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SCP Context

Pakistan National Context for SCP and Connection to the Global Agenda

Pakistan has participated in global sustainable development processes and is set to present its first Voluntary National Review (VnR) at the 2019 High-level Political Forum (HLPF). Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) is recognized in the framework of “green” development which will be decoupling economic growth and social development from environmental degradation, thus strengthening the sustainability and resilience of a society. With the National Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (NAP-SCP, 2017), Pakistan has given a high priority to SDG 12 and to mainstreaming sustainable consumption and production into other SDGs. The NAP-SCP aims to accelerate the shift towards SCP in all sectors.  In addition, Pakistan’s Sustainable Building and Cities Action Plan recognizes the specific trend of rapid urbanization. Cooperation with the European Union has continued over more than a decade to promote the shift to sustainable consumption and production through SWITCH-Asia utilising the Grants Programme, which since 2009 has made possible four projects aimed at energy efficiency, resources efficiency in the cotton supply chain and other industries. Currently, the programme supports the implementation of resource and energy efficient technologies in Pakistan’s sugar sector. The ‘Pakistan National Action Plan on SDG 12 SCP’ was developed and launched in 2017 with the support of the SWITCH-Asia Programme I and its Regional Policy Support Component.


  • Pakistan is the fastest urbanizing country in South Asia. By 2030, Pakistan is going to be predominantly urbanized (50% of the population is projected to live in cities by 2030). This trend is likely to increase the already existing urban problems (urban flooding due to drainage problems, traffic congestion, unemployment, lack of adequate housing and basic services e.g. health, water, and sanitation). Emerging urban challenges include rapidly growing waste streams such as electronic waste, waste plastics. Used oils and chemicals require special attention and higher recovery rates.
  • Capacity of the relevant institutions to effectively address the future emerging urban challenges.
  • Accelerated industrial growth and urbanization caused environmental challenges, such as toxic air and water pollution, and hazardous solid waste.
  • Energy scarcity in Pakistan is one of the most critical challengesfor its sustainable socio-economic development. The electricity shortage causes an annual loss of 4-7% in GDP and 2% reduction in real GDP growth. The inefficient energy infrastructure, energy theft and transmission and distribution losses are major factors in contributing to the widening gap of energy supply and demand.
  • Governance: overlapping institutional mandates, the lack of concrete targets, and the absence of effective enforcement results in the inadequate implementation of master plans and legislation. 
  • Difficulties in attracting the much-needed investment into “green” technologies and industries.
  • Large parts of the population (60%) are food insecure, leading to decreased productivity.


  • The NAP-SCP defines 10 priorities as action areas for SCP and resources efficiency: Industry, Sustainable Cities, Marine Ecosystem, Land Ecosystem, Climate Change, Sustainable Transport, Energy, Water, Education, Sustainable Food System.
  • Sustainable cities and upgrading human settlements: Enhancing the capacity of relevant institutions for sustainable, smart and green cities planning and management, adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, waste prevention and higher material recovery rates, as well as protection and maintenance of heritage sites and historical buildings.
  • Green spaces:preventing encroachment of fertile agricultural and forest land, increasing green spaces and initiating projects for greening road network to enhance air quality.
  • Enhancing the involvement of private sectorin the delivery of SCP, attracting investment and blended finance solutions.
  • Designing and enforcing a strategy for waste management(solid waste, liquid waste, industrial waste, hazardous waste).
  • Explore opportunities implied by digitization and industry 4.0.


  • SWITCH Asia can help address Pakistan’s future emerging urban challenges by strengthening and equipping possible institutional drivers which can help deliver the NAP-SCPand the suggested policy enablers and actions that could translate SCP into projects on the ground.
  • Continue strengthening the interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder dialogue in support of NAP-SCP implementation.
  • Provide capacity building and facilitate access to financial and technical assistanceand dissemination of information and knowledge on SCP principles.
  • Conclude studies in support of Pakistan’s SCP priorities, e.g., assessing quantities and characteristics of waste streams.
  • Advocate for increasing the public spending on (agricultural) research and development (R&D)to seek attract investment from Pakistan’s with wealth abroad.
  • Support the paradigm shift required to provide incentives from low value to high value products and internalization of environmental costs into pricing mechanismswith increased resource use efficiency in the value chain.

SWITCH-Asia Activities


SCP Facility 

  • Preliminary assessment of SCP related policies, activities, needs/gaps, and opportunities.

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

Facilitated the participation of Pakistani key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:


SCP Facility 

  • Government point of contact for SWITCH-Asia officially addressed a specific request for support in the implementation of the national Green Buildings Code, waste management and plastics, and SDG12 Reporting. 
  • New concept note developed on i) Green buildings and ii) Waste management and plastics developed and agreed on. 


Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

Facilitated the participation of Pakistani key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:


SCP Facility 

  • Assignment activities and deliverables for both assignments were developed and for each two experts recruited and launched in second quarter of 2020: 

-  Waste assignment seeks to raise awareness and increase efficiency on waste management, particularly plastics 

- Building assignment seeks to integrate SCP considerations into the Green Buildings Code development already initiated in Pakistan 

  • Assignments delivered scoping studies, multi-stakeholder workshops and policy recommendations

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

  • The RPAC has provided technical support to Pakistan for developing a monitoring and reporting framework for SDG 12 to strengthen reporting of Pakistan’s progress in achieving Goal 12

Facilitated the participation of Pakistani key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:


SCP Facility 

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

  • Federal Consultative Roundtable Dialogue on Reporting and Monitoring of SDG 12 in Pakistan (18 Jan 2021) - to present the draft report proposing a framework for SDG 12 monitoring and reporting in Pakistan to strengthen national reporting on Goal 12.
  • World Environment Day 2021 (5 June 2021) – Webinar on “Ecosystem Restoration in Sustainable Consumption and Production Context” to highlight linkages between ecosystem restoration and principles of SCP and strengthening a dialogue on green economy and SCP in Pakistan.

Facilitated the participation of Pakistani key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:


SCP Facility 

  • Green buildings assignment carried on, focused on developing specific parts of Pakistan Social Housing Programme as piloting for green building code.

Grants Projects

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