverables would align with the needs of employment market.

 

Fifth goal: Achieve gender equality and empowering all girls and women

Over the last four decades, the Sultanate made significant advancement in respect to eliminating all forms of gender discrimination against girls and women regarding education and employment opportunities (In accordance with the objective 1-5). This affected the estimates of the ninth plan in respect to new entrants in the labor market. It is expected that women would represent 47% compared to 53% of the new employees. These percentages reflect the complete equality between males and females in training and education deliverables i.e. 185989 graduates during the period of the plan distributed as 49% females and 51% males.

 

Sixth goal: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

 

The Sultanate has made significant strides in "achieving the goal of fair access to safe and affordable portable water by 2030" i.e. all parts of the Sultanate, including rural and mountainous areas, have access to potable water and sewage services. The Government also ensures the availability of water resources through large desalination projects (Objectives 6.4 and 6.a). The tenth goal of the Ninth Five-Year Plan "Promoting environmental sustainability and encountering natural hazards" has been achieved through the establishment of more efficient desalination plants to increase the quantity desalinated water.

 

Seventh goal: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Providing access to power services is considered one of the pillars of the financial policies of the Sultanate. The policies worked on availing fuel to production and house uses at affordable prices. Despite the decline in the state financial resources as a result of the decline in oil prices and rationalization of power subsidy, the goal is still observed. State Budget Statement for 2017 provided that public expenditure in accordance to initial final accounts registered an increase by 6% in 2016 as a result of the increase in expenditures in development plans and electricity sector subsidy.

 

The government is developing national power strategy till 2040, which would achieve significant increase in the contribution of renewable energy in advanced energy resources, in accordance with Objective 7-2.

 

Eighth Goal: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

This goal along with its 10 objectives were represented in the Ninth 5-Year Plan as follows:

  • In accordance with the Objective 8-1, sustain economic growth at an average of 3% during the period of the plan to maintain the livelihood levels of the citizens
  • In accordance with the Objective 8-2, adopt economic diversification as a strategic option by reducing reliance on oil and developing the five promising sectors i.e. industry, transport and logistics, tourism, fish abundance and mining, so that the contribution of oil sectors decrease from 40.5% of the gross domestic product in 2016 to 35.6% by the end of the plan in 2020
  • In accordance with the Objective 8-5, provide rewarding and productive employment to all citizens in general and the youth in particular by qualifying national workforce to work in private sector and not in government. The plan targets the increase of nationals in private sector from its current percentage i.e. 12%, this can be achieved through training and changing educational path to align with the deliverables of education and training with the expected demand structure especially in promising sectors and major projects

Ninth goal: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Top priorities of the Ninth 5-Year Plan include changing the Omani economic structure by diversifying sources of income. Transformational industries sector was on top of the promising sectors, which would contribute by 10% by the end of the plan, meanwhile, transportation and logistics is expected to contribute by 6.8% in the gross domestic product by the end of the plan. Relevant entities are completing the procedures to approve the national strategy for innovation 2040.

 

Tenth goal: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Fair distribution of growth outcomes was and still is one of the most significant pillars of economic and social policies whether by focusing on different social categories or maintaining balance locally. The Ninth 5-Year Plan has special interest with the development of governorates in order to achieve balanced growth of the outcomes of development for all citizens over the country. In accordance with Objective 10-1 and 10-2, the plan would focus on different governorates to achieve close levels of education, health, community services, employment opportunities and development of infrastructure and public utilities services. 

 

Eleventh goal: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

The pillars of the ninth development plan includes the activation of the national strategy for urban development which would be identical in the majority of its pillars with the goals of the sustainable development 2030 including:

  • In accordance with Objective 11-1, approve urban policy, which would take into consideration the population increase and their service needs
  • In accordance with Objective 11-3, develop well-planned development plans to each governorate in participation with the residents of these regions and urban community

Twelfth goal: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

The first pillar of the 9th economic development plan is the sustainability of economic growth in a changing world by prioritizing the stability of the overall economic status in such a way that would promote the confidence of individual and corporate investors in the ability of Omani economy to achieve high and sustainable rates of growth.

 

Thirteenth goal: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

The tenth goal of the ninth plan includes promoting environmental sustainability and encountering natural hazards through:

  • Review, update and implement existing programs and plans such as biological diversity, protection of marine life, protection of croplands and the national strategy for the preservation of the environment in coordination with related entities
  • Develop and implement plans and strategies in other fields, which were not developed such as the national strategy to manage and enhance reserves amd water and power efficiency usage strategy
  • Increase the efficiency of water and utilities usage in industrial fields and implement awareness programs in respect to the use of water and power efficiently in the community in general
  • Expand the use of renewable energy
  • Introduce efficiency standards to new equipment and establishments
  • Consider the possibility of generating energy from alternative power resources such as clean coal and biological fuel
  • Establish new more efficient desalination plants to increase the quantity of desalinated water
  • Launch environmental awareness campaign which targets all segments of the community and decision makers
  • Support and develop clean production incentives to mitigate gas emissions
  • Develop national policies and protocols to interact with emergencies and crisis situations
  • Develop, update and monitor the national disaster management plan
  • Cooperate and coordinate with regional entities to mitigate the consequences of disasters and prepare for emergencies
  • Develop efficient national communication strategy and cooperate with the media to increase awareness of the risks and the precautions to mitigate the consequences of natural disasters and emergency response
  • Prioritize projects for mitigating the consequences of climate changes and floods and develop implementation plans for such projects by competent entities

 

Fourteenth goal: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

The Sultanate has a coastal line extending over 126 km, therefore, the Sultanate is interested in the so-called “Blue Economy”, which includes developing specific plans to conserve fish abundance, the sustainability of marine resources and cleanliness of sea water. The key actions in this regard are as follows:

  • Development of fish abundance national strategy till 2040 in cooperation with FAO and the World Bank
  • Designation of fish sector as one of the promising sectors, on which the Ninth 5-year development plan focus
  • In accordance with Objective 14-4, Organizing the exploitation of fisheries by effectively regulating harvesting and ending overfishing, illegal fishing

 

Fifteenth goal: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems

In addition to the 13th goal above, the Sultanate occupies an advance position in international indicators of the protection and preservation of terrestrial ecosystems and the sustainability of their usage, desertification combat and preservation of biological diversification. The tenth goal of the Ninth 5-year plan was the promotion of environmental sustainability and combating natural hazards.

 

Sixteenth goal: Promote peaceful societies

The Sultanate is an oasis of security and stability in a region of geopolitical disputes, therefore, the Sultanate’s diplomacy played distinguished role in peace making and settling regional disputes. Moreover, Omani society is peaceful, nonviolent and ensures equal treatment of citizens and expats, who represent 45% of the population of the Sultanate.

 

Seventeenth goal: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Promote and activate means of implementation and international partnership to ensure sustainable development. The goal focuses on international cooperation and fostering regional and international cooperation and contribution in developing the capabilities of developing countries. Such role is handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the entity designated to implement the policy of the Sultanate in this regard.