Asia Pacific dominates global use of resources, and accounts for 63 per cent of the world’s material use. This growth in resource use was largely driven by new infrastructure in cities, a growing consumer base with spending power, and global manufacturing centres in the region. While rapid economic growth has led to higher living standards, it is also diminishing the region’s resource efficiency. Given the weight that Asia Pacific brings to resource use globally, any improvement in Asia Pacific’s resource efficiency will have significant global impacts.
What we are doing
Better understanding of resource use trends facilitates a transition to sustainable consumption and production. UN Environment has developed several projects and tools to raise awareness, implement policies and build capacity on Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption and Production—which was declared as regional priority in the first meeting of environment ministers in Asia Pacific.
In the Asia-Pacific, UN Environment focuses on:
- Undertaking scientific assessments
- Strengthening regional and national policy frameworks
- Formulating activities to support implementation of national policies
- Raising awareness
Capacity building towards Asia Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Consumption and Production
To move towards more sustainable consumption and production, public and private organizations need to be engaged and supported to act upon the opportunities that arise. We train governments and stakeholders on sustainable consumption and production, focusing on sustainable cities, sustainable tourism, and resource efficiency. With the United Nations Institute of Training and Research, we support activities such as the CSR-Asia Summit 2017 which explores ways to facilitate business investment in green initiatives and producing profitable products sustainably.
SWITCH Asia II project was launched in early 2017 to strengthen dialogue at regional, sub-regional, and implement national policies on Sustainable Consumption and Production in selected countries across Asia, which in turn contribute to green growth and poverty reduction.
The project supports countries to implement the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production and the Asia Pacific Roadmap on Sustainable Consumption and Production 2017-2018 through regional and national initiatives that accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Sustainable Public Procurement and Eco-Labelling
Launched in early 2017 and undertaken with the Korea Environment and Technology Institute, this project builds capacity of governments in Asia-Pacific to undertake green public procurement through policy consultation and technical assistance tailored to the needs of countries.
Sustainable Rice Platform
The Sustainable Rice Platform as a multi-stakeholder alliance to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in the rice sector globally. UN Environment hosts the secretariat of the platform which launched the world’s first rice sustainability standard in 2015. Since then, it has been piloted in Brazil, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.
This year, the platform will bring together global rice stakeholders to discuss collaborative approaches and innovative solutions to critical sustainability challenges facing the sector. On 4-5 October 2017, it will hold the First Global Sustainable Rice Conference and Exhibition 2017 at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok. It is also preparing a 5-year climate mitigation project funded by the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions Facility and led by GIZ, which plans to reach 100,000 rice farmers.