The Arabian Gulf University (AGU) recently took part in a key regional meeting on the environment and rational consumption. Representing the University was the Assistant Professor of the Environment Management Programme in the College of Graduate Studies Dr Sumaya Yusuf.
Titled "Resource Efficiency in the Arab Region: Monitoring Progress of SDG 12 and Building Back Better from Covid-19", the online meeting was organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) West Asia Office and the League of Arab States.
Dr Yusuf was among a team of experts who discussed several key topics, based on which, the Economic and Social Committee in the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) issued its annual report under the title: "Assessment of Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Arab Region 2020".
Among the topics discussed at the meeting were assessing the progress in the indicators of sustainable production and consumption prepared by UNESCWA, the status of sustainable consumption and production in Arab countries, measures that contribute to the green economic recovery from Covid-19, successful experiences in recycling and addressing food waste in the Arab region and the role of start-ups in achieving this.
The attendees underlined the importance of achieving sustainability in consumption and production patterns, in addition to comprehensive reform, in order to shift the current unsustainable development process, including environment, economic and social aspects. They also called for promoting a process of setting integrated policies between all sectors to achieve sustainability.
The report highlighted the necessity of cooperation between statistical offices and ministries of environment in implementing international statistical frameworks at the local or international levels that can help countries organise data to track sustainable consumption and production, as well as related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Additionally, the attendees noted to the importance of having reliable national databases to ensure data transparency and accuracy, and to improve assessments. They also indicated the need to support cooperation between Arab countries and the exchange of successful experiences, as well as international cooperation in the field of circular economy.
It is worth mentioning that the Economic and Social Committee in UNESCWA is cooperating with its regional partners since 2008 to support regional work that is related to sustainable consumption and production. This has supported the implementation of the 10 Year Framework Programme as well as the UN's SDGs, especially Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production.