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The Ministry of Environment of the Republic of the Maldives and the SWITCH-Asia Sustainable Consumption and Production Facility, supported by the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives (EU), organized Multistakeholder Consultations on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) on 29 January 2019. This was the first in a series of planned dialogues in the Maldives over the next three years, supporting the country’s commitment to achieving sustainable development and preserving resources for the future. Yesterday's event brought stakeholders together, including policymakers, practitioners, and civil society to discuss challenges to and identify the national priorities on SCP, to support Maldives’ progress on the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Representatives of the EU-funded SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility offered preliminary results of their national assessment to strengthen and enable relevant policy actions. Participants discussed how the Maldives can move towards cleaner, resource efficient production systems driven by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as more responsible consumption patterns. Participants highlighted the importance of focusing on a few important sectors such as tourism and waste management, including plastics and fisheries wastes. Strengthening sustainable public procurement and eco-labelling throughout the Maldives and providing adequate enabling capacity to Local Authorities and MSMEs in eco-innovation for improved management of resources will be a major step towards climate mitigation.
Mr Hussein Rasheed Hassan, the Minister of Environment of the Republic of the Maldives noted that “It is our responsibility to ensure the safekeeping of this land bestowed upon us. Our resources should only be used in line with sustainable practices, as it is the bridge to our environment conservation goals. To that end, promoting and delivering responsible consumption and production practices will be critical for the needed transformative change”;
“The EU and its Members States are actively engaged in promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production towards a Green Economy”, said H.E. Tung-Laï Margue, the European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, adding that “it is in this context that a new Switch-Asia Call for Proposals was launched earlier this month, representing a great opportunity for Asian countries including the Maldives.”
Team Leader of the SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility, Dr Arab Hoballah, considers the consultation “Essential for building an understanding between all stakeholders on needs in order to make partnerships more effective, and ultimately seize the opportunity we have to mainstream SCP into development policies across all sectors. The outcomes of the Maldives SCP Multistakeholder Consultation will form the road map for the Maldives Action Plan for SCP, with particular attention to waste and tourism”.