Press Release:
Publication of the Third IGES White Paper
Showing the future direction of Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Asia-Pacific Region
30 June 2010
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hayama, Japan, is pleased to announce the publication of the Third IGES White Paper focusing on sustainable consumption and production in the Asia-Pacific Region. Every two years, IGES publishes its White Paper focusing on important sustainable development policy issues in Asia and the Pacific. This time, the Third IGES White Paper entitled "Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Asia-Pacific Region: Effective Responses in a Resource Constrained World" brings together IGES research activities on sustainable consumption and production (SCP).

In the Asia-Pacific region, with its rapid economic development and population increase, SCP has become an urgent issue. This is a timely subject to address in the Asia-Pacific region due to the increasing consumption demands of the emerging middle class of consumers contrasted with the very large parts of Asia struggling with intransient poverty - and the resulting environmental impacts. The IGES White Paper III explores many of the current responses and the future directions of SCP in the region such as enabling conditions, the components of a dynamic policy mix, and the roles for key stakeholder groups. The result is a unique publication with insights on SCP in various contexts with diverse stakeholder groups, roles, and responsibilities.

As the region continues its economic growth, changes can be seen in traditional consumption patterns, particularly in the increasingly urbanised emerging middle class. A growing population in Asia-Pacific with consumption patterns developing in line with the average American or European would mean there would not be enough resources on Earth to satisfy demand and the environment would face increasing damage. Focusing on the tendency of middle class consumers to over consume does not reduce the importance of poverty alleviation; the focus should be about how to make lives better now and in the future, and how people will live and consume as they succeed at escaping poor living conditions and poverty. The goal is to look at consumption trends now, to acknowledge the implications of the aspiration treadmill and unsustainable consumption, and set the future path the region will take. We have learned a lot about SCP in the last few decades, and these lessons are being put in place in some areas, but there is more to be done.

This White Paper adopts the perspective that sustainable production generated by sustainable consumption can lead to structural changes in the Asian economy and encourage ever-increasing sustainable consumption. Considering the foundational issues of SCP for the Asia-Pacific region such as drivers of consumption and the emerging middle-class of consumers the White Paper explores the varying roles of stakeholders, the right policy mix for the context, and synergies with poverty alleviation agendas and efforts to improve quality of life and well-being. It looks at the role of the main stakeholders (consumers, communities, governments, business and NGOs etc.) and sectors (agriculture, forestry, water resources and energy) as well as developing detailed discussion on cross-cutting themes facing Asia (climate change and regional integration).

The IGES White Paper III is unique in its breadth of coverage and depth of analysis using original IGES research findings and case studies, and the focus on practical, policy-oriented key messages relevant to the Asia-Pacific region - driving home the point that not only do developed populations need to radically change their current consumption patterns but also developing populations need to find their own sustainable consumption path.

The Third IGES White Paper was be officially launched in conjunction with the IGES International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP 2010), held from 12-13 July 2010, in Yokohama, Japan. IGES plans to make best use of The White Paper III by inputting its findings into upcoming key policy processes in the region, such as MCED (Ministerial Conference on the Environment and Development) to be held in September-October, 2010 in Kazakhstan.

>> IGES White Paper III 2010 is now available online.

Mr. Robert Kipp
Associate Researcher, Programme Management Office

Ms. Kido, PR Officer
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies(IGES)
2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115 Japan
Fax: +81-46-855-3709 URL: //

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