Statement by Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi during the Commission on Sustainable Development 19 ministerial round-table one on sustainable consumption and production, United Nations headquarters, New York
12 May 2011
Theme: "Developing programmes and a framework to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production"
I would like to thank the distinguished panel members for their enlightening presentations. We meet timeously to discuss the issue of sustainable consumption and production as the world faces a multitude of development challenges including energy, food and financial crisis as well as threats posed by climate change.
Given current global challenges, there is an urgent need to maximise our efforts in reducing the negative environmental impacts from unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and manage our natural resource base including indigenous knowledge that we have ignored instead of building on it. As the global community, we undertook to take action to change unsustainable consumption and production patterns during World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002.
Chairperson, we must live to that commitment and work towards the establishment of a 10 Year Framework of Programme that will support regional and national initiatives that promote sustainable use of our natural resources.
Our national cleaner production centres are established to facilitate industrial development through energy, water and materials efficiency. Therefore, chairperson partnerships between private sector and governments are crucial in establishing relevant programmes that will complement the work of existing national and regional initiatives carried out by these centres.
For example in my country, South Africa, the business sector has also shown significant commitment towards sustainable consumption and production initiatives through the National Business Initiative, a voluntary group of leading national and multi-national companies that aims to advance sustainable development through voluntary initiatives, partnerships, practical programmes and policy engagement.
Chairperson, achieving sustainable consumption and production requires a paradigm shift throughout the entire society. Therefore, massive awareness and information exchange programme among policy makers, producers, consumers, civil society, and academia and development agencies are required to realise the shift to more resource efficient society.
We need to remind ourselves of the benefits of this paradigm shift, which is to improve the well-being of our people without increasing further stress to the already constraint natural resource base.
Chairperson, there is a severe shortage of relevant skills needed for research and technological innovation in most developing countries. In this regard, global science and technology remains key for a development agenda that promotes technology transfer and capacity building, which are underpinned by viable financing mechanisms. This will go a long way to support a move towards sustainable consumption and production by developing countries.
Finally, chairperson the role the United Nations agencies such United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is critical in supporting developing countries on this course.
In conclusion, South Africa will support an outcome that will contain sustainable consumption and production that is time-bound, with clear financing and support mechanisms that build on and complements sustainable development programmes.
I thank you.
Source: Department of Environment Affairs
Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs
12 May 2011
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