Towards enhancing the concept of sustainable consumption and production in Palestine
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In the opening ceremony the Governor of Jenin emphasized the importance of mainstreaming the sustainable consumption and production practices, and that the organization of this exhibition confirms the importance of the Environment Quality Authority role to protect the environment. In addition to that, he emphasised that the occupation is the main cause of destruction of the Palestinian environment. Moreover, he said that this expo and hence the concept of Sustainable Consumption and Production are new activities and were not available a few years back. He added that we should work hard in order to protect our environment and keep this governorate resilient and environment friendly.
Luc Reuter, programme officer at UNEP
The representative of UN Environment and SwitchMed coordinator Mr Luc Reuter focused on the importance of the Sustainable Consumption and Production as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and hence the importance of this project which is being implemented in the region and Palestine. He further emphasised the importance of the attitudes and behaviour of individuals,of a society, and decision makers to adopt and choose more sustainable consumption and production patterns to make the required difference in protecting the environment. Moreover he briefly presented the SwitchMed program and its objectives and the already achieved results. He concluded by thanking the officials for the political support of the State of Palestine in the process of developing and implementing Palestine’s Sustainable Consumption and Production National Action Plan. Palestine is among the first countries to develop and start implementing such a national plan, which is considered as an indicator of success in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
The EQA Chairperson started her speech by welcoming the audience and thanking the European Union, the United Nations Environment Program, and SwitchMed for implementing and supporting this project. She focused on the efforts of EQA in the field of protecting the Palestinian environment and managing in a sustainable way the natural resources. She also emphasised that this fair aims to highlight the importance of Sustainable Consumption and Production as a tool to achieve sustainable development, since Palestine is one of the countries aiming at the protection of the environment through the planned and implemented national plans, policies and the programs.She further pointed out that the occupation controls 85% of the water resources among the other environmental and natural resources. She finally mentioned that EQA coordinated a Sustainable Consumption and Production National ActionPlan focusing on three sectors; Tourism, Agricultural, and Housing and Construction.This plan was endorsed nationally and launched by the H.E the Prime Minister in person and is considered as a platform to start from, since it lays down the road map for different sector on how to merge and integrate Sustainable Consumption and Production.
The objective of this first environmental fair in Jenin was to raise awareness of the community, the researchers, the official bodies, and the civil societyand in addition to introduce sustainable consumption and production practices and initiatives in different related fields - the agriculture, industry, tourism, waste managementand food production- as well as to present creative ideas.
The one-day exhibition was attended by than 400 visitors from all governorates of the country, women's associations, private sector, governmental institutions, universities, and municipalities.