More than 200 participants from over 50 countries took part in the international conference, representing all sectors of society - government, industry, research and education institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations.
The meeting was the occasion of the launch of the International Declaration on Cleaner Production which was signed by 13 ministers and senior representatives of government including China, Indonesia, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and the UK; and 13 business corporations including BHP, Mitsubishi, San Miguel, Samsung and representatives of chambers of commerce. Signatories of the declaration commit themselves to adopting a preventive strategy and environmental performance targets, and to reporting on their achievements towards cleaner production goals. "Implementation of the declaration will help us use water and energy more efficiently, and reduce our emissions and wastes, and will thus reduce risk to human health and environment", commented the Honourable Wang Xinfang, Vice Minister of the Environment, People's Republic of China. A number of countries have pledged to organize national ceremonies to enable their own government and business leaders to sign the declaration to leverage the worldwide movement towards cleaner production.
The conference was also the occasion for discussing such topics as the financing of cleaner production investments, technology development and co-operation, technology innovation in specific industry sectors - such as food, textiles and chemical industries. Sustainable consumption was also one of the important components of the discussion. "Influencing consumption is clearly an area we need to address to achieve the goal of sustainable development, working with the marketing and advertising sectors in particular", said Mr Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director, UNEP. "The use of economic instruments that levy charges on excessive resource use and pollution have considerable potential to shift the focus to cleaner production. The aim is to make the cost of pollution more expensive than the cost of preventing it", he said.
Topics discussed at the seminar should help decision-makers in all parts of the world to change behaviour, take action and regularly assess their progress.
For more information, contact:
Cleaner Production Programme, UNEP
Industry and Environment,
Tel. 33-1- 44-37-14-50, Fax: 33-1-44-37-14-74.
In Nairobi, contact:
Information and Public Affairs,
Tel. 254-2-2623292, Fax: 254-2-623692.
UNEP website: http://www.unep.org
UNEP News Release 1998/101
INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION ON CLEANER PRODUCTION
We recognize that achieving sustainable development is a collective responsibility. Action to protect the global environment must include the adoption of improved sustainable production and consumption practices.
We believe that Cleaner Production and other preventive strategies such as Eco-efficiency, Green Productivity and Pollution Prevention are preferred options. They require the development, support and implementation of appropriate measures.
We understand Cleaner Production to be the continuous application of an integrated, preventive strategy applied to processes, products and services in pursuit of economic, social, health, safety and environmental benefits. To this end we are committed to:
using our influence to encourage the adoption of sustainable production and consumption practices through our relationships with stakeholders.
AWARENESS, EDUCATION AND TRAINING
building capacity by developing and conducting awareness, education and training programmes within our organization;
by encouraging the inclusion of the concepts and principles into educational curricula at all levels.
encouraging the integration of preventive strategies into all levels of our organization;
within environmental management systems;
by using tools such as environmental performance evaluation, environmental accounting, and environmental impact, life cycle, and cleaner production assessments.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
creating innovative solutions by promoting a shift of priority from end-of-pipe to preventive strategies in our research and development policies and activities;
by supporting the development of products and services which are environmentally efficient and meet consumer needs.
sharing our experience by fostering dialogue on the implementation of preventive strategies and informing external stakeholders about their benefits.
taking action to adopt Cleaner Production by setting challenging goals and regularly reporting progress through established management systems;
by encouraging new and additional finance and investment in preventive technology options, and promoting environmentally-sound technology cooperation and transfer between countries;
through cooperation with UNEP and other partners and stakeholders in supporting this declaration and reviewing the success of its implementation.
United Nations Environment Programme,
Industry and Environment,
39-43 Quai Andre, Citroen,
75739 Paris Cedex 15,
Tel: (33) 01 44 37 14 50, Fax: (33) 01 44 37 14 74,