Sunday, 4 March 2012

CED Hosts International Secretariat of Peoples' Sustainability Treaties for Rio+20

An international secretariat for the Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties is hosted by the Centre for Environment Development (CED) in Sri Lanka. The secretariat established under CED will be managed by a Project Director and an international team of resources persons and volunteers and. Each treaty facilitating partner organization will also provide a representative to build-up a volunteer global action team required for organizing this large global initiative.

The Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties aims to assemble civil society actors in a sustainable development dialogue and to engage civil society actors in the making of the Peoples Sustainability Treaties. The Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties would thus be open to any independent stakeholder contribution, and through interaction and dialogue - pre-June 13th and post-June 22nd - the vision is to create “The Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties” which will mirror the sustainability agenda(s) of the common people from all across the globe.

Failure at Rio+20 cannot be accepted; failure of the official process should not become an obstacle towards successful evolving of a global movement to lead the transition towards sustainable futures on earth. CSOs shall not make a historical mistake of simply being reactive to a weak international agenda on sustainable development; they need to assume their rightful place in global citizenry and provide the vision, leadership, and commitment towards reinforcing a strong agenda and action plan to forge ahead in a transition towards sustainable futures for all, including both humans and biodiversity. The Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties is an open invitation to all CSOs to come together to develop an independent, collective outcome for Rio+20, and to plan their actions towards sustainable futures for all.


For further information visit website http://sustainabilitytreaties.wordpress.com/ or call Uchita de Zoysa at uchita@sltnet.lk

Sunday, 4 July 2010

CED co-organises 1st UN Rio+20 PLATFORM Consultations in Sri Lanka


MEDIA RELEASE
10th June 2010

“Climate Sustainability in a Green Economy”
1st UN Rio+20 PLATFORM Stakeholder Consultation in Sri Lanka and Workshop on ”Corporate Climate Sustainability: Towards a Responsible Business Framework in a Green Economy”
(09th June 2010 at Galleface Hotel, Colombo from 7-9pm)

‘Climate Sustainability PLATFORM’ together with the Centre for Enviroinment and Deelopmenyt and Global Sustainability Solutions held its first UN Rio+20 Summit Stakeholder Consultation in Colombo on 9th June 2010 at the Galle Face Hotel. This was a follow up to the 1st Preparatory Committee Meeting of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, referred to as RIO+20, held in New York last May.

The Rio+20 Summit is to be convened in 2012 with the aim of agreeing on a framework for a green economy on the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, the event that led heightened environmental awareness across the world. Following the 1st Preparatory Committee Meeting for Rio+20, the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM has launched an initiative to engage all stakeholders in the process.

In his opening speech, Climate Sustainability PLATFORM convener, Mr. Uchita de Zoysa traced the evolution of the global sustainable development process since the 1st Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Emphasizing that the Rio+20 Earth Summit needs to focus its attention to coming up with binding international agreement on poverty eradication, sustainable consumption and production, and climate sustainability. De Zoysa said, even though climate change is talked about as the greatest challenge to humankind, half the world’s population continues to live under poverty, struggling for survival at this very moment. Hence, the real task for Rio+20 is to review its original commitments to ensure well-being of all citizen of the earth and to adopt practical measures towards creating a sustainable development within the member nations.

Prof. Mohan Munasinghe, vice-chair of the Nobel Prize-winning fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, delivering the keynote address pointing out that the world can be saved from the dangers posed by climate change by sustainable consumers and producers. ”We need to look at finding integrated solutions for multiple global problems rather than trying to solve these problems seperately”, he said, warning that climate change is a threat amplifier for the growing risk of financial-economic crises, persistent poverty and growing inequity, shortages of energy, water and food, and other extreme events.

The Honourable Faizer Mustafa, Deputy Environment Minister was the evening’s Chief Guest. Speaking on Sri Lanka’s sustainable development policy guided by his excellency the President’s vision of ”Mahinda Chinthanaya”, the honourable minister inv ited business and civil society to join in its realization. He confirmed the Ministry of Environement’s resolve to further strengthen their role through an empowerd climate change advisory committee.

Opening the panel discussion, Dr. Faiz Shah head of Development Management at the Asian Institute for Technology, Bangkok, summarized the outcomes of the workshop preceding the Dialogue, reporting that the cross-section of business and civil society attending the workshop reaffirmed the approach indicated by Mr. De Zoysa, Prof. Munasinghe and the Honourable Minister, and reinforced the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM’s mission of greater engagement and practical solutions to issues of climate change. ”Sustainable businesses are in fact responsible businesses, and with their enormous potential, fit firmly into the clean and green economy paradigm”.

The dialogue provided insight into how businesses are gearing up to survive in changing climate and proposer in a green economy, why sustainable consumption and production must become essential business tools, and why social responsibility is so integral to the future market place. The dialogue panel comprising Dr. Lewis Akenji, Fellow at IGES-Japan, Mrs. Ambreen Waheed, Executive Director RBI-Pakistan, Dr. Ananda Mallawathantri UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in Sri Lanka, and Mr. Rizvi Zaheed, CEO of Hayleys presented their perspectives
on the emerging trends, and how to proceed from here. Participants of this well-attended dialogue event represented government, business, civil society, academia, proffessional and media.

Friday, 8 May 2009

CED set-up Climate Sustainability PLATFORM for COP15


The upcoming UNFCCC COP15 in Copenhagen in December 2009 has once again sparked interest and action across the world on climate change. With just nine months to go, different governments, sectors and organizations are planning and implementing thousands of activities to demonstrate their views and demands for a climate secure world. While governments are gearing up for their negotiations, stakeholders are making their own preparations to influence these negotiations. In all these isolated efforts the people and the earth still requires common meeting ground to enable a collective agreement on a sustainable climate framework to evolve. It is well known that most of the United Nations international conferences keep civil society idling and disengaged from the main deliberations. While very few understand the UN processes, there also is the question of scientific knowledge and issues awareness by participating groups that is required for the required level of lobbying the negotiators, policy makers and the politicians.

Collective action on Climate Sustainability is proposed in the wake of the reality that the climate vs. development (poverty) impasse may further prevail in Copenhagen and lead to unsuccessful negotiations at the COP15. Currently it is very unclear as to what the different initiatives and forums are going to be in Copenhagen, and a host of organisations and initiatives appears to be further splitting the participants into different directions. If these different forums are not designed to unite all the wonderful initiatives, the establishment will further benefit by continuing with the delaying tactics for a climate agreement. Therefore, it is proposed that we all join hands effectively and try to create a ‘Climate Sustainability PLATFORM’ that starts in Copenhagen and works together, to' get the negotiators and global leaders committed to sustainable climate agenda.

We believe that its important to engage all those people coming to Copenhagen as meaningfully and effectively as possible to place pressure towards achieving an agreement not simply on climate mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer or financial commitments, but essentially to find "Agreement on Climate Sustainability'. Copenhagen will achieve much less than what the expectations are drawn through the entire circus, and have a danger of making the climate debate quite sour and disappointing. Hope can be provided if we all rally together as possible as we could to create a new movement towards Climate Sustainability.

Therefore, the following action is proposed;
1. Climate Sustainability PLATFORM. An open platform for negotiators, policy makers and influencers from various countries to meet participating stakeholders and the public. The Platform will be launched for participants to place their various demands to be heard.
2. Climate Sustainability MANIFESTO. A manifesto by the Copenhagen Climate Exchange participants to be presented to the COP15, Global Forum, and other important constituencies for lobbying during the COP15 period and after. The Manifesto will become a living document for an evolving network of global climate sustainability advocates.
3. Climate Sustainability Dialogue. An open plenary with keynote presentations, panel discussion and a moderated dialogue with audience. Top level speakers and panelists will be invited to make motivational presentations.
4. Climate Sustainability CAMPUS. A series of training on climate change and sustainability issues offered specially for NGOs and stakeholder participants to enhance heir knowledge required to engage in climate negotiations and lobbying. A faculty of expert lecturers and resources persons will be invited to deliver these workshops.
5. Climate Sustainability Entrepreneur, for the SMEs of the world who are left out in the world business forum as well and will be a crucial player in ensuring climate sustainability.

