MANILA, 30 August 2019 – The Regional Forum on the Promotion of Sustainable Consumption in ASEAN was held in Manila, the Philippines on 29-30 August to strengthen awareness on the importance of sustainable consumption.

At the forum, relevant governmental bodies, businesses, as well as regional and international experts discussed the impact of changing consumer behavior and consumption patterns in driving sustainable consumption, economic and regulatory tools, as well as possible policy reforms needed as ASEAN intensifies its work on sustainable consumption.

In her remarks, Ms Ruth B Castelo, Undersecretary, Consumer Protection Group, Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, highlighted, “Increasing incomes will increase the volume of consumption that will outweigh the improvements in energy and resource efficiencies.” She added, “National economic policies are required to ensure that goods and services reflect environmental costs to stimulate more sustainable consumption and production patterns.”

On her part, Ms. Rasamee Vistaveth, Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection explained that the forum served as the second key activity under the overarching project entitled the ‘Promotion of Sustainable Consumption in ASEAN”. It aims to support the development and implementation of policies for sustainable consumption, as well as to help empower consumers to be more knowledgeable about their consumption choices.

The forum also provided insights for the development of the ASEAN Sustainable Consumption Guidance Toolkit. Further, it explored possible means to strengthen cooperation in the area of sustainable consumption and looked into the importance of sustainable utilisation of natural resources.

The forum was hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines and co-organised by the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection and the ASEAN Secretariat. It was supported by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) under the project “Promotion of Sustainable Consumption in ASEAN”.