UN Environment Assembly adopts India's resolution on sustainable lifestyles

Union environment ministry said all participating member states adopted the resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and Bolivia

Representative image (photo: National Herald archives)
Representative image (photo: National Herald archives)


The United Nations Environment Assembly on Friday adopted India's resolution on sustainable lifestyles at its sixth session held in Nairobi, Kenya. India's environment ministry said all participating member states adopted the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and Bolivia.

The UNEA's sixth session started on 6 February and ended on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been championing the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE movement), urging countries to adopt planet-friendly living practices and move away from deeply consumerist behaviours.

He envisioned this concept at the World Leaders' Summit during the UN climate conference in Glasgow and launched Mission LiFE on 20 October 2022 in the presence of UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.

The UNEA reaffirmed the commitment made in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which emphasises the three dimensions of sustainable development — integrated, indivisible, interdependent, and mutually reinforcing. This commitment aims to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable development.

It also reaffirmed the commitment made in the 2030 Agenda to ensure that people everywhere have access to relevant information and awareness for sustainable development, fostering lifestyles in harmony with nature.

The resolution recognises the potential of behavioural changes toward sustainable lifestyles in contributing to the achievement of the three dimensions of sustainable development.

It takes note of the work of the 10-year framework programme, including the 'One Planet Network Programme' on sustainable lifestyles and education, along with other international, regional, and national initiatives. It also recognises that successful national initiatives can serve as models to be replicated.

The resolution further acknowledges and underscores the role of the private sector, industry, local authorities, local communities, and Indigenous people in supporting more sustainable lifestyles.

It emphasises that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, leaving no one behind.

The resolution recognises that adequate individual education and skills can further accelerate collective efforts for sustainable consumption and production, promoting more sustainable lifestyles. It also acknowledges that each country is best positioned to understand its national circumstances and priorities to encourage more sustainable lifestyles.

The resolution encourages member states and invites other stakeholders and international organisations to create the necessary evidence-based enabling conditions.

It calls for fostering public and private collaboration, pursuing education at all levels, and implementing awareness-raising initiatives to empower citizens to make informed choices about sustainable lifestyles, as referenced in SDG 4.7 Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship.

The resolution invites member states, intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, and other stakeholders to promote and enhance cooperation by sharing information and best practices, research, and literature as appropriate. This cooperation enables the adoption of more sustainable lifestyles, including sustainable living.

It calls for supporting member states, upon request, in the development and implementation of national or regional action plans for promoting sustainable lifestyles or the integration of sustainable lifestyles into existing action plans. It also facilitates, upon request, the sharing of information, best practices, and research on sustainable lifestyles, including sustainable living.

The resolution also requests the UNEP executive director, in partnership with UN Regional Commissions, to undertake regional dialogues.

These dialogues discuss sustainable lifestyle practices in the context of the diversity of nature's values and approaches, including, as appropriate, ecocentric approaches, of individuals and communities like Indigenous people and local communities.

The aim is to live in harmony with nature or Mother Earth, as recognised by some countries and regions, to enable sustainable lifestyles.

The resolution requests a report to be submitted to inform UNEA seventh on these dialogues and of the progress of the present resolution.

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