monitoring progress


Views from civil society on the 10-year framework

2. What kind of programs do we need?

In 2002 the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) called for development of a "ten year framework of programs in support of national and regional initiatives to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production." This effort will be reviewed at the CSD this May.

What kinds of UN-based programs and/or activities do you think would best support the thousands of initiatives around the world working to make consumption and production patterns more sustainble?

Peter Adriance, Baha'is of the U.S.

  • Increase public awareness campaigns using traditional and social media.

  • Increase cooperation among UN agencies in support of SCP.

  • Share learning among the diverse groups working on the issue through conferences, webinars, and education programs .

Bas de Leeuw, The Sustainability Institute

The current draft ten year framework, as it looks right now (website consultation) is a very disappointing piece of paper. No concrete actions, no concrete analysis, no real interesting new issues, no vision, no numbers. The process of putting it together has surely delivered good results, the product itself can – at best- indeed just have accelerated some national and regional initiatives, but is far off from an action plan with concrete deliverables and commitments. This would have to be the follow up step: based upon clear system dynamic modeling efforts, with realistic projections, and ‘what if scenarios’ find the right leverage points where meaningful action can be implemented. Appropriate text on sustainable consumption, sustainable lifestyles, and what feedback mechanisms would be necessary to inspire individuals to choose less material lifestyles for satisfying their needs, could be more inspiring.

Best support from the UN for the initiatives around the world would be to deliver on what only governments in an international context can do: getting the prices right, and start preparing multilateral agreements on resource use per capita, based upon factor X approaches, thereby combining environmental and development goals. Financial and legal instruments: standards. Furthermore the UN should continue to support research and development, and dialogue with and between civil society.

Rajan Gandhi, SAG (India)

I suspect that one size won’t fit all and there will be considerable disparity between the requirements of countries.  Even in the developing world, one finds very different stages of development and hence, differing priorities.

India has discussed 5 areas of immediate concern from an SCP perspective: i) Energy, ii) Water, iii) Waste, iv) Agriculture and v) Consumer Demand (although there are admittedly other areas of possibly equal concern).  At the recently-concluded 3rd India Roundtable on SCP (11-12 Feb 2010) some interesting possibilities emerged:

  • Use of Municipal Solid Waste for conversion into energy and/or agricultural fertiliser.

  • Reversion to older food habits which were less dependent on water-intensive crops such as wheat, rice and maize (corn).

  • Model legislation or failing that, very clear international guidelines on extended producer responsibility and enforcement of the polluter pays principle

A clearer definition of what exactly is meant by a “10-Year Framework of Programmes” would help.  What is a framework of programmes ?  Is it  a series of (related) programmes, broad indicators of a “wish-list” or what ?

Ke Chung Kim, Ph. D., Dipl.-ABFE
Professor of Entomology and Curator Emeritus, Frost Entomological Museum, Department of Entomology;
Director Emeritus, Center for BioDiversity Research, PSIEE, The Pennsylvania State University

Considering the failure of Copenhagen’s climate change summit, practically no country is ready to make sacrifice and amend in unsustainable production and consumption because no one in the “shrinking” world with rapidly declining in biodiversity at both global and backyard with the grassroots wants to live and make future living any less than today’s with aspiration towards enjoying the life pattern of the developed nations. We must make a paradigm shift to the thinking and practicing of sustainability which requires a massive education program worldwide targeted specifically to the regions and countries of different economic levels utilizing the well established UN’s infrastructure.  At the level of United Nations and IUCN we already have all necessary infrastructures, such as UNESCO, UN Convention of Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, UNDP, UNEP, etc, to undertake such global program which continue advocate and promote contemporary paradigm on continued decline of environment, particularly biodiversity that is the foundation and essence of sustaining our life-support system in the biosphere of our planet.  UN and IUCN have made consistent and often generous efforts for protecting biodiversity and promoting sustainability throughout the world.  Yet, many of these efforts have not been actively accepted by political and educational leadership in almost every country and little reached at the grassroots.  There are hundreds of thousands of good educational materials and dedicated volunteers in addition to NGOs and UN/IUCN along with other intellectual outlets but their activities are limited to those already actively involved and have not reached at local levels where conservation and sustainability can only happen and succeed.  We must critically review what and how we could reach intellectual and political leaders in every society on one hand and directly engage people at the level of backyard biodiversity on the other throughout the world.

Sylvia Lorek, SERI (Sustainable Europe Research Institute, Germany

What is needed is connecting basic initiatives to enable exchange, cross-fertilization, awareness rising about possible alliances.

With major effort structural support is needed to foster social innovation. Technological innovation so far has compensated some alarming developments, however much more technological innovations further demand material and energy flows. Therefore it is social innovation which has to prepare the floor how to deal with the upcoming shortages in raw materials and the extreme whether events of changing climate.

Leonard Sonnenschein, World Aquarium

  • Sustainability issues should be addressed to our youth through UNESCO Associated Schools.  The youth of the world are our future and they are critical for effecting any permanent changes to current policies. 

  • The Education for Sustainable Development is currently working on the tie between sustainability and religious practices and how it impacts the degree to which people care about the environment. Again, the engagement of stakeholders in dialogue about these issues ensures consciousness and awareness.

  • UNEP GPA IGR-2 findings were perhaps the most important framework for engagement towards supporting thousands of initiatives across the planet. It would be good to continue that format for the future.


























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