An international forum to identify the drivers of unsustainable consumption and lifestyles was held in Dubai recently – gathering experts from around the world to build momentum for a shift to sustainable lifestyles, bases on sustainable production and consumption patterns, particularly in the Arab region.
The 1st Dubai International Forum for Sustainable Lifestyles was organized by the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment in partnership with UNEP and technical support from the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) Secretariat.
“Shifting to more sustainable lifestyles is not only a ‘label’, found in UN jargon, it is about our daily lives: the buildings we live in, the shopping we do at the mall, the food we have on our plates, the waste we generate, the clothes we wear and the light above our heads,” said UNEP Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw. “Whether you work in business, in research and innovation, in educating our children or in architectural planning, it is our collective responsibility to make this issue our own.”
The forum also discussed solutions to address barriers to change by sharing knowledge and experiences, and showcasing initiatives across many areas-such as daily living, the built environment, mobility, consumer goods and services, food consumption, health and wellbeing.
It also discussed the contribution of the private sector, looking at how business can use innovation to address consumer needs and shift to more sustainable lifestyles and cultural and social mind-sets.
“There is an increased demand for innovative solutions to sustainability challenges, and new business models are emerging in response,” said Mr Thiaw. “Consumer demand for sustainable products and services is growing. Companies with innovative business models that have integrated sustainability into their core strategies are growing fast-on average, at a rate of 15 per cent a year-at a time when their respective markets have remained flat.”
The transition towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns is a key global priority and was recognised at the UN Rio+20 Conference of 2012 as an essential requirement for sustainable development. The Ten Year Framework of Programmes on SCP (10YFP, 2012-2022) was adopted at Rio to enhance international and regional cooperation and to accelerate the shift towards SCP globally.