• Date: May 2016

Executive summary

Mr. Jamyang Choda, Sr. Researcher and Mr. Sangay Dorji, Project Manager of Royal Society of Protection of Nature (RSPN) for EU funded project under SWITCH-Asia Programme called Green Public Procurement (GPP) project in Bhutan participated in the BLISS school under the auspices of TERI University.

BLISS (Building Learning in Sustainability Science) is a series of five-day events (April 18-22, 2016) organized by TERI University, New Delhi, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under the EU funded SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Programme to train and prepare stakeholders, especially policymakers, students, consumers, businesses and supporting organizations in South Asia for the forthcoming sustainable development challenges.

Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) is an integral component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the main focus of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-12.

The BLISS School covered the following thematic areas:

·         Introduction to Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP);

·         Internalizing SCP in Value Chains;

·         Towards Resource Efficient Urban Habitats;

·         Innovation, Technology and Financing for SCP; and

·         Mainstreaming SCP through Stakeholder Engagement and Policymaking.

Content and methodologies

The young researchers of TERI University and participants from other successful Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and case studies of financing for SCP, especially Surya Project on Clean Cooking Technology and Financing Models and Green financing on National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s (NABARD) initiatives and implementing technology solutions for SCP through experiences from ACIDLOOP, a SWITCH-Asia project, presented on various themes. The training course was well organized.

The group exercises and presentations made us to understand clearly SCP policies and plans in different South Asian countries and a framework of a sustainable business model incorporating aspects of SCP at various stages in a business model design. The site visit to Sulabh International Social Service Organisation exposed participants to sustainable waste management activities, including resource recovery from waste (through bio-gas plant).

Apart from the theoretical components of SCP, we were introduced to the current SCP related projects that are being carried out by TERI university students and faculties on innovative financing mechanism, affordable housing, sustainable consumer choices, and sustainable tourism.

 Mr. Jamyang Choda sharing GPPB lessons                                                                       

Take away

The training provided us with tremendous opportunities to understand SCP on the Global scale, development Policy Agenda, regional and national SCP Policies in South Asia, Life Cycle Thinking, building sustainable livelihoods through green production, green business retail, sustainable urban settlements, waste management and water resilient cities.

The training was an opportunity to learn more about SCP and also gained insight into varied SCP issues and strategies being followed in South Asia.

The most interesting event was the field visit to Sulabh International Social Service Organisation in New Delhi. It is an internationally well-known organization for sanitation and social reform. We attended the fun-filled talk on the history of sanitation practices from across the world and different households toilets constructed based on Sulabh design. We also visited public ‘pay-and-use-basis’ toilet and attended the talk on toilet paper making and embroidery works.

The most amazing learning experience was on the education being provided to those children coming from the families of informal waste handlers.  The Sulabh Public School was started in 1992 with the main objective to prepare children from the weaker sections of society for a better life. The field visit further enriched our class room learning.

The group work and field visit helped us network with other participants and build a good rapport with them. We actively participated in the group discussions and presentations and provided necessary comments and posed queries.

We realized that SCP is very much relevant to public procurement where economic, environment and social dimensions are factored in to help minimize impacts of consumption and optimize production. We also realized that all stakeholders, including government, private, cooperatives and individuals have a greater role to play towards realizing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-12, that is, Responsible Consumption and Production.

Understanding about how SCP policies are addressed for sustainable consumption from the demand side and sustainable production from the supply side is very critical considering the increased social and environment impacts pose the world over. 

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