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United Arab Emirates : UAE joins Sustainable Public Procurement, Consumer Information Programmes

Publish Date : 20-Oct-2015

The Ministry of Environment and Water has formally joined two fundamental global networks made up of policy experts hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The move is aimed at gaining key knowledge about the best global practices in green public procurement and eco-labeling programs as well as share with the global community the UAEs own experiences on the execution of relevant programs under the UAE Green Agenda 2015-2030.

The UAE has joined the Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) Programme a global platform of 81 partner organizations that share experiences in the implementation of SPP policy worldwide which is jointly headed by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI). The group seeks to enhance knowledge on SPP and its efficiency as a tool to promote a 'green' economy and support its implementation on the ground through cooperation and enhanced access to capacity building tools and SPP experts' support.

The UAE has also joined the Consumer Information Programme comprised of 52 partner organizations which includes 21 governments. This program helps state agencies and stakeholders in their efforts to provide clear precise and reliable information regarding a product's affect on the planet and the people. It aims to boost the efficiency of current information tools like eco-labels by harnessing key data and criteria and explore new communication channels that could efficiently each consumers.

Both programs were established as part of the United Nation's 10-Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) which was implemented by over 190 countries including the UAE at the Rio20 summit on sustainable growth in 2012.

Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad Minister of Environment and Water, said, "The total government spending in the UAE accounts for 24 per cent of GDP. As the largest consumer the governments purchase of green products and services will provide a great opportunity to drive markets towards the green economy. Eco-labeling is the most effective way to inform consumers about the environmental impacts of products and encourage them to make better choices every day. Participating in reputable international programs such as these will help us choose the best practices and policy models that will be most suitable in the national context. We also wanted to showcase our steadfast commitment to the green economy efforts through these platforms in our aim to support other countries and contribute to the global community."

Welcoming the participation of the UAE in 10YFP programmes, Dr. Arab Hoballah UNEP's Chief of Sustainable Lifestyles Cities and Industry, said, "We look forward to further enhancing Sustainable Production and Consumption (SCP) in the UAE through their active participation in our networks and thereby contributing to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda particularly the goal on SCP. Sustainable public procurement and access to sustainability information on goods and services are both crucial to achieving SCP. Sustainable public procurement acts as a driver for the supply of sustainable goods and services while consumer information such as third party verified labels on sustainability ensures that all consumers can make informed daily purchasing decisions."

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