Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh’s step for the achievement of SDGs means a lot to India, as the state has the largest population in India. Uttar Pradesh must develop effective methods for implementing, monitoring, and measuring SDGs’ progress. Learning, sharing and networking should be actively promoted among like-minded stakeholders across the State and beyond. These were important highlights from State Level Stakeholder Consultation organised by CUTS in collaboration with Consumer Guild at Lucknow on July 29, 2021.
Unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)which only targets the developing countries, the sustainable development goals (SDGs)apply to all countries whether rich, middle or poor countries. Five and half years into the implementation of SDGs, the assessment of the progress in India shows, it is very unlikely that India will achieve any of the targets of SDG12, which is Responsible Consumption and Production. In addition, the status of many of the indicators may further worsen by 2030, comparing with 2015, due to the negative impact of the Pandemic and various other reasons.
Lack of awareness, lack of coordination and lack of data are major concerns. Whatever sustainable activities various states implement, many of those achievements go unnoticed and are not reported mostly because of the lack of awareness among the concerned officials, except couple of them involved in SDG reporting, about SDG and its importance. Most officials across various departments were not able to recognise what an SDG is.
This lack of awareness among government officials coupled with lack of funding, shortage of technical staff resulting in inadequate monitoring and reporting appears to be the most significant challenges at the state level in SDG implementation. If left unaddressed, this could give a wrong image of the nation’s merits and efforts towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP).
This was one of the major findings of the study done by CUTS on SDG 12 titled “Sustainable Consumption and Production – A Consumer Perspective” in partnership with Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).
The study mainly looked at SDG 12 from a consumer perspective based on The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP). The importance of studying and analysing the achievement of a country’s progress under SDG 12 than any other Goal was felt because of its interlinking nature with other goals.
Almost all other Goals are connected with SDG 12, thereby underlining that any progress to meet Agenda 2030 by a country cannot be achieved without carefully approaching and addressing the concerns under SDG 12, George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS Internationalexpressed concern in the opening address
Speaking during the inaugural session Anand Mishra, Department of Planning, Uttar Pradesh(UP) while referring to the finding of CUTS study that there is an absence of effective monitoring and data collection framework for SDG 12, shared those efforts are being currently taken under Government of UP to address this concern. He Shared various government initiative and programme related to SDG 12. He discussed best practices on solid waste management in UP. UP legislature held marathon 48-hour joint session on SDGs, He emphasised. Partnership with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) is fundamental to localising the SDGs and government of UP is supporting the CSOs. He further appreciated CSOs’ ground work on environment issue.
AK Gupta, Additional Director, Regional Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies (RCUES) discussed the best practices on sustainable consumption in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. He shared his viewson waste to energy in Uttar Pradesh.Jal Jeevan Mission, is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. The mission aims to recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rain water harvesting, He further added. He also highlighted The E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 has reviewed critically with respect to the principle of “extended producer responsibility,”
Dr Manjul Mishra, Assistant Director, Directorate of Environment, UP highlighted the progress of SDG 12 in UP. One District One Product programme aims to make life cycled and traditional products in as many as 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh.She shared the various government schemes and initiatives of Department of environment like green productivity, zero defect and zero effect, Ban on single use plastic
Amar Deep Singh, Senior Program Officer, presented the overview of the study. The consultation, that followed strict COVID protocol guidelines, happened in two separate sessions, saw participation from various government departments, organisations working on sustainable consumption and consumer protection from Uttar Pradesh.