Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 12



Goal Twelve: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns


SDG Twelve calls upon everyone from individuals to large international corporations to make more responsible decisions about their consumption and production to align both with a pattern of sustainability. Target 12.3 is of particular interest as it focuses on the reduction of food waste and loss, which currently sits at about 1.3 billion tons of food per year. Food waste tends to be higher in developed countries, however post-harvest food loss persists as an issue in developing countries, such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, to decrease loss policies will need to focus on the post-harvest value chain of agricultural products to determine where improvements can be made.


A second target of interest is target 12.8, which calls for the dissemination of information on sustainable development so that all individuals can be informed on how their lifestyles can be in harmony with the environment. This is really the key to the entire agenda of the SDGs, since the more people who understand this, the more people will be willing to not only comply, but help with their implementation. This is something already in progress in Africa, many countries in the region have made progress in establishing initiatives and programmes, as well as formulating and adopting policies, strategies and legislation to foster sustainable development. These include laws and policies in the broad area of environmental management as well as in sectoral areas such as mining, energy, agriculture and health. Many African countries have also ratified major chemicals and wastes related conventions as well as other MEAs (Multilateral Environment Agreements). In the mining sector, African countries have increasingly signed up to global voluntary initiatives.  Beyond adding the concept of sustainable development in mining, health ,agriculture etc, The African 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10-YFP) has been launched. The 10-YFP has a strategic focus on linking SCP with the challenges of meeting basic needs in a more sustainable manner.


Proposed Targets:

12.1 Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries

12.2 By 2030, achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses

12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to the air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle

12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities

12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

12.a Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production

12.b Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

12.c Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities

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