The idea and plan of the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM is to collaborate with existing initiatives organised by Danish organizations during COP15 and to strengthen those processes through our global network of sustainability experts and organizations. All the above action can be offered to enhance those initiatives and we look forward to hearing from all those organizations preparing for COP15 and look forward to join together for collective action.

Please contact: Uchita de Zoysa (uchita@sltnet.lk)
Please visit: http://climatesustainabilityplatform.blogspot.com/

Monday, 23 March 2009

Uchita Presents at the Scientific Climate Congress in Copenhagen

Abstract for the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change
"Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions", Copenhagen on 10-12 March 2009 Session 58 “National and Regional Development of mitigation policies”


Integrating Sustainable Consumption and Production in Asian Climate Change Policies
By Uchita de Zoysa, Executive Director, Centre for Environment & Development, Sri Lanka

Summary & Objectives
As climate change is being promoted as the greatest challenge faced by future human societies on earth, more than half of humanity is under poverty. In reality the world is still divided in its path to save the world. The Group of 77 developing countries (G77) lobby within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is struggling hard to ensure that the traditional power politics of the Northern hemisphere does not undermine the development aspirations of the Southern country people. Dr. Tariq Banuri says; “There is a broad consensus, articulated explicitly in all global conventions and agreements (including in particular, the UNFCCC, Agenda 21, JPOI, and the Millennium Declaration) that developing countries have a right to sustainable development, that all other actions should be framed such as not to undermine or affect this right adversely in any way, and that developed countries have an obligation to provide financial assistance and access to technology to developing countries in order to assist the latter in realizing this right".
While the debate on 'the right to development in a climate change agenda' increases, lifestyles in developing countries too are increasingly becoming non environmental friendly as it used to be and more people are joining the ranks of the ‘consumer classes’. Asia with a clear majority of the consumers on earth, housing seventy percent of the global poor, holding the ownership to a large percentage of the world’s natural resources does pose a serious challenge towards achieving sustainability not only in Asia but also on the entire planet.
The Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption (ARSC) conducted by this author in 2005 concluded that the ultimate goal of sustainable consumption is creating better quality of life for all to enable wellbeing and happiness. It also suggested that efficiency per say will not bring bout the desired radical changes to the current unsustainable consumption patterns that contributes also to climate change. Therefore sufficiency (a growing concept that includes self-reliance, adequacy and contentment) should be seriously promoted as an alternative.
National and regional policy makers are now paying greater interest in climate change issues. Even small countries like Sri Lanka with weak bargaining power in the international climate negotiations are keen to framework their climate change policies. In this process their alliances are with sub-regional, regional and developing country groupings such as G77 to drive the best bargain for their nations. The National Advisory Committee on Climate Change in Sri Lanka has agreed to formulate a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) in 2009. The broad framework of the policy has been agreed upon to be ensuring sustainable development aspirations of the nation.
The objective of this paper is to promote Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) as a strategic tool that can help promote sustainability based national and regional polices on climate change. The paper also intends to promote sufficiency based sustainable lifestyles to enable wellbeing and happiness as a key pathway towards climate change mitigation and adaptation in Asia.
Findings & Results
The ‘UN 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production' is the official response to the statement by Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) that one of the main challenges on earth is regulating unsustainable consumption and production patterns on earth. The Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption (ARSC) that was conducted as an Asian response argued that sustainable consumption needs to be discussed in the interest of half of the world’s population that are in poverty, while addressing the over consumption issues of the developed countries. It emphasized that equity in consumption is a major challenge of the international community that seeks to regulate unsustainable consumption patterns. ARSC challenges the current international approach on sustainable consumption (SC) and rejects the notion that eco-innovation or greening the consumer should be the main focus of SC in Asia. It essentially proposes that the primary goal of SC should be to assure quality of life for all. It suggests that SC planning should be targeted to enable wellbeing and ensure happiness of all people.
The ARSC process included dialogues with over a hundred organizations from government, universities, NGOs and industry sectors in twelve Asian countries (China to India, Malaysia to Sri Lanka, Indonesia to Bangladesh, Cambodia to Nepal, Thailand to Pakistan and Vietnam to Laos). It was backed up with a survey and also site visits to formulate fifty related case studies. The findings were presented to an Asia-Europe cross regional convention and since have been presented at policy, research, business and civil society forums across the world. The review was used as the foundation document to formulate the UNEP Asian Guidelines on Sustainable consumption, which also influenced the UNEP National Guidelines on Sustainable Consumption that followed. The ARSC was presented to several scientific, policy and stakeholder meetings at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali (COP13) and since then has continued to make its influences in the climate change science and policy arena as well. Most recent interventions include the presentation and successful inclusions into the UNEP Asia-Pacific Forum statement to the environmental ministers meeting in Kenya this year, and the Planet2050 scientific workshop and publication.
Conclusions & Way Forward
National and regional climate change polices will continue to head towards driving a larger share of benefits from the international climate change agenda. While demanding greater mitigation commitment from the developed nations, they will also continue to demand higher stakes to commit towards adaptation. While international negotiations are battled based on global political and trade power, the climate keeps on deteriorating, poverty continues to affect humanity, and the overall target of sustainability gets lost in the debate.
This paper from an Asian perspective argues that national and regional polices (including climate change policies) needs to be based on a set of common criteria that adopts sustainable lifestyles (consumption and production) which includes;
1. Equitable consumption opportunities that enables wellbeing & happiness of all
2. Sustainable lifestyles that promotes healthy and peaceful environmental conditions
3. Sufficiency based development paradigms to replace growth based GDP and GNP

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Uchita de Zoysa at Planet in 2050 Workshop



Sustainable Consumption and Production for Earth in 2050
by Uchita de Zoysa (www.glossolutions.com)

Ever since publishing the ‘Our Common Future’ report from the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), the global discussions on challenges facing humans on earth and setting goals for desirable futures has been growing. The ‘Agenda 21’ resulting from the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit on Environment and Development (UNCED), ‘Joint Programme of Implementation’ (JPOI) from the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) or the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) shows the human desire to find strategic pathways towards desirable futures.

Similarly, a ‘10 Year Framework of Programmes’ on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP on SCP) in response to the statement by JPOI of WSSD that one of the main challenges on earth is regulating unsustainable consumption and production patterns on earth. Since then the loosely organised Marrakech Process of the UN has not been able to provide collectively agreeable and desirable pathways towards sustainable futures. The ‘Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption’ conducted and written by this author argued that that sustainable consumption needs to be discussed in the interest of half of the world’s population that are in poverty, while addressing the over consumption issues of the developed countries. It emphasised that equity in consumption is a major challenge of the international community that seeks to regulate unsustainable consumption patterns.

Are these global diplomatic efforts making human life of earth desirable? As often argued on the premises of scientific research and well planned strategies at the highest international levels, why has this desirable future become more and more challenging during the past forty years of global sustainability visioning? Depleting natural resources challenges further desertification; continued global warming threatening climate change; failure to eradicate poverty is resulting in aggravated food crisis; the fall of the icon of the free economy, Wall Street, threatens the existence of smaller and dependent enterprises and national economies. These do not leave the world currently with desirable visions of a future.

