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Basic information

Year of approval of the
SD strategy and updates

The NSDS 2010-2013 was adopted by the French government in July 2010, in the follow up of the National Environment Roundtable.

The NSDS 2003-2008  had been adopted in 2003 and revised in 2006. The revision brought the NSDS in line with the EU SDS key-challenges and objectives.

Type of SD strategy

NSDS covers all three dimension of SD.

Lead ministry/institution in
the SD strategy process


Ministère de l’écologie, du développement durable, et de l'énergie

Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and energy



Link to the SD strategy

La Stratégie Nationale de Développement Durable 2010-2013 (in French)

The French Sustainable Development Strategy (in english)

La estrategia francesa de desarollo sostenible 2010-2013 (in spanish)

Further information about
the SD strategy process

The NSDS web page  (in French)

A booklet web-page on the NSDS : French, English, spanish, portuguese and arabic available.


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National Implementation of 2030 Agenda for SD



France has promoted sustainable development since the adoption of its first sustainable development strategy in 2003 and the appointment of an Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development under the authority of the Prime Minister and located between the Ministry of Environment, which is in charge of Sustainable Development.


Since 2008, the Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development is also Commissioner General for Sustainable Development with a teal of 500 people.


The implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals builds on and strengthens this institutional mechanism.


The Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development coordinates the work of every ministries in order to ensure a better horizontal coordination of public policies towards achieving the SDGs in very close relation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is in charge of international solidarity.


Being as well the vice-Chair of the National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE), the Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development ensures that the SDGs implementation is discussed between administrations and civil society’s organisations.


In order to launch the SDGs implementation in France, in view of the “Voluntary National Review” presented at the UN High Level Political Forum in 2016,  a broad consultation workshop was organised during the European Sustainable Development Week gathering representatives from civil society’s organisations from every areas : representatives from the National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE) involved in environmental issues, from the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (CNDSI) involved Development Aid, and representatives from the other areas of society, especially the educational and social areas.


The summary from the workshop, called " La synthèse des ateliers de lancement de la mise en oeuvre nationale des objectifs de développement durable - Juin 2016"  is available in French at :


This broad consultation of stakeholders from every communities is to be perpetuated and sustained regularly.


After laying the groundwork with the report to the HLPF, the implementation action plan which is currently being drafted aims at

-          undertaking a diagnosis and gap analysis

-          co-elaborating the implementation action plan regarding public policies, paying special attention to interrelations between the objectives and targets, and defining national priorities, indicators and means of action

-          ensuring the follow-up and reporting at national and international levels


On the 30th of November 2016, the Interministerial Committee on International Cooperation and Development chaired by the Prime Minister confirmed the French commitment towards the implementation of the SDGs and of the Paris Climate Agreement



Leading Ministry and
respective unit


The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Sea affairs (in charge of sustainable development), together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Other ministries involved

Every ministry.

Main contact point for the
implementation process



The interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development, under the authority of the Prime Minister and appointed within the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Sea affaires as Commissioner General for Sustainable Development


Contact :


Links to main websites/
documents on national
implementation of the
2030 Agenda and SDGs



Presentation of the SDGs and of ongoing works on the implementation action plan on the website of the ministry of Environment, Energy and Sea Affairs (in French) at


Report of the National Voluntary Review of France at the High Level Political Forum of the United Nations (in French and in English) at :


Voluntary National Reviews





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Mechanisms of Vertical Integration

National — sub-national linkages

Prior to the elaboration of the new NSDS for 2010-2013, a country-wide broad stakeholder consultation process was organised, called ‘grenelle de l’environnement’, which started in summer 2007 and ended in October 2007. During the following months, more than 800 people regularly met in 34 working groups, including representatives from the sub-national levels. The results of the working groups, 268 commitments, have been integrated in the NSDS 2010-2013 and the representatives from the sub-national levels are now involved in the follow-up committee "comité national du développement durable et du Grenelle de l'environnement (CNDDGE)".

The NSDS 2003 included the objective to establish 500 LA 21 initiatives within 5 years. As part of the revised NSDS process in 2006, a ‘framework reference’ for LA 21 initiatives was developed by the national level in cooperation with NGOs and representatives of the sub-national levels. The reference document includes criteria for local authorities to fulfil to be recognised as ‘quality initiative’. The criteria are closely related to the EU SDS and the NSDS and, thus, should guarantee vertical coherence of all actions. The criteria also outline important governance processes. Overall, the framework document defines the SD concept, is applicable on all sub-national levels and outlines how stakeholder participation can be organised. Therefore, it represents a national guidance document for sub-national levels. At the end of 2012, around 320 LA 21 initiatives had been recognised by the national level on the principles outlined in the "framework reference" document. The 2010-2013 NSDS objective is to reach 1000 LA 21 initiatives, including 250 ones recognised by the national level.

Generally, the 'framework reference' establish a clear link between the NSDS and the local LA 21 activities.

