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The Role of Governments in Education for Sustainable Consumption

  • Published on November 24, 2014
The report presents three country case studies that look at the current institutional frameworks and governmental capacities for implementing effective ESC from P. R. China, Japan and Republic of Korea. Despite diverse policy dialogues and many initiatives on SCP, there is still a lack of knowledge and experience on how we actually can educate nations and their citizens for sustainable consumption. The main research was conducted through survey and interviews with relevant government officials in P. R. China, Japan and Republic of Korea, and it was supported by additional review of current policy frameworks and strategic plans and assessment of training materials/curriculums. This research was conducted in the respective countries by research partners at Beijing Normal University, Tokyo City University and Consumers Union of Korea in close collaboration with IGES. The promotion of sustainable consumption and green markets has received attention from many national governments including the P. R. China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. All three countries have demonstrated interest and commitment towards shifting to more sustainable patterns of development and have also recognised the importance of sustainable consumption in achieving this. However, ESC still remains a very young and even novel topic that does not yet have substantial policy mandates to ensure its implementation in these countries, and thus there are many opportunities for capacity building to advance effective implementation. The findings from this research identify key aspects of current governmental context for promoting SC and consumer awareness raising (including relevant policy frameworks, overall strategies, understandings of government officials, and barriers and obstacles to implementation). The three country cases are then analysed in a comparative capacity assessment. The assessment framework is based on the four levers of change identified by UNDP for assessing capacity assets and needs: 1) institutional arrangements, 2) leadership, 3) knowledge, and 4) accountability.

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