Desirable futures for humans on earth between years 2030-2050 would be subjective to what the guiding visions for sustainability or right livelihood are. However, the following may find some common ground of desirable futures;
1. Equitable consumption opportunities that enables wellbeing for all
2. Sustained happiness derived through the ensuring of wellbeing for all
3. Sustainable lifestyles in healthy and peaceful environmental conditions

The above desirable futures would require paths to sustainability that could not be merely achieved through the current human development indexes, gross domestic product, transfer of technologies or free market based economic growth systems. Therefore, the following paths to sustainability are proposed to be deliberated for future deep research and development;
1. Creating ‘Sufficiency’ based development paradigms that can further the goals of sustainability from ‘Efficiency’ based development tools
2. Creating ‘Happiness & Wellbeing’ based development criteria against the ‘Growth’ based development criteria
3. Creating ‘Mindfulness’ through ‘HeartMind’ processes to promote right livelihood lifestyle models amongst humanity against individual human development models.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

CED Invited to Speak at the B4E Summit


B4E-Business for the Environment Global Summit 2008 was held in Singapore from 22-23 April 2008 with the theme "Business and Markets in a Climate of Change". With a focus on Resource Efficiency and Renewable Energies, this second B4E brought together senior executives from leading global companies, governments, international organisations and NGOs to explore and share solutions for a greener future. The summit was jointly hosted with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Global Compact and was frames as the most important event on business and the environment in 2008.

Mr. Uchita de Zoysa of CED was invited to speak at the plenary forum, and was amongst other global speakers such as Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (President of the Republic of Maldives), H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, Achim Steiner, Executive Director (UN Environment Programme and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations) Georg Kell (Executive Director, UN Global Compact), Arab Hoballah (Chief, Sustainable Consumption and Production, UNEP DTIE), Aron Cramer (President and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility), Andrei Marcu (Senior Managing Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development), Wolfgang Gregor (Chief Sustainability Officer, OSRAM), Neil Hawkins (Vice President, Sustainability, The Dow Chemical Company), Olivier Luneau (Senior Vice President Group Sustainable Development, Lafarge), Wolfgang Bloch (Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Siemens AG), Jouko Virta (President of Global Fiber Supply, Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd), David Williams (CEO, Impact DTG), Habiba Al Marashi (Chairperson, Emirates Environmental Group), Sheri Liao (Advisor, Global Village of Beijing), Isabelle Louis (Director Asia & Pacific, WWF International), etc.

Singapore based newspaper "The Nation" qouted ...."Uchita de Zoysa, director of the Sri Lanka Centre for Environment could not get business leaders to respond when asked how they will address the pressing need for the developed world in particular to reduce consumption to cut carbon emissions. "Are companies ready to handle the consequences if consumers embrace that notion?" Zoysa asked." Following is a summary of his presentation;


Environmental Partnerships: Leverage Corporate and NGO Capabilities
by Uchita de Zoysa, Executive Director - Centre for Environment & Development

Opportunities for Partnerships
We are here together because the changing climate is presenting new business and market opportunities.
• Global warming needs not just mitigation but adaptation. Therefore more public awareness and participation is a challenge.
• Diminishing natural resources and emerging power over resource ownership by southern communities challenges us for new ways of consumption and resource efficiency.
• Continued poverty and increasing food crisis with growing demand for eradication as a priority agenda presents more opportunities for creating better quality of life.
• Increased consumption societies, urbanization and market leaderships in Asia will place more pressure on global sustainability.

Barriers for Partnerships
We need a new generation public-private-civil partnerships.
• Business - CSR is becoming dangerously used as a tool for corporate-whitewashing, resulting in threatening true social service and social entrepreneurship.
• Funds/sponsorships becoming a bottom-line for public-private partnerships, where triple bottom-lines are compromised.
• Global diplomacy is becoming weaker and sustainability is a continuously delayed process – 50 years of sustainability talk leaves us with voluntary commitments in the UN Marrakech Process on SCP?
• Partnerships are made in comfort zones – friends and clubs and the like minded – excluded are the people!
• Finally, NGOs need to come-out of their own “protective zones” and look forward as to the need of the people and world. Not to just the ideals and funded projects.

Some Ideas for Partnerships
The need is inclusive partnerships, and with true stakeholder determinations.
• Sustainable enterprise (sustainable production to Sustainable consumption based markets)
• Sustainable credit and banking (from micro credit to alleviate poverty to credit and banking for a sustainable world)
• CSR and corporate sustainability is based not only on reporting, transparency and citizenship, but on going beyond market interests and towards a sustainable world and with true partnerships with people and their representatives of the world.
• We are seeking partnerships for a better world that mandates Equity, Wellbeing & Happiness for all!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

CED advances its Sustainable Entreprises and Sustainable Credit Programmes


Sustainable Entreprises
Sustainable Entreprises is a programme to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns through a mix of sustainable design, SME financing, fair trade and community based good governance structures. The key objective is to build quality of life, wellbeing and happiness that will lead towards sustainable lifestyles.
Level 01: eliminating poverty as a barrier to sustainability
Level 02: developing sustainable enterprises as an enabling condition for sustainability
Level 03: embedding sustainable consumption and production as a precondition for sustainable lifestyles
Level 04: promoting and propagating sustainable lifestyles as a foundation towards sustainability

Sustainable Credit
Sustainable credit is a new generation of micro-finance to promote sustainable enterprise. Targeting poor communities, the programme is furthering sustainable SME development. The guiding principles and foundations are from sustainable consumption and production, micro-finance, social entrepreneurship and community governance. The programme intends to grow into sustainability banking for sustainable lifestyles.

CED partnes with SoP in Bali UN Climate Change Meeting



A Stakeholder Dialogue on “Sustainability Projects for Climate Change Mitigation”
- A parallel COP13 meeting at Novotel Nusa Dua Hotel, Bali, Indonesia, 10th December 2007 -


CED joined hands with the Sustainability of the Planet Project of Sinf Sweden at the famous Bali Climate Change Conference to hold a stakeholder dialogue on “Sustainability Projects for Climate Change Mitigation”. Partnering the event was also the Indonesian Ministry of Environment. The dialogue was moderated by Uchita de Zoysa of CED and attracted speakers from reputed organizations such Dr. Tariq Banuri (SEI), Mr. Kevin McKinley (Deputy Secretary General - ISO), Mr. Aaron Cosbey(IISD), Mr. Juerg Gerber(WBCSD), Dr Sven-Olof Ryding (SEMCO), Mr. Paul Simpson (Carbon Disclosure Project) Ms. Darwina Widjajanti (LEAD – Indonesia), Dr. Christopher Tyrone Mc Donald (Carecreation KG), Mr. Lennart Piper (SoP Program)amongst several others.

The meeting concluded on the note that we need to continue the global debate on climate change. Technology transfer from the rich to the poor countries is necessary. The challenge for climate change mitigation is a challenge we all need to take on: the public, the business and the private sectors.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Call for ‘Asian Case Studies on Sustainable Consumption and Production Action for Climate Change Mitigation”

CED is compiling ‘Asian Case Studies on Sustainable Consumption and Production Action for Climate Change Mitigation” as a regional input to Marrakech Process on SCP and the upcoming COP13 Climate Change Meeting in Bali 3-14th December. This s completely voluntary effort and we would appreciate your contributions and support to find the correct information on Asian case studies that make SCP a tool for climate change mitigation.

The case study format also provides simple descriptive guideline on what SCP as tool for Climate Change Mitigation is. Please request for a case study format from “ced@sltnet,lk” and pl feel free to circulate amongst your contacts and networks in Asia including all stakeholder groups - government, civil society, NGOs, industry, business, trade unions, etc.

Pl do send your completed case studies by 15th November, enabling us to distribute the information at the upcoming COP13 meeting as well.

Pl do let us know if you have not so far received a copy of the Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption, so we can send you one. You also can find detail at http://sc-asia.blogspot.com/ .

We look forward your contribution and developing partnerships for sustainable futures!

Contact:
Uchita de Zoysa
Executive Director - Centre for Environment & Development

Friday, 5 October 2007

Creating a Stakeholder Dialogue on Sustainable Consumption and Production (draft-1)


Background
One of the main recommendations to the 3rd International Expert Meeting on a 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (Marrakech Process) was to establish a broader global stakeholder dialogue on sustainable production and consumption with greater outreach towards all governments and stakeholders. The proposal is meant to create space for a substantive dialogue on sustainable production and consumption to frame the context of the Marrakech Process. The idea for a global stakeholder dialogue forum was initially made to Multi-stakeholder Panel by the NGO forum representative Mr. Uchita de Zoysa of the Centre for Environment and Development (proposer of this project) at this meeting organized by UNEP and UNDESA The proposal has been discussed since with key persons from global stakeholders working on Sustainable Consumption and Production and is now in the development stage with their consent, support and input. The proposal now is openly disseminated for greater dialogue and development.

