Background and objectives
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) adopted the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP). This is a concrete and operational outcome that responds to the 2002 Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) which calls to all stakeholders to “Encourage and promote the development of a 10-year framework of programmes (10YFP) in support of regional and national initiatives to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production to promote social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems...” The 10YFP was the only mechanism formally adopted at the Summit, and it stems from the active participation of all Regions and countries, in particular in Asia Pacific, in both the Marrakech Process since 2003, and the Cleaner Production process initiated in 1994 following the original Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
In light of this new global framework to promote the shift to SCP, the United Nations Environment Programme organized in the context of and in association with the EU funded SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component (SWITCH-PSC) as well as in partnership with the Asia Pacific Roundtable on SCP (APRSCP), a regional conference on the future of SCP in Asia. The main objectives of the conference were to:
- Review and better define the challenges and opportunities for SCP in Asia in light of the Rio+20 Outcomes and especially after the adoption of the 10YFP.
- Assess how SCP, Resource Efficiency and Green Economy could be best integrated into national planning and in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the regional and national level.
- Determine respective roles of governments, the private sector and the civil society as well as relevant partnerships in scaling up and replicating SCP policies, management practices and consumers’ awareness and action
- Identify practical measures and actions that concerned Asian actors and stakeholders could take in the context of the 10 YFP, to both benefit from and help strengthen this global cooperative framework that would support a transformative change towards SCP, to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication;
The Conference was structured around the following main themes:
- Sustainable development in an era of resource depletion and financial instability: How could SCP and resource efficiency help?
- International framework for SCP: What were the opportunities for Asia? Could Asia take a leading role?
- Governance for SCP in developing countries in Asia: What were the elements of successful policies and how could they be scaled up, mainstreamed and replicated?
- The business case for SCP: Why SCP made good business sense and how could SMEs in Asia improve profitability and generate more jobs from SCP?
- The development case for SCP: What measures and capacity building activities did the 10YFP focus on in Asia, to maximize its contribution to poverty alleviation as well as environmental protection?
- Coordinating SCP planning and implementation: What were the roles of each stakeholder and what was needed for successful coordination?
- The vision of the future that Asia wanted through SCP: What was this feature? Was it feasible and compatible with sustainable development visions? What could be done to achieve it?
Each theme was addressed in a session that comprised:
- A key-note presentation from a high level expert in the subject
- A panel discussion with 4-5 high-level panelists from Governments, Businesses, NGOs, Research and Academic Institutions
- A Questions and Answer part
- A Chair’s conclusion
- A set of recommendations on how Asia could take a leading role in the international framework for SCP
- A proposal on specific activities that could be implemented within the next 2 years to maximize the contribution of SCP into regional and national development initiatives in Asia
- Guidelines on the respective roles of governments, the private sector and the civil society as well as relevant partnerships in scaling up and replicating SCP policies and practices in Asia