Country Profiles

Comhar SDC - former


Composition and Membership

Comhar SDC was established in 1999 as the forum for national consultation and dialogue on all issues relating to sustainable development, following Ireland’s NSDS. In January 2012 the sustainable development role performed by Comhar was ‘integrated into the work of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC)’. NESC will now develop its work ‘in a way that integrates sustainable development issues into its analysis of significant national challenges’, effectively adding the environmental “pillar” to the existing ESC.

The ‘integration’ of Comhar into the NESC is not featured as a news piece on the website of the NESC, while other stories from January 2012 (and earlier) do.

The Comhar Council was multi-stakeholder; made up of 25 people drawn from five sectors; the State sector, economic sectors, environmental NGOs, social/community NGOs and the professional/academic sector. It was supported by a full-time Secretariat and had an independent Chairperson.


Mission Statement

Comhar’s mandate was to:

  • Advance the national agenda for sustainable development;
  • Evaluate progress on achieving sustianable development in Ireland;
  • Research and make recommendations, tailored to national conditions, on specific approaches to, or instruments for sustainable development;
  • Advise on means of raising public awareness of sustainable development and environmental issues, and encouraging positive behaviour at individual, community and sectoral levels; and
  • Contribute to the formation of a national consensus on sustainable development. 

Role and Functions

  • advising on government policy or making policy recommendations, including NSDS; and
  • stakeholder engagement.


Recent Activities 

A website on Sustainable Development Indicators was developed by Comhar SDC, available at It features up-to-date information and graphs on 20 headline indicators which inform the current NESC about progress on sustainable development challenges.