Introduction
SCP is the engine of sustainable development. It is not just another transversal or overarching theme; it is the very framework that will enable us to meet the consumptive needs--the MDGS, among others--of all within the ecological carrying capacity of the planet. SCP, however, requires a dialogue of all nations and of all people; discussions on SCP need to involve, and be taken up by, a much broader public in order to raise the profile of SCP at the national level, and develop widespread political support for effective action. For that, stakeholders need tools, resources and solid arguments to show that the world has more to gain than to lose by adopting sustainable production and consumption patterns. Good practices need to be shared, the barriers and obstacles to SCP need to be identified, and positive future scenarios of happy, fulfilling and ecologically sustainable lives and livelihoods that will serve as inspiration and guidance need to be developed jointly. The Marrakech Process is currently centred around regional and international meeting of experts on SCP, with the support of other mechanisms: Task Forces; Cooperation Dialogue; NGO and Business Forum, etc. Creating space within the Marrakech Process to allow for ongoing dialogue on SCP, how to mainstream it, how to deal with the costs of a massive transition towards a sustainable and sufficiency economy, etc., seems both timely and necessary. The discussions of this dialogue are not only important in of itself, but it can also inform and contribute to the development of the 10YFP.

The main aspects of the proposal are based on the following aspects;
i. To create an open/participatory mechanism of the Marrakech Process to dialogue and promote the international SCP objectives (eg: ensuring wellbeing of all, promoting happiness, eradicating poverty, enabling sufficiency economies, promoting green consumption - eco innovation – green procurement and sustainable markets, etc.)
ii. To induce the involvement of stakeholders into decision-making and into consultative structures of the Marrakech Process
iii. To ensure that right to know and right to information and knowledge is established within the Marrakech process (e.g. going beyond a discussion of “experts” and involving nations)
iv. To develop and provision effective, transparent and verifiable consumer information tools relating to sustainable consumption and production.
v. To provide a forum for partnerships for a sustainable planet to evolve.

It is herewith proposed that the Global Stakeholder Forum on SCP Dialogue is conducted during international and regional meetings of the Marrakech process, UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) sessions, Marrakech Task Force conferences, Business & NGO Forums, etc. and in partnership with relevant stakeholder leaders and the United Nations Secretariat for the Marrakech process.

The main projects of the Global Stakeholder Forum on SCP Dialogue will be;
1. Reviewing and making comprehensive proposals to the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (UNEP/UNDESA Living document) and
2. Conducting comprehensive multi-stakeholder review of efforts, success and failure since the Rio Earth Summit to implement the Agenda 21 objectives and action commitments on production and consumption agreed to in 1992 by governments.
3. Conduct and report on the analysis of the primary national concerns and barriers (political, economic, cultural, etc.) within and among governments in and outside the Marrakech Process to (1) developing domestic policy frameworks to encourage the shift in production and consumption patterns, and (2) developing and instituting action plans to implement those policies. This should be started within a year after the Stockholm Conference.

Contact person for the development period;
Mr. Uchita de Zoysa
Executive Director - Centre for Environment & Development
253/10, Stanley Thilakaratne Mawatha, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 11 2768459 Mobile: +94 777 372206 Fax: +94 11 5553493
e-mail: uchita@sltnet.lk / ced@sltnet.lk / betterworld@sltnet.lk
skype: uchita.de.zoysa

Friday, 28 September 2007

Uchita speaks at the "Sustainability of the Planet Conference" in Stockholm


Uchita de Zoysa of CED was invited to speak to a group of 108 experts from 36 different countries gathered in Stockholm, Sweden from 3-7th September 2007 to take part in the Sustainability of the Planet Program Conference 2007. The Conference is part of the Sustainability of the Planet Program’s role in acting as a catalyst, a project assessor, and a broker between projects and financiers. The aims are to mobilize global supply chain for a sustainable planet through the powerful objectives, namely to fight climate change and prevent pollution by efficient use of resources. This will be achieved by identifying and encouraging entreprenuers to develop projects for merging sustainable development with the operation of SMEs, and in assisting the projects to find funding.


Following is a summary of the presentation on “How to create synergies with the help of the SoP Program between key actors for a Global Program: The Marrakech Process on Sustainable Consumption & Production” by Uchita de Zoysa

UN Marrakech Process which is a response to the 2002 WSSD in Johannesburg and attempts to formulate a 10 year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) has been a slow to draw attention of global governments and stakeholders equally, Uchita de Zoysa explained. New additions of such as the cooperation dialogue and stakeholder panel discussion provides some hope for a greater dialogue within the process. He expressed the view that there is criticism that the Marrakech Process has limited itself to a smaller group of expert consultations leaving out a majority of governments and their stakeholders as much as the key UN processes that deals with issues directly relevant to SCP such as poverty eradication, climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation , etc.

Uchita presented the idea of a large and dynamic networking model with an emphasis on a Global Stakeholder Dialogue on SCP. The stakeholder model proposes to create an open/participatory mechanism for the Marrakech Process to dialogue and promote the true SCP objectives such as ensuring wellbeing of all, promoting happiness, eradicating poverty, enabling sufficiency economies, promoting green consumption, eco innovation, green procurement and sustainable markets, etc..

In the Marrakech process, the SoP could choose between the roles of being a parallel program; being part of the core of the Stakeholder Dialogue; and acting as a player from the outside. Uchita said he would prefer SoP to join the Global Stakeholder Dialogue immediately. Uchita believes that the SoP can play a critical role as a stakeholder and investor broker within the global stakeholder forum on SCP in its efforts toward unifying global sustainability efforts. In Uchita’s opinion SoP should take on an aggressive approach and place itself in the centre of the sustainability movements. People should be invited – not of convenience or friendships, but open to all who have something to contribute critically. The programmes do not have to be competitive, but can become effectively complimentary to each other in a wholistic programme.

Uchita suggested that SoP has the capacity to become a strong player on a global stakeholder dialogue, but that there must be a stop in discussing only within comfort groups. The globe is too small to remain within a single constituency and we all must meet together and dialogue for a better world, Uchita emphasized, adding that 80% of the people in the world are not represented, yet their future is being decided for them by a smaller group with power and money. He also underlined the fact that there are innovators with great ideas who do not get in touch with those with people with decades of experience of how to realise those great ideas practically, because of a lack of a processes of collective stakeholder dialogue.

Answering the question of “What are the Opportunities and obstacles being involved in sustainability projects?” Uchita proposed two scenarios for opportunities;

Fist scenario for opportunities are;
1. Global warming leads to climate change mitigation projects
2. More than half of humanity remaining on poverty conditions openness projects for poverty eradication
3. Deletion of natural resources and ecosystems presets project opportunities for biodiversity conservation
4. Scarcity of clean water brings opportunities to generate clean water supply projects
5. Desertification and non-productive agricultural land demand projects to develop new technologies and methods for food supply.

Second scenario for opportunities can be from a different view;
1. Resource scarcity calls for alternative sources such as renewable energy development projects
2. Emergence of strict legislation and regulations call for more corporate social responsibility projects
3. Imbalanced global opportunities and economies calls for different negotiations and power leverages such as in carbon emissions trading.

Uchita presented the following obstacles to being involved in sustainability projects;
1. Lack of a global agreement on how to produce and consume sustainably
2. Back tracking of the past forty years of global environmental agreements (eg: Agenda 21, Kyoto protocol, etc.)
3. Issue of corporate accountability being marginalized for corporate social responsibility as a white washing and image building exercise.
4. Global sustainability interests are different between the establishment and the people/peoples representatives
5. Good ideas often gets lost in lack of capacity, funds and support within the existing model of donor/investment interest and criteria
6. Lack of collective effort dilutes the “BIG” impact (eg; all the small projects needs to be linked together for a collective impact)

Uchita ended by proposing set of visionary challenges for sustainability projects;
1. Achieving quality of life and happiness for all
2. Reducing global ecological footprint
3. Poverty eradication (not merely halving poverty but eliminating it)
4. Creating sufficiency economies
5. Providing equal opportunities for sustainable consumption and production
6. Ensuring global commitments by government and other stakeholders are honoured.

