UNITED NATIONS
2nd International Expert Meeting on a 10-Year Framework of Programmes for Sustainable Consumption and Production:
As contained in Chapter III of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation
5 - 8 September 2005 | San José, Costa Rica
DESA/DSD
Daily Web Coverage
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Summary report HTML PDF TEXT
11 September 2005

Highlights from Thursday, 8 September 2005

On Thursday, 8 September, Co-Chairs from the Working Groups presented the reports. In the afternoon, Co-Chairs Allan Flores and Viveka Bohn, presented their Summary of the meeting, which will be forwarded to CSD-14. The meeting was adjourned at 4:22 pm. 


Presentation of reports of the working groups

The results and recommendations of each working group were summarized by the Co-Chairs and the Secretariat in non-negotiated reports, which were presented in Plenary.
 

From left to right: Bas de Leeuw, UNEP, Viveka Bohn, Ambassador, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Sweden, and Ralph Chipman, UN DESA

 

Working Group 1: Production Processes and Industrial Development

WG-I Co-Chair Edwin Piñero, presented the recommendations of Working Group I. Recommendations included: using chambers of commerce to reach companies; encouraging national cleaner production centers to focus on SMEs; including SCP in all levels of education, notably in business schools; calculating the costs of inaction; developing SCP indices; and integrating SCP into national accounts.

 
WG-I Co-Chair Edwin Piñero, Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, United States
 
WG-II Co-Chair Kazuyoshi Okazawa, Ministry of the Environment, Japan
 
 
WG-II Co-Chair Cristina Cortinas de Navas, Mexico
 
 

WORKING GROUP 2: URBAN PLANNING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT

WG-II Co-chair Kazuyoshi Okazawa reported on the group’s discussions and recommendations, reiterating the importance of long term urban planning; public transport, cleaner cars and non-motorized transport; collection, disposal and recycling of waste and problems related to the import of hazardous wastes; and water charges in developing countries. He said keys to success were: leadership, including appropriate policy and political will; partnerships with citizens and the business sector; and public awareness, including education, awareness raising and training. He said priorities for international cooperation focused on: information, such as awareness raising and best practices; assistance with, inter alia, policy formation and finances; and appropriate and more efficient technologies.

During the ensuing debate, one participant, in discussing communication tools, noted that many people do not have access to the internet and are illiterate and that innovative means of information sharing and communication need to be developed. Responding to a query on why small island developing States (SIDS) had been singled out in a recommendation referring to technology assistance, Co-Chair Cortinas explained that SIDS’ fragile ecosystems, lack of space for building landfills, and accumulation of waste from tourism distinguished them from other countries. One participant said sanitation had not been adequately addressed in the working group. Also raised were issues related to engaging youth and future decision makers, risk management, and difficulties in dividing different types of waste.

 
WG-III Co-Chair, Paul Hofseth, Ministry of the Environment of Norway
 
 
WG-III Co-Chair Kenneth Nkowani, Zambia
 
 
WG-IV Co-Chair Philip Acquah, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana
 

WORKING GROUP 3: SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

WG-III Co-Chair Paul Hofseth reported on the outcomes of the working group’s deliberations. During the ensuing discussion, participants suggested including reference to: levels of consumption in general; strengthening regional consumption and production of goods with short life cycles and high relative transport costs, such as food; gender equity and related consumption patterns; communication and the challenge of illiteracy; action research to help tackle sustainable lifestyles; special needs of SIDS; “challenging” rather than “changing” minds; increasing transparency and global standards; and access to sustainable raw materials.

WORKING GROUP 4: REGIONAL AND NATIONAL STRATEGIES FOR SCP

WG-IV Co-Chairs Terence Ilott and Philip Acquah said SCP strategies could either be separate from or integrated into existing sustainable development strategies. They also highlighted priority areas for action and the criteria to identify them, the need to involve stakeholders in the SCP strategy development process and intergovernmental coordination, and monitoring and indicators. They said the group further urged communicating SCP in a language people will understand, bottom-up strategy development, and engaging the private sector so that they come to view SCP as a benefit. Key recommendations included developing guidelines to assist governments in developing national SCP strategies, continuing cooperation between work on SCP and development agencies and calling on UNEP and DESA to facilitate this, focusing on the costs of inaction, and working on sustainable procurement,

During the ensuing discussion, participants suggested using the experiences from the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme to help determine costs of inaction,  and including consumer organizations when listing stakeholders. They also highlighted the need for differentiated strategies at national, community and municipal levels.

