Marrakech Process

The Marrakech Process: responding to the global challenge on SCP

At the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, 2002, delegations recognized that sustainable consumption and production is an overarching objective of and essential requirement for sustainable development. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), in its Chapter III, calls for the development of a 10 Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) “to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production, promoting social and economic development within  the carrying capacity of ecosystems, by de-linking economic growth from environmental degradation”. The Marrakech Process is a global and informal multistakeholder process. Launched in 2003, in response to  Chapter III of the JPOI, it inherits its name from the host city of its first international meeting. 

The Process had two main objectives; the first was to promote the development and implementation of policies, programmes and projects on SCP, providing support for governments, the private sector and other actors in implementing SCP activities at the national or regional levels. The second was to provide inputs for the elaboration of a 10 Year Framework of Programmes on SCP, meant to provide a coordinated and cost-effective framework for international cooperation and capacity building to support the transition to SCP. To achieve its objectives, the Marrakech Process developed various mechanisms: international and regional review meetings (three international and twenty-six regional meetings were hosted), national roundtables (nine were organized), seven task forces that focused on specific SCP themes, a multi stakeholder Advisory Committee, and dialogues with major groups as well as, to a limited extent, with development cooperation agencies and UN agencies.

Implementing SCP on the global, regional and national levels 

Task Forces: supporting the implementation of SCP

The seven Task Forces were innovative model of multi-stakeholder cooperation. They engaged national and regional partners in collaboratively setting clear objectives and undertaking SCP activities. 

The Task Forces:

  • Demonstrated initiative while giving ownership to the partners,  driven by governments and stakeholders, implementing concrete projects through a joint work plan and in a collaborative manner.
  • Actively supported regional SCP strategies, linking their work and supporting the implementation of regional SCP priorities and strategies.
  • Built cooperation with other initiatives. The Task Forces have linked (in the development of tools, projects and policy recommendations), supported and complemented existing initiatives.
  • Generated real outcomes, supporting the development of SCP tools, building and 
  • implementing SCP projects, the Task Forces have helped reduce the impact on the environment.
  • Evolved into or supported the development of partnerships such as the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL) or the forthcoming Sustainable Public Procurement Initiative. 

Regional SCP strategies and programmes: identifying priorities, developing SCP strategies and initiatives

Through its regional consultations, the Marrakech Process raised awareness and stimulated interest in SCP, promoting commitment towards achieving sustainable consumption and production in both developed and developing countries. 
Guided by a global perspective, yet acting through a bottom-up approach, it led to the organization of 26 regional 
meetings from 2003 to 2011 (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and the Arab Region). These meetings involved hundreds of stakeholders, from international organizations to national administrations, and from industry associations to NGOs, developing capacities on SCP and encouraging the elaboration and implementation of regional SCP strategies and programmes. 

The Marrakech Process supported the development of SCP regional strategies, national programmes or action plans:

  • African 10-Year Framework of Programmes on SCP. 
  • Latin American Regional Strategy on SCP and establishment of a Regional Council of Government Experts on SCP, supported by the regional Forum of Ministers of Environment. 
  • Arab Strategy on Sustainable Consumption and Production, approved by the Council of Arab 
  • Ministers Responsible for the Environment in 2009.

Other strategies were also elaborated:

  • Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy Action Plan were 
  • established by the European Union in 2008.
  • Green Growth initiative was launched in Asia and the Pacific in 2005, contributing to the common challenge of promoting SCP and resource efficiency.

Mainstreaming SCP into national development plans: taking action at the national and local levels

As part of the Marrakech Process, UNEP produced guidelines for national SCP programmes and action plans and has supported the mainstreaming of SCP in national development strategies. 

The Process also supported the organization of capacity building workshops and national roundtables and provided advisory services at national level. 

Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Dominica, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mali,Mauritius, Senegal, St Lucia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia have included SCP in their development plans or are developing country-wide SCP strategies. There have also been two strategies at city level: in Maputo, Mozambique, and Cairo, Egypt.

An online Clearinghouse on National SCP Programmes, launched by UNEP in 2006, identified 30 countries that either developed SCP action plans or integrated SCP into their existing national strategies.

New Publications:

The Marrakech Process Progress Report: Paving the Way for Sustainable Consumption and ProductionThe Marrakech Process Progress Report: Paving the Way for Sustainable Consumption and Production

This report provides an insight into the diverse activities that have been undertaken by the Marrakech Process during the last eight years, providing highlights and lessons learned from the work of its thematic task forces, and progress at the regional and national levels.

It includes over 30 examples of innovation and cooperation, ranging from local to global levels, and including projects on education and lifestyles, such as SCP clubs for children in Tanzania and a global survey on sustainable lifestyles; the development of regional and national SCP strategies and action plans; the implementation of sustainable public procurement at the national and local levels; an Eco-labelling Mechanism for Africa; campaigns and policy recommendations for sustainable tourism; and best practices for sustainable buildings and construction.

It is clear that the Marrakech Process constitutes a unique voluntary and multi-partner experience, providing effective mechanisms to enhance cooperation at all levels to deliver change towards sustainable consumption and production and resource efficiency.

The challenge now is to accelerate and scale-up the activities developed by the Marrakech Process.

Download the full report

Download the Executive Summary

Here and Now! Education for Sustainable Consumption - Recommendations and GuidelinesHere and Now! Education for Sustainable Consumption - Recommendations and Guidelines

This publication provides recommendations and guidelines aimed at policy-makers and educators on how to best integrate and implement Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) in the formal education sector. It has been jointly developed by UNEP and the Marrakech Process Task Force on ESC led by Italy, in collaboration with the United Nations Decade on Education for Sustainable Development and Hedmark University College in Norway.

Available in English, Spanish and Chinese

Read more about Education for Sustainable Consumption

Visions for Change: Recommendations for Effective Policies on Sustainable LifestylesVisions for Change: Recommendations for Effective Policies on Sustainable Lifestyles

This publication provides recommendations to develop efficient sustainable lifestyles policies and initiatives based on the Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles (GSSL). It is aimed at policy-makers and all relevant stakeholders on how best to help support the shift to sustainable lifestyles, for instance through effective communication and awareness-raising campaigns. The survey involved 8,000 young urban adults from 20 different countries. The GSSL was jointly developed by UNEP and the Task Force on Sustainable Lifestyles, which was led by Sweden from 2005-2009.

More on the Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles (GSSL)

Download Report and Country Papers