Uchita completely rejected the notion that stakeholder interest low in contributing towards sustainability projects. In fact he argued that they are marginalized and not provided adequate opportunity for engagement in the global sustainability programmes. He pointed out that stakeholder participation has been continuously used by governments and international organizations to justify participatory process to funders and the constituencies, but in reality they only bring in organizations and individuals from stakeholders who they can build convenient and comfort zone partnerships. Uchita showed examples from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit days when he was steering committee member of he first Global Forum which resulted in the “Alternative Treaties on Environment and Development”. He proposed the creation of a dynamic stakeholder networking model called the “Global Stakeholder Dialogue” particularly for the Marrakech process on sustainable consumption and production. He stated that linier discussions amongst a small group in the world is totally unacceptable and fruitless, and if any process wishes to achieve sustainability of the planet they should essentially evolve on an equitable stakeholder participatory mechanism

Friday, 20 July 2007

“Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption” by Uchita de Zoysa is launched in Stockholm, Sweden



Media Release
16th July 2007, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption, written by Uchita de Zoysa, was recently launched at the 3rd International Expert Meeting on Sustainable Consumption and Production held in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption was conducted by Uchita de Zoysa in twelve Asian countries including China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. It was conducted as a part of the SC.Asia project which was partnered by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Centre for Environment and Development (CED) and Consumers International (CI) and funded by the European Commission (EC).

The Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption proposes that the primary goal of sustainable consumption should be to assure quality of life for all. It suggests that sustainable consumption planning should target to enable wellbeing and ensure happiness for all people. The report argues that sustainable consumption needs to be discussed in the interest of half of the world’s population that are in poverty, while addressing the over consumption issues of the developed countries. The report emphasises that equity in consumption is a major challenge of the international community that seeks to regulate unsustainable consumption patterns.

The Asian Review on SC is an out come of a large dialogue that was initiated by the Centre for Environment and Development when it conducted the Asian Review on SC in 2004. Over hundred organisations in Asia were represented by some of the most knowledgeable thinkers, researchers, activists and administrators on sustainability in the region. This report provides a preliminary framework towards promoting sustainable consumption in Asia where half of the global humanity resides.

The Asian Review is in three volumes. Volume one is this report and volume two contains the case studies. The objective of the case studies is to provide proof of Asian initiatives to promote sustainable consumption. The third volume is a collection of questionnaires, survey forms and interview guides that were designed exclusively in the year 2004 for the Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption as a part of the SC.Asia project. The report, case studies and survey formats of the Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption are now available on CD ROM, print and also electronically.

The author of the Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption, Uchita de Zoysa is the Executive Director of the “Centre for Environment and Development” and a global advocate for a sustainable world. He is also the Managing Director of “D&D Strategic Solutions” which is an agency offering corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability consultancy services. He has travelled widely across the world as a speaker at many UN summits, conferences and workshops and has held positions in several international steering committees. Currently he is engaged in developing and implementing CSR projects and sustainability plans for corporate and international organizations.

Interested organizations and individuals are invited to request for copies of the report by sending an email to “ uchita@sltnet.lk ” and parts of the report can be found at “ http://sc-asia.blogspot.com/ ”.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

“2021 is too late”


The following paper is adopted from the presentation by Uchita de Zoysa as the NGO Forum Representative to the Multi-Stakeholder Panel of the 3rd International Expert Meeting on the 10 year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (Stockholm, Sweden - 26-29 June 2007)
( full presentation @ http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sdissues/consumption/Marrakech/ngo.pdf )

Sustainable consumption and production commitments are needed now!
(by Uchita de Zoysa)


The recent UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concludes that sixty percent (60%) of the world's ecosystem services-the consequences of which are being borne disproportionately by the poor-are highly degraded or failing, and that further degradation of these ecosystems is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.



In 1992 Mr. Maurice Strong, the secretary general of UNCED, announced that that the earth summit would be the last chance to save the earth. After five years (05) of the Marrakech process for the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, we are now compromising on a set of voluntary commitments to be achieved by the year of 2021. The irony of this is position is that we are now reversing our urgency to save the earth after 49 years from UNCHE in Stockholm (1972), 29 years from UNCED in Rio (1992) and 19 years from WSSD in Johannesburg (2002).

We have to once again stress the urgency of all major actors – especially government – in moving forward with SCP, and are frustrated with the 2021 timeline that is being proposed for the Framework by the United Nations. We are at a point in history where the biophysical reality has to guide our action agenda, rather than the UN calendar. From the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to the IPCC report we are overshooting the carrying capacity of the planet with the result of global collapse in fisheries, climate, freshwater availability, spread of disease...SCP is an urgent priority and we want to see the commitments to agenda 21 made by the 191 countries in 1992


We as international SCP activists would like to put our demands forwards as below;
1. We need to go beyond the focus on over consumption and the issues of more than half of the humanity that are under consuming (and are in poverty)
2. We need to go beyond the attempts of greening of individual consumer behavior and attempt to reduce demand for resources are in the hands of industry and governments.
3. We need to go beyond improving efficiency (technological innovation) in our SCP process and need to think about deep structural changes.



We would like to also put forward a series of recommendations to save the international SCP agenda;

Recommendation 01: Identify specific programs of the 10 year framework
Clearly define and Identify targets, timetables, strategies and action needed to reverse worsening social and ecological trends by 2021.
1. Define the broader objectives of an SCP framework to achieve “wellbeing” of all people on earth, with clear goal that ensures quality of life
2. The 10YFP needs to clearly address issue of “equity” in consumption and production opportunities for all nations and people.
3. The 1st background paper #1 (as an outline draft needs) to be formulated into a comprehensive 10YFP through an regional/international and stakeholder consultation process by Marrakech-4 (in 02 years in 2009 for the Mrrakech-4 and prior 2010/11 CSD)


Recommendation 02: Review progress since Rio92
Organize a comprehensive multi-stakeholder review of efforts, success and failure to implement the Agenda 21 objectives and action commitments on production and consumption agreed to in 1992 by governments.
1. Conduct a full scale review of global commitments on SCP made since UNCED in Rio92 – eg; Agenda 21, WSSD JPOI, UN Consumer Protection Guidelines (Section G on SC) etc.
2. A full report to be available for the 2010/11 CSD cycle.
3. Identify and provide analyses of some of the major obstacles and difficulties faced by these efforts.
4. Engage stakeholder groups through consultation and other activities to provide a diversity of relevant perspectives and concerns as part of their input in the review.


Recommendation 03: Identify and Analysis the national barriers to develop national SCP strategies
To engage all governments effectively to follow-up on the recommendation of WSSDs JPOI (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation) “to develop a 10YFP in support of regional and national initiatives to accelerate the shift towards SCP”
1. National SCP Guideline development process needs to have a greater regional government and stakeholder engagement
2. Governments need to include all stakeholders in formulating the Strategy as well as in the monitoring & evaluation.
3. National SCP policies should move society towards a establishing at a minimum - sufficiency economies with adequate integration of ecological fiscal reform, eco-effective production, etc.
4. Go beyond developing guidelines for NAPs on SCP and assist governments to develop and implement national policies and strategies on SCP, and do so by 2010/11 CSD cycle.


Recommendation 04: Develop operational guidelines for the Marrakech Task Forces
Develop a clear set of guidelines for all existing and newly proposed Marrakech Task Forces on SCP to ensure an inclusive and transparent engagement of governments and stakeholders.
1. UNEP/UNDESA needs to be centrally involved in the monitoring and evaluation the progress
2. All task forces should involve as many as possible governments in equal participation (not to limit it to funded programme agendas).
3. We encourage the UN to advise task force convenors to invite NGOs and other relevant stakeholders as members


Recommendation 05: Establish a global dialogue on SCP

Help establish a broader global dialogue on sustainable production and consumption with greater outreach towards all nations and stakeholders.

