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First Mediterranean Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production

Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) involves a turning point in the way of tackling sustainable development. It rejects the erroneous assumption that has predominated over the last century that environmental problems can be solved by just combining actions mitigating pollution from human activities and making production processes more environmentally-friendly through technological changes and eco-efficiency. Indeed, it is broadly recognised that qualitative environmental improvements in terms of production are being offset by the quantitative increase in consumption (UNEP). Therefore, economies cannot be sustainable if efforts to make economic sectors more environmentally-friendly are not accompanied by a society-wide shift to sustainable consumption patterns1.

In the Mediterranean region, shifting to sustainable consumption and production and thus decoupling development from environmental degradation and resource depletion becomes an urgent need due to the pressure that the economic development of the 21 regional countries is exerting on the local environment. This pressure is characterised and affected by water scarcity, population growth and rapid urbanisation in coastal areas, growing waste generation, climate change and massive tourism. Aware of this, in 2005 the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention approved the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD), which establishes SCP as a major objective for attaining sustainable development in the region. Likewise, SCP and the sustainable management of resources are being currently proposed as one of the thematic priority areas of the next MAP Medium-Term Strategy.

 

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