EU linkages

The renewed EU Strategy for Sustainable Development (EU SDS) that was adopted in June 2006 foresees that Member States bi-annually report about how they address the priorities of the EU SDS. France has published its first national report on implementing the EU SDS in April 2007.


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Mechanisms of Horizontal Integration

Since March 2005, Sustainable Development has been included in the French Constitution with the adoption of the Environmental Charter. This guarantees stronger efforts of including SD in the work of all public institutions. Each minister nominated one or more senior civil servants who are responsible for preparing the contribution of their administration to further developing the NSDS, co-ordinating the preparation of corresponding action plans and monitoring their implementation.

In order to strengthen the integration of sustainable development into governmental actions, the new Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Tansport and Housing (MEEDDM) has been established.

The coherence of actions of all ministries, as outlined in the NSDS for 2003-08, is controlled by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Sustainable Development (ICSD). The ICSD is also responsible for the definition, coordination and follow-up of national SD objectives.


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Evaluation and Review

Furthermore, France was the first EU Member State that organized a peer review process to evaluate the implementation of the NSDS with the inclusion of four peer countries (Belgium, Ghana, Mauritius and the UK). The peer review report was issued in 2005.

Every year, a report on progress in the implementation of the NSDS is addressed to the parliament. The report is based on the set of SD indicators. The next progress report on the NSDS 2010-2013 is to be published at the beginning of 2013...


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Indicators and Monitoring

In the revised French NSDS from 2006, a set of twelve headline indicators (‘Douze indicateurs "phares" de développement durable’) was introduced. Likewise to the priorities outlined in the NSDS, also the indicators are closely linked to those on the EU level. Additional indicators are specified in the 2nd part of the strategy, ‘Programmes d’actions’ (programmes of action).

In the new NSDS 2010-2013, the list of indicators has been completed and improved. Indicators are linked to the Strategy's key challenges and to a quantifiable target written in the NSDS. The calculation and the update of those indicators are coordinated by:


  • INSEE,
  • Statistics and Observatory Division (Ministry for SD),
  • other ministerial statistics divisions.


The SD indicators are utilized in the progress report. The Indicators leaflet (in French, in English) is also prepared and published in the website of the Ministry for SD.

The full list(s) of indicators as identified by a study commissioned by Eurostat can be downloaded here:


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The National Council for Sustainable Development was set up in January 2003 to enable a wide participation of actors in the elaboration of the NSDS. The Council’s aim is to bring together actors from civil society (e.g. NGOs, employers’ associations, enterprises, labour unions, the media and scientist) and territorial authorities to provide advice and submit proposals in the preparation, implementation and follow-up of SD policies.

The NCSD, set up in 2003, has been restructured in 2009 as a result of the ‘grenelle de l’environnement’ (2007-2008) follow-up.


The  National Environnement Roundtable which started during the summer of 2007, was an unprecedented multi-stakeholder consultation process. The outcomes have been integrated in the preparation of the NSDS. It brought together all the stakeholders dealing with environmental issues on a daily basis (central government, local authorities, NGOs, businesses, unions, etc.) throughout a five-fold democratic process: (1) Action propositions: Six working parties prepared the negotiations; (2) Public debate: meetings in French provinces, internet, consultation with scientific and institutional bodies, consultation with the Parliament; (3) Decisions and guidelines: Four roundtable discussions led to the adoption of 268 commitments in all sectors; (4) Operational phase: 34 operational working parties prepared implementation propositions; and (5) Legislative phase: Two bills have been voted by the Parliament. 


A second process broadened the consultation on SD issues in 2008-2009 for the elaboration of the NSDS. These results were subject to an internet-based consultation with civil society (open to every citizens) and with the Economic, Social and Environmental Committee. The new NCSD aims to provide advice and submit proposals in the preparation, implementation and follow-up of SD policies.

For a detailed documentation of all advisory and participatory councils (for SD and/or the environment) in this country, please go to the EEAC website at and click on one of the listed institutions.


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Sub-national activities

Regional SD strategies:

At the end of 2012, there were 19 regional Agenda 21 initiatives in France.

LA21 initiatives:

At that time, there were more than 900 LA 21 initiatives in the country, 60% of them involving municipalities. More than 80% of the regions, 39% of the ‘départements’, a majority of ‘urban communities’ are involved.

The national level can provide support and subsidies when developing an LA21 initiatives and action plan; the regional level often provides support in human resources for implementation, or technical and financial support for the project elaboration.


Local authorities, NGOs, businesses and trade unions are commonly involved in the application of regional and sub-regional SD strategies.

Evaluation and indicators:

An important work on evaluation is currently in progress, led by the French Ministry of Sustainable Development. It will provide evaluation guidelines (methodology and indicators) suitable for every local or regional SD strategy.

Contact details:

Contact list available on (in French).


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This Country Profile has been last updated on: Monday, 30 October 2017

For the sources used in the country profiles, please click here.


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