 
WG-IV Co-Chair Terence Ilott, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), United Kingdom
 
 
WG-V Co-Chair David Barrett, Jamaica, Manager, Energy and Environment, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica
 
WG-V Co-Chair Elfriede-Anna More, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria
 

WORKING GROUP 5: ENERGY, CLIMATE AND AIR POLLUTION

In the debate, following the working group’s presentation in Plenary, WG-V Co-Chairs David Barrett and Elfriede-Anna More, explained that transportation issues were approached from the perspective of fuel use and air pollution, in order to avoid overlap with Working Group 2. One expert questioned the role of subsidies, pointing out that subsidies themselves are one of the biggest barriers for SCP implementation and another pointed out that low energy prices can undermine efforts to change producer and consumer behavior. It was suggested that countries should carry out an energy use and environmental impact review of all their policies. The Co-Chairs explained that sustainable procurement should apply to international organizations. Experts also underscored the need to create markets for environmental services and to focus on lifestyles when considering energy issues.

 

 

Delegates during the Presentation of reports of the working groups

 

 

Some delegates met in small groups during the morning coffee break

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Presentation of the draft report by the Co-Chairs

 

Co-Chairs Viveka Bohn and Allan Flores presented their Draft Summary of the meeting, which is to be forwarded to CSD-14 for its consideration.

 

From left to right: Bas de Leeuw, UNEP, Allan Flores, Vice-Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica, Viveka Bohn, Ambassador, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Sweden, and David O'Connor, UN DESA

 

The Summary calls for a third international expert meeting to be held in 2007 as part of the Marrakech Process, to work within and feed into the CSD work programme. It encourages the work of the four task forces announced during the meeting (Sustainable Lifestyles, Sustainable Products, Cooperation with Africa, and Sustainable Procurement) and invites these, and other task forces which might emerge, to report to the next meeting and to relevant CSD sessions. It suggests that the next meeting should include reports from future regional meetings on practical implementation activities at the regional level. The Summary welcomes the Marrakech Process website and requests that UN DESA add a database on international activities on consumption and production patterns. It calls for continuing dialogue with development agencies, including further cooperation roundtables at the next meeting, and for UNEP and UN DESA to lead a review of how SCP can be better integrated into development agency projects, with results presented to the next meeting.

The Summary concludes that SCP work should be linked to poverty reduction, especially the MDGs, and integrated into national strategies for sustainable development and poverty reduction. It calls for further work on estimating the costs of inaction and the benefits of SCP; awareness-raising; and ongoing international cooperation including capacity building, technical and financial assistance and knowledge sharing.

In the ensuing debate, participants suggested that the Summary should also reflect the importance of: civil society organizations’ potential contribution to SCP, and the need to strengthen them; research on SCP in developing countries; information and communications technology and education; national action plans; working with and through the market; local implementation, including working towards sustainable cities; linking SCP to health; changing attitudes and behavior, rather than just raising awareness; and the economic and environmental impacts of micro-enterprises and SMEs.

 
Bas de Leeuw, UNEP
 
 
Viveka Bohn, Ambassador, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Sweden
 
David O'Connor, UN DESA
 
 

Discussion of Future Work and Closing Remarks

Reviewing highlights of the meeting, Bas de Leeuw, DTIE, UNEP, noted: inclusion of new stakeholders in the process; emphasis on links between SCP and poverty eradication and the MDGs; the new cooperation dialogue involving the development cooperation community; and progress on the task forces. He said it was time to move into the implementation phase, and said future meetings should build on and not merely replicate what had taken place at previous meetings. He said UNEP’s Bali Strategic Plan could boost SCP through capacity building and training, stressed that SCP is now something that developing countries are also interested in, and said requests for support could be sent to UNEP. He said the seeds for a new type of Marrakech process had been sown.

David O’Connor, UN DESA, discussed ways in which DESA would continue to support the Marrakech Process, including through policy and other analyses, maintaining and improving the Marrakech Process website, updating and building on the database of international support activities, and extending it to include regional activities. He said the cooperation dialogue had opened a window into mainstream cooperation work and its intersection with SCP, and emphasized that the task forces required commitment and the opportunity to establish networks and forge partnerships. He said the SCP process would feed directly into the CSD, including through the Secretary-General’s report. He commended Costa Rica’s innovations in environmental and sustainable development policies.

Reiterating some of the meeting’s highlights, Co-Chair Viveka Bohn emphasized links to poverty reduction and the MDGs, strengthening dialogue and cooperation with development agencies, integrating SCP strategies into sustainable development or poverty reduction strategies, awareness of costs of inaction and interest in task forces. She hoped strategies would be put into action, and said this meeting would constitute a valuable contribution to CSD-14. She emphasized a bottom-up approach to inspire lifestyle changes, and on behalf of Sweden, offered to host the next meeting in 2007.

In his closing remarks, Co-Chair Allan Flores underscored how the meeting provided the opportunity to exchange experiences, best practices, and information on current SCP activities. He stressed the need for more financial support for SCP projects, and noted how successful the field trips were in showcasing Costa Rica’s SCP projects and opportunities. The meeting was adjourned at 4.22pm.

 
Allan Flores, Vice-Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica
 

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