Bangkok, 29 August 2023 – The “SCP Outreach in Asia – The Next Five” project brought together over 12 stakeholders in Thailand for the 2023 Regional Knowledge Exchange event held from 29 to 30 August 2023 at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit. Supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), the annual event aims to foster cross-learning between Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka through the sharing of experiences and best practices in implementing Green/Sustainable Public Procurement and Type-I ecolabels. The event also charted the cooperation among experts, government agencies, civil society, and private sector stakeholders in enhancing policy frameworks for sustainable consumption and production.
Mr. Janejob Suksod, Director of the Environmental Analysis Centre, Pollution Control Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand, provided the context and the significance of today’s gathering, saying: “Last month, the United Nations announced the era of global warming has ended and the era of global boiling has arrived. July 2023 has been the warmest month on record and this phenomenon is caused by us. We cannot stop consuming our earth’s resources for living, but we can change consumption and production patterns to conserve our resources and mitigate environmental impacts. This is what we call “Sustainable Consumption and Production: SCP”, which is also stated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 12.”
“At the regional level, SCP has become a priority for ASEAN and its partners as highlighted during many ASEAN ministerial meetings. Thailand as a member of ASEAN has adopted the regional agenda by continuing our efforts to promote SCP for the past 18 years. Last year, we achieved 49% of purchasing value in the target group of green procurement and reduced greenhouse gas emissions of more than 2,000 tons CO2 equivalent,” Mr. Janejob added.
Dr. Ulf Jaeckel, Head of Division T III 2 of the “European and International Adaptation to Climate Change” programme for the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), highlighted the key role and contributions of SCP, saying: “SCP is a powerful tool in addressing the issues and challenges that we will face in the coming years. With an already large and growing population and limited resources and land, conserving a resource base, especially for food systems, will be of the utmost importance in the development process. The increasing demand for products and services is already putting pressure on resources and the environment. Hence, changing consumption and production patterns must be part of our efforts to achieve the SDGs.”
Mr. Kai Hofmann, Project Director of SCP, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, provided a comprehensive overview of green public procurement and ecolabels during his keynote address titled “Tooling Green Public Procurement and Ecolabel for a Circular Economy”. He said: “A Circular Economy is about designing better products and not about waste management or recycling. Voluntary or mandatory standards guide the industry to design better products. The eco-label allows the industry to market these better products, and Green Public Procurement boosts the market for better products. Thus, these instruments need to come together to create an impact.”
The forum featured presentations and panel discussions by technical experts, government officials and practitioners, offering both scientific and practical insights into the implementation of SCP. Throughout the two-day programme, the focus was on green/sustainable public procurement and Type-I ecolabels and how the tools will stimulate demand for sustainable products while encouraging industries to supply these products to the market. The forum was also designed to be interactive and immersive, providing the participants with the opportunity to join a study tour of the Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Sivatel Hotel.
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