spac news



Panama City, 13-14 January  - It is now the 12th of January and government representatives, UN agency officials, private sector and civilsociety groups are flying down to Panama for a two-day meeting to discuss the programs and structure of the 10 Year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Production and Consumption(10YFP), which is scheduled be decided at this year's Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). The 18th and 19th sessions of CSD represent the culmination of the multi-year Marrakech Process which began in 2003 in response to the mandate set by the World Summit on Sustainable Development to develop a mechanism providing support to regional and national initiatives promoting sustainable consumption and production.

On the agenda for the Panama meeting are four main questions: (1) What will be the main function of the 10YFP -- what do we want it to accomplish in the years between now and 2021? (2) What will be the institutional structure implementing action? (3) What will be the key programs chosen to do the work? and (4) What kind of institutional support will there be for this work?

Unfortunately there is no NGO Forum scheduled for the meeting, as there was for the 3rd International Experts Meeting on the 10 Year Framework in 2007 which allowed civil society groups more time to discuss and agree on a set of NGO recommendations, many of which apply today. This time the CSOs will have to make the best of the little time they will have to organize themselves and make a positive mark.


ICSPAC Launch of the ICSPAC UN Partnership

4 May -  ICSPAC will host the official launch of the ICSPAC UN Partnership today at 3 pm at the UN North Lawn Building in Conference Room 6. The launch will provide the opportunity for discussion and collaboration on a series of international programs providing different types of support to national and regional sustainability initiatives. ICSPAC will also present the new Still Waiting for Delivery Report.

The wait is over: ICSPAC report now available

1 May - The new ICSPAC report, Still Waiting for Delivery: A Review of Progress and Programs in the 10-Year Framework is now completed. This report represents a synthesis of interviews, questionnaire responses, research and references focused on the UN and international community's commitment and actions supporting efforts to change unsustainable production and consumption patterns.

The report focuses especially on the World Summit on Sustainable Development's 2002 mandate to develop a 10-year framework of programs (10YFP) to support national and regional initiatives to change those patterns. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) session 18 (3-14 May) will review progress on the development of the 10YFP.

Still Waiting for Delivery will be presented at the United Nations on Tuesday, 3:00 pm, at the launch of the ICSPAC UN Partnership Fair.

Responses to questionnaire

28 Mar -- Responses to the questionnaire have been coming in. We have asked respondents for permission to post their comments. You can vew the responses to each of the questions on progress, programs and Rio+20 starting at the Monitoring Progress page.

Questionnaire out for CSD report

9 Mar -- The questionnaire for the ICSPAC report to CSD is now circulating among various groups inviting comment and suggestions about the 10 Year Framework of Programs (10YFP) to be discussed at the upcoming UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). The report will focus on three main questions:

  1. What progress has there been towards sustainable production and consumption since the 1992 Earth Summit?
  2. What international programs can best serve the global movement of sustainability practitioners working to change production and consumption patterns?
  3. What useful or meaningful outcomes from the proposed Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 are possible?

Deadline for this wave of comments is 16 March.


Global underconsumption challenge

27 Nov -- Geneva, Switzerland. New book The Global Food Challenge released on eve of WTO Ministerial meeting, highlights the need to reshape international trade and investment rules putting the right to adequate food at the center of economic and development policy. In 2009 the number of undernourished people in the world sets a new record of one billion. Clearly hunger is one of the more dramatic examples of unsustainable consumption or "under-consumption," one of the planet's most pressing needs still neglected by the global economy and development. The book represents a collaboration among the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN), the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Brot fur Alle, Brot fur die Welt, Germanwatch and the Heinrich Boll Foundation.

Invitation to conference for innovation in sustainable production

27 Nov -- This is the second international conference on innovation in susdtainable production, or, which will be held 18-20 April, 2010 in Bruges, Belgium. For more information, see i-SUP2010

Obama declares Nov. 15 America Recycles Day

13 Nov -- Washington, DC. In order to "conserve energy and consume less of our precisous resources," President Obama today officially declared November 15 as "America Recycles Day," calling on all Americans to "observe this day with appropriate programs and activities" and continuing these efforts throughout the year. "If we are to manage materials and products on a life-cycle basis," he explained, "we must responsibly use and reuse our resources."

Sustainable consumption branding

23 Oct -- San Francisco, California. In the breakout session on "sustainable consumption,"  participants at the annual Businesses for Social Responsible conference discussed the mainstreaming of sustainable consumption in business, how it is "becoming more visible" and that businesses such as Wal-Mart are taking "a big leap foward" with brands which drive sustainable consumption. As Brain Collins, CEO of Collins put it, "brands will be the biggest contributor to sustainable consumption, more so than ideologies, campaigns and company policies."