1st draft of the 10YFP as a living document for 2007-2010 wishers foster a participatory process in drafting, seeking common positions and agreements and broad support and ownership (pg 8). Then we propose;
i. Plan and implement a global scale dialogue engaging all governments and stakeholders in a national to global level review and recommendations process
ii. UNEP/UNDESA is commended for organizing this Stakeholder Forum in the outset of the Stockholm meeting and this should inspire the Marrakech process establish a “Global Stakeholder Forum on SCP” process as part of the consensus building for the 10YFP
iii. Involve stakeholders into consultative and decision making structures.


Recommendation 06: Define corporate accountability
Establish a process to define “corporate accountability,” in contrast to “corporate social responsibility”, with a practical assessment of the different contributions of voluntary and regulatory approaches in their transition to sustainable production and consumption.
1. Identify mechanism to clearly define and provide guidelines for corporate accountability.
2. Engage stakeholders for independent monitoring, accountability assurance and transparency reporting.
3. Study and report on regulatory and voluntary efforts to make advertising practices more socially and environmentally responsible and accountable.


Role of NGOs
1. Representing the interest of consumers and people in general (eg: consumer surveys, comparative product testing, consumer rights litigation, awareness creation and education, etc.)
2. Promoting the equity debate in distribution of resources to consumption opportunities (eg: access to resources, rights campaigning, consumption opportunities, fair trade, food security, etc.)
3. Pushing the under consumption issues of the global South, while maintaining the pressure on over consumption (eg: need for adequate consumption, poverty eradication, limits to greening the consumer, limits to green technology, etc.)
4. Advocating/Agitating for corporate accountability (eg: CSR as a promotional tool, CSR to replace accountability, making the dark visible, etc.)
5. Partnering knowledge and research processes (eg; partnering academics for knowledge to action research, partnering UN agencies for policy research, conducting community level research, etc.)
6. Lobbying for governmental action for “NAP on SCP” (eg: informer and awareness creators of the Marrakech process, acting as path maker for policy processes, guiding NAP processes, etc.)


Engaging Stakeholders
1. Equity - in expert consultations, content providing and process determination
2. Transparency & Openness – in selection of participants and for real expertise to have opportunities to contribute
3. Collectiveness & Inclusiveness – is important from consultation to conclusion deriving and to ensure that the consultation is heard for action and not because stakeholder consultation has to be exercised democratic display.


I would like to leave you with a vision for the 10YFP on SCP;

“One earth - one humanity in diversity and equitable opportunities for sustainable consumption and production for sustainable futures for all”


About the speaker:
Uchita de Zoysa is Executive Director of the Centre for Environment and Development based in Sri Lanka. He has been involved in the sustainable development global dialogue since the preparations of the Rio 92 Earth Summit, contributing to many major UN summits and other international conferences and sitting on many stakeholder steering committees including the UNCSD NGO Steering Committee. In 2004, he wrote the Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption and was an Advisory Board Member of UNEP’s SC.Asia Project and the "Guidance Manual on Advancing Sustainable Consumption in Asia”. Currently, he is a member of the SPACES International Working Group, and the SCORE Scientific Advisory Board. He is a free thinker and advocate for a better world.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Sustainable Consumption: An Asian Review


This report is an inspirational output of Asian minds, vision, thought, expertise and experience from China to India, Malaysia to Sri Lanka, Indonesia to Bangladesh, Cambodia to Nepal, Thailand to Pakistan, Vietnam to Laos, that took me over the seas and met me with people from governments, civil society, research, industry and labour, who for their times, efforts, hospitalities and sharing that I am forever indebted. I encourage the reader to use the information of this publication freely and would appreciate if due acknowledgement is made and copies are forwarded to us for reference.

Uchita de Zoysa
17th June 2007


For detailed information visit: http://sc-asia.blogspot.com/-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An Introduction: A Holistic Approach to Sustainable Consumption in Asia

The Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption of the SC.Asia project emerged from a proposal made at the first Asia Pacific Expert Group Meeting on Sustainable Consumption and Production held in Yogyakartha, Indonesia in year 2003. I recall a small group of us from NGOs and UNEP forming the idea of a project based around the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection (Section G. Sustainable Consumption), but essentially for me this was a vehicle to take us in Asia to find out the thinking on sustainable consumption in Asia and to promote the concept amongst governments and its stakeholders. The actual realisation of the proposal was at the second Asia Pacific Expert Group Meeting on SCP held in Seoul, Korea in 2003. This time we new exactly how to sell the idea to the forum of experts and to get the three important UN agencies of UNDESA, UNESCAP and UNEP to include these into the list of regional recommendations for the 10Year Framework of Programmes. The two other proposals included creating a “Regional SCP Help Desk” and initiating a process to encourage formulation of “National Action Plans on SCP”. The SC.Asia project resulted in publishing the report “Advancing Sustainable Consumption in Asia: A Guidance Manual”, but stopped short of capacity building and national SC action plan development as originally expected.

The Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption was not officially published by the SC.Asia project, but provided a base for broader thinking to evolve in the Asian SC Guidance Manual. It significantly differs from the approach of the Guidance Manual that was influenced by an Advisory Board made of two Members from UNEP, two Members from Consumers International, one member from the Danish Consumer Council and myself as the only active Asian representative. The Asian Review on SC takes a more holistic approach towards sustainable consumption and challenges the current approach and outlook of the United Nations 10 Year Framework of Programmes on SCP, popularly called the Marrakech process. It rejects the notion that eco-innovation or greening the consumer should be the main focus of sustainable consumption in Asia, and essentially proposes that the primary goal of sustainable consumption should be to assure quality of life for all. It suggests that sustainable consumption planning should target to enable wellbeing and ensure happiness for all people.

The Asian Review on SC argues that sustainable consumption needs to be discussed in the interest of half of the world’s population that are in poverty, while addressing the over consumption issues of the developed countries. The Asian Review on SC emphasises that equity in consumption is a major challenge of the international community that seeks to regulate unsustainable consumption patterns. For this, if the SCP agenda cannot address the basis requirement of most humans on earth such as food, clothing and shelter and understand that issues such as food security, fair trade and good governance are intrinsically linked to creating sustainable consumption, then the process will naturally fail the people’s aspiration for a sustainable world.

The Asian Review on SC is herewith published with a view of initiating a broader dialogue on the deeper meanings of sustainable consumption to Asians. The dialogue while essentially being centred in and around Asia, also should invite other regions to join and inspire a greater global debate on sustainable consumption. The dialogue was initiated by the Centre for Environment and Development when we conducted the Asian Review on SC by inviting over a hundred of organizations to join the national and regional review. These hundred plus organisations were represented by some of the most knowledgeable thinkers, researchers, activists and administrators on sustainability in the region. These organisations while providing a conceptual framework for sustainable consumption in Asia also helped us out in identifying a framework for implementation. They also provided us with over fifty case studies of sustainable consumption initiatives that provide testimony to an Asian experience on sustainable consumption.

The Asian Review on SC was conducted in the year 2004, but has evolved into a continuous process to include more nations, more people, more processes and more dialogues. We are in search of an Asian Framework for Sustainable consumption that can be translated in to a clear set of actionable goals. This report provides a preliminary framework towards promoting sustainable consumption in Asia where half of the global humanity resides, and hope to inspire the other half to join us in creating a sustainable world.

The preliminary research of the Asian Review on SC was conducted with part of the funding provided by the Asia Pro-Eco Programme of the European Union that was allocated to SC.Asia Project. Unfortunately the lead facilitators of the SC.Asia project did not possess the vision and commitment to continue with its mandate to support Asian governments to develop national SC Strategies and action plans. In this respect, the findings of the Asia Review on SC initially published in draft form in the year 2004 has not been adequately made use of by its potential beneficiaries in the region and rest of the world.

