Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in the Mediterranean: CAD supports SCP/RAC in elaborating the first Regional Action Plan for SCP in the Mediterranean

Between January and June 2015, CAD has been supporting the SCP/RAC in preparing the Sustainable Consumption and Production Regional Action Plan for the Mediterranean, the first regional plan to promote SCPs ever elaborated. The assignment entailed coordinating the elaboration, jointly with SCP/RAC team, a group of four SCP experts from the Mediterranean and UNEP/MAP, of the second, third and fourth drafts of the document. Each new version integrated the comments and suggestions collected from Ministries of Environment of the Mediterranean countries and other partner organizations through online consultations and presentations of the document made in Malta (February), Madrid, Brussels and Marrakech (June). The finalized SCP Action Plan will be presented for endorsement in the Convention of the Parties of the Barcelona Convention in February 2016.

The document focuses on four consumption and production priority areas which have been selected for their relevance in terms of environmental, economical and social impact: food, agriculture and fisheries, goods manufacturing, tourism, and housing and construction.  It aims to be implemented by all SCP key actors and partners of the region.  For that purpose it includes a detailed roadmap for implementation which proposes a series of suggested actions and activities for each of the priority areas, with specific targets and the identification of relevant partners and flagship initiatives.

The Mediterranean Region faces a number of environmental problems and challenges, mainly related to the way human activities have developed over the years, and the associated unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. Addressing these challenges requires the transition to a green, non-pollutant and socially inclusive economy through the adoption of sustainable consumption and production patterns, thus decoupling development from environmental degradation and resource depletion. Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) is a comprehensive approach to redesign the way in which goods and services are produced, sold and consumed with the objective to drive the revitalization of the industrial and socio-economic development towards no-waste, low-carbon, resource efficient, socially inclusive, green and circular economies.

The Heads of State and Government stressed at the Rio+20 Summit held in 2012 that promoting SCP is an essential requirement for sustainable development adopting the 10-Years Framework of Programmes on SCP (10YFP). SCPs are also one of the new Sustainable Development Goals (goal 12) that are about to be launched in 2015.

Since the adoption in 1975 of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) by 16 Mediterranean countries and the European Community and the adoption by its parties of the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution (Barcelona Convention) in 1976, the Barcelona Convention (UNEP/MAP) has been increasingly promoting the integration of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). SCPs are now established as a thematic pillar of the Strategic Action Programme of the UNEP/MAP and as an overarching objective and a cross-cutting theme of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD).  One of the main Regional Activity Centres of UNEP/MAP to promoting SCPs in the region is the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), based in Barcelona.

There is a long path before reaching a green inclusive growth in the Mediterranean region and the challenges are many. Yet, with the SCP Regional Action Plan for the Mediterranean, the Mediterranean countries disposes of a common framework which paves the way for reaching more sustainable levels of consumption and production in the region and laying the foundation for a better Mediterranean for the future generations.