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’

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;