The development and implementation of comprehensive national programmes or action plans on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) is an important contribution to sustainable development. During the regional consultations on SCP under the Marrakech Process the development of national programmes on SCP was identified as a key priority. The request to develop flexible guidelines for national governments was a concrete recommendation at the 3rd International Meeting on the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on SCP, held in Costa Rica (September 2005). UNEP, with the support of the UK Government, has followed up this key recommendation of the Marrakech Process by developing Guidelines for National Programmes on SCP. The implementation of the project has been monitored by an international advisory committee made up of experts from several world regions. The experts are from civil society, national governments and international organisations.
The Guidelines highlight how a national programme on SCP can be developed in several different ways, including being integrated in existing national development plans or national sustainable development strategies. The Guidelines are informed by earlier work to develop national action plans on SCP in Asia, the UNEP Circular Economy initiative in China and work carried out by the OECD and UNDESA to develop national sustainable development strategies.
The Guidelines provide practical and easy to follow steps for the development, implementation and monitoring of a national programme on SCP. They also consider the key building blocks involved in programme development such as the political, technical, participatory and resource mobilisation dimensions. The Guidelines include a special focus on indicators of SCP. Nine national case studies are also included in the report.
The experiences of several developed and developing countries that have already instituted national SCP programmes were instrumental in the preparation of the Guidelines. Through an iterative process many more countries were engaged in the process.
The Guidelines are being used in several demonstration projects in 2007-2008. Training on the Guidelines will be delivered in several regions in 2008.
More than 30 countries have developed or are developing national programmes on SCP. There are programmes in the Czech Republic, Finland and the UK in Europe; Ethiopia and Senegal in Africa; Argentina and Jamaica in Latin America/Caribbean; and China and Thailand in Asia.