VIENNA, 28 November 2011 – Switzerland has approved a contribution of CHF 21,316,000 (some EUR 17 million) for UNIDO’s Green Industry initiative, specifically for activities in developing Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production.
Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production, or RECP, focuses on implementing preventive environmental strategies in industrial processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment. To date, UNIDO has created in collaboration with UNEP close to 50 Cleaner Production centres in different regions of the world.
The funds are made available by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), a long-standing supporter of the work of UNIDO. worldwide.
“The history of UNIDO’s cooperation with Switzerland is based on a shared sense of responsibility and a conviction of the ever increasing relevance of UNIDO’s mandate. The Government of Switzerland and UNIDO, together with other Member States and donors, share a spirit of results-oriented cooperation coupled with the understanding that development calls for perseverance and a commitment to excellence by all involved partners,” said UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella who met today with Ambassador Beatrice Maser-Mallor, Head Economic Cooperation and Development of SECO, and the Permanent Representative of Switzerland to UNIDO, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Thomas Greminger.
“Our close cooperation has resulted in a range of success stories, most prominently in the field of green industry and trade capacity building. They speak for themselves and chart a clear course for future joint endeavours in the context of Rio+20 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and beyond.”
Ambassador Maser-Mallor said that her country believed that “developing the industrial sector in developing countries is crucial for poverty alleviation, delivering goods and services, creating jobs, and improving the standards of living. However, in light of global environmental degradation and resource depletion, opportunities for sustainable economic growth are at risk”.
“UNIDO with its core competence in green industry can make a difference in promoting sustainable patterns of production and consumption, patterns that are resource and energy efficient, low-carbon and low-waste, non-polluting and safe. Most importantly, UNIDO can help decouple environmental pressures from economic growth. Switzerland is of the opinion that the global green industry agenda must therefore include the greening of industries under which all industries continuously improve their resource productivity and environmental performance. Concretely, this involves waste management and recycling, renewable energy technology, as well as environmental analytical and advisory services,” added Ambassador Greminger.
Switzerland, a founding member of UNIDO and a reputable and active partner in the global aid community, has been a constructive, reliable and thematically focused advocate of UNIDO’s mandate from the very outset.
The Swiss Government and UNIDO have continuously pursued an impact-oriented approach in their joint promotion of industry-inclusive measures for sustainable development and poverty eradication. The majority of interventions were in the field of trade capacity building, followed by energy and environment, and poverty reduction through productive activities.
In Ukraine, a UNIDO resource efficient and cleaner production project has allowed local enterprises to save more than EUR 9 million, and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 36,000 tons/year.
From 2006 to 2010, more than a third of the funding from Switzerland targeted UNIDO projects in Asia and the Pacific, where most of the projects were implemented, followed by the Arab States and Africa. Countries which have benefitted from the cooperation between Switzerland and UNIDO, particularly in the area of trade capacity-building, include Egypt, Ghana, Laos, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Viet Nam.
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UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator