Latin America and the Caribbean Implement Regional Approach for Eco-Labeling
- Moving from concept to action, the first government-backed regional eco-label in Latin America and the Caribbean is being formally established.
- This achievement follows a Ministerial Decision of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, which promotes a regional approach to eco-labeling through the Environmental Alliance of America.
- Germany supports this effort with seed funding through the EcoAdvance project.
November 17, 2023 - On the sidelines of the Global Conference of the One Planet Network's Consumer Information Programme, held in Bogotá from November 14-15, representatives of the Environmental Alliance of America convened to advance the establishment of a legal and institutional framework for a common and reliable environmental labeling platform.
The aim is to overcome challenges such as lack of access to reliable information, low levels of interregional trade in sustainable products, and tackling the proliferation of self-declared labels without credible validation.
"It has never been more urgent to connect with consumers through reliable information," emphasized Juan Bello, Regional Director and Representative of the UNEP Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our collective action against the triple planetary crisis - climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution - also hinges significantly on shifting consumer behaviors.”
Echoing these challenges, the XXIII Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in October of this year, endorsed the efforts of the Environmental Alliance of America through Decision 2. Luis Rodríguez from the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and President of the Alliance emphasized, "The Alliance is uniquely positioned to offer a common and reliable environmental labeling platform. It will provide clear and truthful information to producers and consumers, based on internationally recognized management and certification systems."
Highlighting a practical application, Carolina Rivera Garzón from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, pointed out the importance of integrating the regional eco-label in Sustainable Public Procurement. “Accounting for 20 to 40% of GDP in public spending, these procurements can drive sustainable practices at all levels of government and industry. Moreover, this regional approach to ecolabelling has the potential to significantly influence citizens, thereby boosting the supply and demand for sustainable products.”
Jorge Laguna, Head of the One Planet Network, UNEP, praised the eco-label as a strategic move towards circular economy practices. "It empowers consumers to make informed and responsible choices, paving the way for a sustainably prosperous future in the region," he concluded.