The hope of this report is to find its way towards potential beneficiaries from government, NGOs, academia, industry and other to be inspired by an Asian vision, thought, expertise and experience from China to India, Malaysia to Sri Lanka, Indonesia to Bangladesh, Cambodia to Nepal, Thailand to Pakistan and Vietnam to Laos. This report maintains its original findings of 2004 and therefore may not be precise to the currently evolved information on sustainable consumption in the region. In this regard, we plan to embark on a second stage of the Asian Review on SC to deliberate and propose an “Asian Framework on Sustainable Consumption”.

The Asian Review is in three volumes. Volume one is this report and volume two contains the case studies. The objective of the case studies is to provide proof of Asian initiatives to promote sustainable consumption. The third volume is a collection of questionnaires, survey forms and interview guides that were designed exclusively in the year 2004 for the Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption as a part of the SC.Asia project. The initial task was to frame the questionnaires to suite the SC.Asia project requirement which was guided by the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (Section G. Promotion of Sustainable Consumption).

The report, case studies and survey formats of the Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption are now available on CD ROM, print and also electronically. Interested organizations and individuals are cordially invited to request for copies by sending an email to “uchita@sltnet.lk”.

I invite you to join us in creating a better world of sustainable futures!




Uchita de Zoysa
Executive Director - Centre for Environment & Development
Managing Director - D&D Strategic Solutions
253/10, Stanley Thilakaratne Mawatha, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 11 2768459 Mobile: +94 777 372206 Fax: +94 11 5553493
e-mail:ced@sltnet.lk / betterworld@sltnet.lk / uchita@sltnet.lk
skype: uchita.de.zoysa
http://betterworldasia.blogspot.com/
http://centreforenvironmentdevelopment.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption


The presentation is based on the findings of the "Asian Review on Sustainable Consumption" conducted by Uchita de Zoysa, Centre for Environment & Development (CED) for SC.ASIA: Capacity Building for Implementation of UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection (Section G: Sustainable Consumption) in Asia.

The 12 countries studied in this review display significant differences in economic, social and cultural conditions. The group include least developed (LDC) countries such as Bangladesh, Laos, Vietnam and Nepal, as well as the two economic giants of the region; China and India. Also rapidly growing economies such as Malaysia and Thailand are represented as well as developing economies of Sri Lanka, Indonesia & Philippines.

The Asian Review has shown a holistic approach to achieving sustainable consumption.
The model presented was evolved as a result of the engagement of over 100 Asian GO, NGO & Industry organizations. SC.Asia is a truly an innovative initiative from Asia that can form the path of sustainable consumption policy planning and implementation in the world.

This model now needs to be further reviewed expanded to well suit the regional and country situations in Asia.

Full presentation is at: http://www.helplinetrust.org/EDC/updates/March2006/Foreign_Speakers/Uchita_files/frame.htm#slide0002.htm

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Global Sustainable Consumption and Production Opportunities: Doors are Closing!

by Uchita de Zoysa

(The following article is based on the presentation to the SPACES Dialogue on “Linking knowledge & action for Sustainable Production & Consumption Systems” (23 and 27 January 2007, Chiang Mai, Thailand) at the session on “International Initiatives & Cooperation Opportunities on SCP”)

INTRODUCTION:
International actors in the sustainable consumption and production debate are now sending clear signals to governments and the United Nations Organizations that the 10 Year Framework of Programmes of the Marrakech process is failing; failing due to a lack of clear vision and exclusion of relevant national, regional and global actors. Most governments especially in the South are not aware of the process, United States of America is not interested in regulating their grossly unsustainable consumption patterns, European Union is dominating the agenda and the multi-nationals continue to expand their profit making through white washing tack-ticks. The result is that the poor continue to consume inadequately while the rich suffer from over consumption.

World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 clearly placed on the global agenda the need to regulate unsustainable consumption and production patterns on earth. However, the initiative should be credited to the Agenda 21 of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. Some may say that the ball really started rolling with the UN Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 in Stockholm). Well those are the conventional or close historical landmarks that we now in the international circuit celebrate.

Tracking further down history, it is interesting to note what Mahatma Gandhi embarked on doing a century ago in his search of “truth” for a simple way of life. Then, many centuries prior to Mahatma, essence of the “Arya Ashtangika Marga” or the “Eight Fold Noble Path” professed by Gauthama Buddha in his search of the “middle path toward eternal happiness” even today continues to inspire millions of Buddhists in exercising sustainable livelihood.

During 2004-5, I had the opportunity of intimately engaging with hundreds of Asians minds representing over 100 organizations that had some relationship in their work on sustainable consumption and production. That was my search for the reality on Asian perceptions on sustainable consumption. At the end of the Asian review in 11 countries, the conclusion was that sustainable consumption (and production) meant “ensuring better quality of life for all”.

The challenge today is not only achieving better quality of life for all, but also to figure out what is a better quality of life. Unfortunately the current international process that is in search of a framework to regulate unsustainable consumption and production patterns appears to be creating greater distortion rather than providing a clearer path towards sustainability. Hence, international initiatives and cooperating opportunities on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) has to be critically analyzed and observed with greater caution, rather than merely following as in a pipe-pipers dance.

This article is meant to provide some inside information to the government officials across the world, global civil society, scientists and researcher, and decision makers of the United Nations to take note and act upon. Therefore it will focus on four main aspects of international initiatives for SCP; official process, supplementary and complimentary processes, knowledge to policy networking processes, and reality to action processes. The article will also highlight core deficiencies in these programmes and will propose broad recommendations for the consideration of international and national SC actors.

(To read the comlete article pl visit: http://www.sea-user.org/download_pubdoc.php?doc=3263 - or click on the Header of he article on top)

Monday, 8 January 2007

Advancing Sustainable Consumption in Asia - A Guidance Manual

(To download the manual click on the header)


This guidance manual is prepared as part of the project “Capacity Building for Implementation of UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection (Sustainable Consumption) in Asia“ (SC.Asia). The SC.Asia project is financially supported by the European Union’s Asia Pro Eco Programme with 330.000 Euros, and implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme in partnership with the Centre for Environment and Development in Sri Lanka, Consumers International, and the Danish Consumer Council.

The guidance manual was developed as a joint effort by all SC.Asia project partners, including Mr. Bjarne Pedersen, Principal Policy Officer of Consumers International, Mr. Uchita de Zoysa, Executive Director of Centre for Environment and Development, and Mr. Claus Jørgenssen, Environmental Project Manager of the Danish Consumers’
Council.

The manual is largely based on information collected in the SC.Asia project, in particular through two regional status reviews in Asia and Europe conducted in 2004, and through a regional workshop organized in Manila, Philippines, in March 2005. Further information has been collected through the networks created in the project with sustainable consumption stakeholders throughout Asia and Europe.

User’s Guide
About the guidance manual: “Advancing Sustainable Consumption in Asia – A Guidance Manual”, (hereinafter referred as “the Manual” or “the guidance manual”), is the key output of the project Capacity Building for Implementation of UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection (Sustainable Consumption) in Asia. The other components of the project include: regional reviews of the status of sustainable consumption in Asia and Europe, a “Regional Cross-Learning Seminar on Sustainable Consumption” carried out in Manila, the Philippines, in March 2005, and exercises on developing national action plans for promoting sustainable consumption in Asia. The guidance manual builds on all the project components and aims at providing Asian governments with a practical tool for developing national initiatives in the area of sustainable consumption. The SC.Asia project, including this manual, contributes to the 10-year framework of programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production in Asia and the Pacific.

Users: The intended users of the manual are governments in Asian countries who could use it as a guidance document to build capacities and implement programmes and activities on sustainable consumption. For this reason, the manual has taken into account the specific socio-political and environmental conditions in the 12 Asian countries that participated in the project.

A second target group for this manual include research institutes, experts, and trainers, who play an important role in assisting the government in policy making and building the knowledge base on sustainable consumption.

