“From Action Plans to Implementation” was the main theme of the 5th Arab Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Consumption & Production (SCP) held in Cairo throughout the period from December 18th to 25th, 2017. CEDARE co-organized the 5th Arab Roundtable in collaboration with the UN Environment, the League of Arab States (LAS) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Giving much emphasis to the Arab region, the meeting demonstrated what has been achieved so far as well as the plans and expectations of Arab countries to align with the sought Sustainable Development Goals, namely goal no. 12: “Responsible Consumption and Production”. It also tackled the available tools enabling the implementation of the Arab Strategy for Sustainable Consumption and Production at the regional and international levels. It also targeted harmonizing the Arab efforts and strategies with objectives related to sustainable consumption and production in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In the meantime, the 5th Roundtable shed light on best SCP practices at the national and cities level “From Action Plans to Implementation”, shared knowledge and learned lessons, and discussed progress made by countries in their quest towards meeting their national targets under 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. The 5th Roundtable was always and remains the ideal forum for UN Environment, international and regional agencies and private sector to unveil and share their initiatives, programmes and partnerships with all stakeholders and participants from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, & United Arab Emirates.
The Roundtable showcased the success stories of partner countries in SwitchMed project which have taken strides in fulfilling indicator 12.1.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals: “Number of countries with sustainable consumption and production (SCP) national action plans or SCP mainstreamed as a priority or a target into national policies”. In addition, it stressed the involvement of Private and Financial Sectors and explored potentials for multi-stakeholders partnerships in the region, such as Carrefour Al Futtaim Group, Orange, Savola Group. On the other hand, the roundtable identified the challenges facing financing SCP practices and increased matchmaking opportunities by encouraging the utilisation of tools and policies which contribute to the transition to a sustainable economy protecting the environment, conserving water and energy as well as other natural resources, while contributing to sustainable lifestyles and poverty eradication.
All participants contributed to expedient interactive dialogues and the following are some of the endorsed resolutions:
- Engaging Arab countries in designing a national mechanism for SCP and urging UN Environment, CEDARE, LAS, and ESCWA to help countries achieve this;
- Calling the Technical Secretariat to set a three-year action plan for the Arab Strategy of SCP (2018 to 2020), in alignment with goal #12 of SDGs, to be submitted to Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE) in its upcoming round;
- Giving more emphasis to sectors as Energy, Travel & Tourism, Waste, Urban Development, and Natural Resources; and
- Reinforcing the role of the Arab Roundtable on SCP and facilitating meetings on regular basis, among other recommendations.
- Treasuring the efforts exerted by the private sector in promoting SCP concepts and highlighting the importance of engaging all stakeholders in realizing the pursued SCP in the Arab Region;
- Encouraging the successful outcomes of SwitchMed Programme and calling the UN Environment to replicate and the EC to support;
- Urging successful Arab countries in SCP to share knowledge with others to exploit and standardize;
- Requesting the Technical Secretariat of the Round Table to monitor and evaluate Goal #12 using internationally approved indicators checking the possibility of preparing the Arab Region’s report; and
- Commending the UN Environment to continue assessing the Arab countries’ programmes and activities through its office in West Asia as per agreement.