UNEP launches "Assessing biofuels" report

16 Oct -- Nairobi, Kenya. Towards Sustainable Production and Use of Resources: Assessing Biofuels is the first assessment report from the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management (IPSRM). UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner joined with Steering Committee Co-chair, Timo Makela (European Commission) and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker (panel chair) and author Stefan Bringezu to present report results.

"Best in class" for sustainable manufacturing

9 Sept - Boston, Massachusetts. The Aberdeen Group releases its report Sustainable Production: Good for the Plant, Good for the Planet showcasing "new research that will, for the first time, benchmark the value Best-in-Class manufacturers derive from their approach to sustainable production."

13th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production

10 Jun -- Aalborg, Denmark. As part of the Joint Actions on Climate Change Conference, the ERSCP, Greening of Industry Network, SCORE and others organized two days of events focused particularly on consumption and production.

Finding the path of transition: EEB and SCORE launch European "Blueprint"

27 May -- Brussels. In the wake of the EU's Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Sustainable Consumption Research Exchange (SCORE!) released their joint report noting that 20th century economic expansion is no longer acceptable or possible, yet governmental policies promoting SCP have "not yet addressed this reality." The "Blueprint for European Sustainable Consumption and Production: Finding the Path of Transition to a Sustainable Society" calls for three blocks of activities: (1) establish a basic institutional framework in which action can take place; (2) lead change that can be realized now within existing structures and mindsets; and (3) develop inspiring approaches that can foster change in the future that is not feasible now. Read more »

Greendex survey notes U.S. and Canada last in sustainability

23 May -- Washington, D.C. In their second survey of environmental sustainability among consumers in 17 different countries, National Geographic and GlobeScan have again partnered to present "Greendex 2009: Consumer Choice and the Environment -- A Worldwide Tracking Survey." Clearly the global economic downturn has affected consumer behavior to the advantage of the environment, as high gas prices have changed many people's attitudes about their transportation choices -- especially in the less industrialized countries. As with the previous year, consumers in the United States and Canada score the lowest on environmental sustainability, in contrast to consumers in India, Brazil and China.

Rockwell defines "sustainable production"

1 May -- In a briefing on its sustainable production activities, Rockwell Automation claims to "expand the general definition of sustainability" by including in its operational definition attention to workplace safety, product integrity and reliability, and reuse of waste products in the reverse supply chain." For Rockwell, "real economic imperatives" drive companies to adopt sustainable production practices, claiming the "companies that produce the strongest brands will be those that continue to practice responsible manufacturing processes, even in a down economy." See Sustainable production imperatives and opportunities from Rockwell Automation.

Sweden reviews literature on sustainable lifestyles

March -- Stockholm, Sweden. As a contribution to the Marrakech Taskforce on Sustainable Lifestyles, the Swedish Ministry of Environment commissioned the Stockholm Environment Institute to produce A Literature Review on Sustainable Lifestyles and Recommendations for Further Research. The report, quoting Oksana Mont, defines "sustainable lifestyles" as

patterns of action and consumption used by people to affiliate and differentiate themselves from others, which: meet basic needs, provide a better quality of life, minimise the use of natural resources and emissions of waste and pollutants over the lifecycle, and do not jeopardise the needs of future generations.

This very useful report, written by Kate Scott, surveys a wide range of the research and models within the discourse on sustainable consumption. One important insight notes the methodological challenge in the separation between where products are produced and where they are consumed, as the majority of consumption-based studies focus primarily on developed countries and not as much on the mutli-regional lifecycle impacts.

Civil Society Platform on SCP

16-18 March -- Wuppertal, Germany. The Civil Society Platform on SCP is an EU project sponsored within the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission. The purpose is to give civil society organizations (CSOs) "space to influence political decisions, find funding opportunities, explore creative tools and identify research needs." This meeting was the second of three events, with the intention of collecting project concepts from civil society organizations. This meeting is to be followed by a third event in December.

Business leaders discuss sustainability as business model

17-18 Feb -- Nuremburg, Germany. Considering the future of producing and marketing sustainable products and services, this event brought together product managers, trade promoters, researchers and CSR managers to discuss "Sustainable Production, Trade, Consumption and Lifestyle." The meeting slogan was "where business meets verified sustainability!"


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