Finally, governments in other countries, and other stakeholders concerned with sustainable consumption may also use the manual as a reference document on sustainable consumption.

Focus: The UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection, Section G on Sustainable Consumption provides the focus for the manual. Specifically, the manual covers nine areas highlighted in the UN Guidelines as being particularly relevant to sustainable consumption (refer to annex 1 for the text of Section G of the UN Guidelines). The manual addresses a wide array of sustainable consumption issues. These range from under-consumption and resource use efficiency to responsible consumption, product and service change, and to purchasing choices. However, it is not the intention of this manual to provide a comprehensive guidance on all these issues. Readers will find that the manual is very specific in its elaboration of operational steps. For this reason, discussions on related issues such as poverty reduction, life styles, or cleaner production, are of a general nature and mainly serve the purpose of providing background information.

Knowledge base: The manual focuses on four clusters of practical tools: product information; waste prevention and minimization; sustainable government practices; awareness, education and marketing. Although many more tools are available and useful, these tools are selected based on the findings of two regional reviews on sustainable consumption practices in Asia and Europe, carried out by SC.Asia. This selection is also supported by the recommendations from the Regional Cross-Learning Seminar on Sustainable Consumption, where experts found these four clusters of tools as being particularly relevant and practical in Asia. Every tool presented, and most of the suggestions made, in the manual are either derived from case studies developed during the two regional reviews or provided by participating experts.

to download the complete manual please view;
http://www.consumersinternational.org/shared_asp_files/uploadedfiles/07AD5FC5-4764-4B9A-9301-A8B1CC3B7DA1_GuidanceManual-SCAsia.pdf

After the Tsunami: Sri Lanka Rising to the Challenges

Presentation by Uchita de Zoysa, CED at the University of Tropical Medicine, London and organized by LONDON21 (February 2005)


26th Sunday December 2004. Between 9-10.00am I was disturbed by my dog howling in a high tone. My mother-in-Law calls and informs us the sea is coming inland. I get a call from India (a consumer activist) to see whether I am safe. Even when media started reporting we did not understand the gravity of the situation. Then the evening news of the ITN showed people and vehicles getting washed out by the sea. My brother was also in a coastal village called Ambalangoda that was badly hit by the waves. But they were the fortunate ones who are still alive.

At 0059 GMT, a massive earthquake registering 9.0 on the Richter Scale struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. This was followed by a series of more than 67 aftershocks. The earthquake triggered a series of tsunami waves that radiated through the Bay of Bengal at a rate of more than 500 kilometers per hour, directly impacting coastal areas of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Reunion, Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Thailand.

As of January 17, official figures indicated that more than 31,000 people in Sri Lanka were dead and approximately 6,300 remained missing; The final death count could be between 40,000-60,000 • During relief efforts. Displaced person estimates stand at 443,000. Affected population is estimated between one and two million, out of a total population of approximately 19 million people. The Government estimates the number of damaged houses at more than 130,000, of which more than 99,000 have been completely destroyed. About 217,000 people are still living in relief camps, while approximately 226,000 people have moved in with friends or relatives. However, this number continues to decrease over time as families return to their homes to begin rebuilding.

To view the full presentation please visit;
http://www.suscom.org/Documents/TsunamiPresentation.pdf

The Oslo Declaration on Sustainable Consumption

(Authors: Arnold Tukker, Maurie J. Cohen, Uchita de Zoysa, Edgar Hertwich, Patrick Hofstetter, Atsushi Inaba, Sylvia Lorek, and Eivind Stø)

The future course of the world depends on humanity’s ability to provide a high quality of life for a prospective nine billion people without exhausting the Earth’s resources or irreparably damaging its natural systems. It was on the basis of this recognition that the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (Chapter III) called upon the international community to work toward improving global living conditions and to “encourage and promote the development of a ten-year framework of programmes in support of regional and national initiatives to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production. In this context, sustainable consumption focuses on formulating strategies that foster the highest quality of life, the efficient use of natural resources, and the effective satisfaction of human needs while simultaneously promoting equitable social development, economic competitiveness, and technological innovation.

For complete test of the Oslo Declaration;

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/108819806775545303?cookieSet=1

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/108819806775545303

Making Sustainable Consumption & Production Work in Developing Countries: The Role of Eco Labeling, Environmental Claims and Market Surveillance


(Presentation by Uchita de Zoysa, CED to ISO/COPOLCO Workshop: How can environmental standards help promote sustainable consumption? – May 2006 Malaysia)

A Dutch intern in Sri Lanka wanted to have a banana. So he went to the
nearest boutique and asked for a banana. The vendor asked how many
kilo’s. The intern was confused and repeated how much is for a banana.
The vendor was more confused. He said Rs.35. The intern (white man)
was furious and asked why he was being exploited. The vendor now
was more confused. He could not put together this mystery as he was
genuinely trying to help the white man. Lucky for both, there was a
young English speaking local who inquired from both parties as to what
the dispute is all about. Once realising the gap of communication, the
mediator could not stop laughing. He then explained the issue to the
vendor. The vendor started laughing too and offered a single banana to
the thoroughly confused foreigner and said “Free of Charge”.

• This is a story of a growing divide in the Sustainable Consumption &
• Production paradigm.
• This is a story of a North-South divide in the process of organic produce and
• eco labelling.
• This is a story of a fair trade divide value addition and right of the common
• man (whether consumer or producer).

For complete presentation visit:
http://www.iso.org/iso/en/commcentre/presentations/wkshps-seminars/copolco/copolco2006workshopMalaysia/cop2006workshop6_Zoysa.pdf

Saturday, 6 January 2007

CED Launches BWCC in Malaysia



LAUNCH OF THE “BETTER WORLD CHILDREN’S CLUB” MALAYSIA IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2006 on the 27TH MAY 2006 at ERA COMMUNITY CENTER FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN, YOUTH AND CHILDREN, DENGKIL

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA), in collaboration with ERA Consumer Malaysia and the ERA Community Center for the Development of Women, Youth and Children organized the launching ceremony of the “ Better World Children’s Club” on the 27th of May 2006, in the ERA Community Center for the Development of Women, Youth and Children in Dengkil. The opening ceremony of the “Better World Childrens Club” was conducted by Mr.Uchita de Zoysa who has created the Better World Childrens Club in Sri Lanka witness by the President of ERA Consumer Malaysia and FOMCA, Mr.Marimuthu Nadason. Mr.Uchita is also the executive Director of the Center for Environment & Development (CED) in Sri Lanka.

The “Better World Children’s Club” has been formed to group the children around specific community as to educate them on environmental issues and to be better citizens. This club has been found in Sri Lanka by the Center of Environment and Development and it has been successfully operating in Sri Lanka and UK. FOMCA and ERA Consumer will be opening up similar clubs in many other areas around the country to encourage children to spend their time wisely as well as to educate them on the importance of environmental preservation and conservation. In future, “ Better World Youth’s Club” will also be formed to encourage youths to take action on environmental issue. Youths are the partners of today and leaders of tomorrow. Statistics by the United Nations has reported that, 60% of the Asian population consist of children and youth between he age of 9 to 35 years, therefore FOMCA and ERA Consumer believe in the importance of capacity building and creating awareness to this group of the society.
The “Better World Children’s Club” has been formed to group the children around specific community as to educate them on environmental issues and to be better citizens. This club has been found in Sri Lanka by the Center of Environment and Development and it has been successfully operating in Sri Lanka and UK. FOMCA and ERA Consumer will be opening up similar clubs in many other areas around the country to encourage children to spend their time wisely as well as to educate them on the importance of environmental preservation and conservation. In future, “ Better World Youth’s Club” will also be formed to encourage youths to take action on environmental issue. Youths are the partners of today and leaders of tomorrow. Statistics by the United Nations has reported that, 60% of the Asian population consist of children and youth between he age of 9 to 35 years, therefore FOMCA and ERA Consumer believe in the importance of capacity building and creating awareness to this group of the society.

for full article refer to:


http://www.fomca.org.my/environmentindex.html