CI’s Cathy Rutivi recently attended the Fifth African Roundtable Conference in South Africa. She writes:
“I attended the African Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ARSCP-5) in Johannesburg from 4-6 June 2008.
The roundtable reviews the ongoing activities of the African 10-Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production and identifies what needs to be done to strengthen sustainable consumption and production in the region.
UNEP says the progress so far is very encouraging.
I delivered a presentation on the African consumer perspective on sustainable consumption during a session on Sustainable Lifestyles by the Swedish Task Force.
This was a very interesting session because for Africa we still grapple with basic development issues such as poverty alleviation, access to basic services, gender inequality, environmental protection and other long-term sustainable development goals as opposed to the level of where our developed counterparts are. Lifestyles, human behaviour and consumption patterns are affected by most of these development challenges.
As a consumer activist I believe that sustainable consumption practices will ensure that African consumers are well equipped to make informed choices and take appropriate action to meet these development challenges sustainably.
We also discussed the food crisis and touched on issues such as saving water and curbing losses and wastage in the food chain. Consumers the world over are facing this global challenge but the hardest hit are the poorest of which most of them are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Many development organisations, including CI, are working to alleviate poverty in the region, and seeking to address the dignity of people through addressing human rights abuses of which food is a basic consumer right and environmental protection to minimize the effects of climate change.”
Here's more on CI's sustainable consumption work.