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Strengthening Institutional and Technical Capacities for Sustainable Consumption and Production in Senegal

  • Published on June 21, 2023

From 2018 - 2021, a dynamic cooperation project took place in Senegal, supported by the UN Development Account and coordinated between the One Planet Network and representatives from the Government of Senegal. The objective was to strengthen institutional and technical capacities for SCP in Senegal through a number of activities. 

“Facing a triple global crisis – climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, – (...) [our] world needs unprecedented joint efforts to accelerate, at all levels, shifts towards sustainable consumption and production patterns.” This eye-opening statement is drawn up by the Board of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in the recently published Global Strategy for Sustainable Consumption and Production 2023-2030. Organised around four central pillars, this Global Strategy emphasises the importance of inter-institutional dialogue and cooperation of a wide range of actors SCP. Various projects illustrate the purpose of this Strategy, such as the series of projects Strengthening institutional and technical capacities for SCP, carried out simultaneously from 2018 to 2021 in Argentina, Bhutan and Senegal. Organised around a common structure, these projects aim to bring together various public and private, institutional and non-institutional actors to work hand in hand on the design, adoption and enforcement of national SCP implementation strategies. Three areas of expertise of the One Planet network (OPN) have been harnessed and highlighted in these projects, but for the purpose of this article we will only focus on Senegal and its choice to work on Sustainable Public Procurement.

Thus, the project in Senegal consisted of three activities. Under the first activity, key ministries — Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Transport, etc. — were trained in SCP through various meetings held by the One Planet network. These sessions were instrumental in demonstrating to such a diverse group of actors, how SCP is relevant to their own agendas. This first activity allowed these actors, who were not necessarily working together at first, to come together around a set of common principles in order to reinvigorate the institutional backing for SCP in the country. Students of the Higher School of Applied Economics (ESEA) of the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar also had the chance to be trained on SCP, providing an important link to the next generation of policy makers.

The second activity was dedicated to the design, adoption and implementation of a national strategy for SCP, based on the results of the first activity and taking into account an analysis of data on the environmental and socio-economic performance of Senegal set out in the SCP-HAT report. The aim was to analyse Senegal’s strengths and constraints in terms of SCP in order to identify key points to focus on when designing the national SCP strategy. This activity consisted of multiple inter-ministerial consultations with the participation of OPN experts, demonstrating once again the willingness of these institutional actors to collaborate in order to design and adopt a national strategy for SCP that is both consistent with national priorities – sustainable energy, circular economy, SPP, etc., – but also consensus based.

Hence, the third activity revolved around one of these national priorities, which is a particular area of the SCP and an OPN area of expertise, Sustainable Public Procurement. Senegal’s choice to focus on SPP is far from trivial. Indeed, it is motivated by the Senegalese authorities’ desire to promote SPP in procurement processes, to integrate socio-economic and environmental sustainability considerations and to focus on vulnerable groups in public procurement. A working group composed of public and private actors was created for this purpose. Thus, SPP experts, members of the One Planet network, FAO, AFB, CEC, Ecoeff lab, as well as Senegalese Ministries and members of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority met several times to work on the implementation of a Senegalese SPP action plan. Various workshops and meetings were also conducted during this activity, underlining the important role of the OPN and its SPP experts on the theoretical level. On a practical level, it is also important to highlight the role of the OPN in supporting institutional actors in the design and implementation of this SPP action plan. This last activity also resulted in the conception of a development programme on SPP to enable the dissemination of knowledge gained during this project to other African countries such as Tunisia or Ghana through SPP training modules and workshops for key state actors. 

As outlined in the Global Strategy, there is a need to work closely with governments, public authorities, and other actors to promote SCP and SPP. As illustrated by the example of the Senegal project Strengthening institutional and technical capacities for SCP, this collaboration between key state actors is crucial to help developing countries integrate and implement sustainable consumption and production patterns based on their national policies and priorities. As is the case here, SCP can serve as a bridge between different actors with different agendas, enabling them to collaborate around a common goal. It is therefore essential to enable all states, as was the case for Senegal, to receive tailor-made support from the OPN for national implementation of SCP. Therefore, this project is a great example of successful collaboration between state actors and the OPN, paving the way for future projects to be implemented under the Global Strategy on SCP.

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