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“From Action Plans to Implementation”: Cairo hosts the 5th Arab Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption & Production

On 18-20 December 2017, the EU-funded SwitchMed programme was invited to present its policy methodology and the Sustainable Consumption and Production National Action Plans. The roundtable identified the challenges of financing SCP practices and issued new recommendations which contribute to the transition to a sustainable economy that protects the environment. Check them out
Published on Jan 11, 2018

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“From Action Plans to Implementation” was the theme of the 5th Arab Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Consumption & Production held in Cairo, 18-20 December 2017. Participants from more than15 countries, representing governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations, discussed progress made by Arab countries in their quest towards meeting their national targets under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

The three-day meeting was organized around the following pillars:
  • Developing Sustainable Consumption and Production policies and tools” and the alignment of the Arab Strategy of Sustainable Consumption and Production with the goals and targets related to Sustainable Consumption and Production in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  •  “Implementing Sustainable Consumption and Production policies and tools at the national and cities levels”. Sharing knowledge, good practices and lessons learned from National Action Plans processes. Showcasing success stories from Arab countries’ partners of SwitchMed Project, the private sector and other stakeholders in the region.
  • Financing Sustainable Consumption and Production”, challenges and opportunities.



The Roundtable showcased the experience of the seven Arab SwitchMed countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia), which have taken concrete actions in fulfilling indicator 12.1.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals, “Number of countries with sustainable consumption and production national action plans or SCP mainstreamed as a priority or a target into national policies”.

The EU-funded SwitchMed programme was invited to present its policy methodology and the Sustainable Consumption and Production National Action Plans that were developed and raise interest from other participant countries in developing similar processes. The representative from the EU delegation made a much-appreciated presentation on circular economy and showed the clear linkages between circular economy and sustainable consumption and production. In addition, the Roundtable stressed the involvement of the private and financial sectors and explored the potential for multi-stakeholder partnerships in the region, such as with the Carrefour Al Futtaim Group, Orange and the Savola Group.
On the other hand, the Roundtable identified the challenges of financing sustainable consumption and production practices and increased matchmaking opportunities by encouraging the use of tools and policies, which contribute to the transition to a sustainable economy that protects the environment, conserves water and energy as well as other natural resources, while contributing to sustainable lifestyles and poverty eradication.

 

Final recommendations from the Roundtable participants during the closing sessions were:
  • Call upon the Arab countries to establish a national mechanism for sustainable consumption and production and request that UN Environment, ESCWA, CEDARE and the Arab League provide support to countries to achieve this.
  • Promote the work of the Roundtable on sustainable consumption and production to the regional mechanism dealing with this issue in Arab countries and request the Technical Secretariat of the League of Arab States, UN Environment, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe to hold regular meetings.
  • Assess the efforts of the private sector to promote sustainable consumption and production concepts, and emphasize the importance of continued participation of all stakeholders in sustainable consumption and production in the Arab region.
  • Welcoming the outstanding results of the SwitchMed programme, and requesting UN Environment to seek to match them in the Arab region, and to call upon the European Union to support these efforts.
  • Urge Arab countries with successful experiences in achieving sustainable consumption and production to work on exchanging these experiences and disseminating them to other Arab countries for the purpose of benefiting from them.
  • Request the Arab team on indicators of natural resources and the environmental dimension to work on the identification of a small number of indicators of sustainable consumption and production to be the minimum of approved Arab indicators that can be used at the level of the Arab region in monitoring and follow-up implementation.