UN Agencies joining hands to bring about Sustainable Consumption and Production

part 1- SCP-circle-picIn recognizing the cross-cutting nature in implementing sustainable consumption and production (SCP), the 10YFP Framework for Sustainable Development convened a panel to inform the community of the progress of implementation in various sectors. Ms. Alvarez-Rivero and Mr. Arden-Clarke opened the discussion by stating that the three-pillared nature of sustainable development means that no one single UN agency can take on the enormous task of promoting SCP alone, and the inter-linkage of different aspects necessitates the need of sharing of best practices among UN agencies.

Mr. Hoballah began by giving an account of the 10YFP programmes, ranging from sustainable construction to public procurement. Ms. Brennen-Haylock detailed the Food and Agricultural Organization’s work in promoting food sustainability. She highlighted the universality of this aspect of SCP, such that the food sustainability achieved by developed countries improved the food security of developed and developing countries alike. Ms. Jensen spoke on the role of sustainable lifestyle and sustainable development education, which involves not only encouraging reduction of consumption but also the instilling of the idea of responsible citizenship. She said that in achieving this massive change in attitude, cultivation of critical thinking skills is required so that future students can fabricate their tailored responses to the consumption problems of their time. Mr. Chung added that in implementing SCP at regional level, sharing of best practices and policy proposals is necessary to allow economies of diverse backgrounds to tailor-make their own responses to sustainable development.

One major question from the floor is whether the link between sustainable production and consumption pattern and the idea of planetary boundary have been integrated in the framework’s work in promoting the SCP. The panelists stated that while the earlier concept is well integrated in their work, lack of political impetus means the latter is yet to be a dominant concept.

Meeting Title: One UN for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP): joint action to implement the 10YFP agenda
Speakers: Ms. Birgitte Bryld Alvarez-Rivero, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Co-Chair of the 10YFP Inter-Agency Coordination Group (IACG); Mr. Charles Arden-Clarke, Acting Head of the 10YFP Secretariat, United Nations Environment; Mr. Arab Hoballah, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Chief, SCP Branch; Ms. Sharon Brennen-Haylock, Director of FAO Liaison Office in New York Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Bringing Sustainable Food Systems in the 10YFP; Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Director of UNESCO New York Office, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Mr. Rae Kwon Chung, Director, Environment and Development Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)
Location: Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters
Date: 30 June 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Harrison Chung
Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

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