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India’s lessons of sustainability for the world

The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), at its Sixth Session held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 26 February – 1 March 2024, adopted on 1 March the resolution on sustainable lifestyles submitted by India. All participating Member States adopted the resolution on promoting sustainable lifestyles.
The concept of LiFE, i.e. Lifestyle for Environment, was envisioned by India at the World Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow at COP26 when he called to rekindle a global pursuit to adopt environment-friendly lifestyles and practices. 
Mission LiFE was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 October 2022, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, at the Statue of Unity, Ekta Nagar, Gujarat.

Mission LiFE aims to follow a three-pronged strategy for changing our collective approach towards sustainability. First is by nudging individuals to practice simple yet effective environment-friendly actions in their daily lives (demand); second is by enabling industries and markets to respond swiftly to the changing demand (supply); and third is to influence government and industrial policy to support both sustainable consumption and production (policy).

The UNEA reaffirmed the commitment made in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, including the three dimensions of sustainable development, which are integrated, indivisible, interdependent and mutually reinforcing, to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge needed to promote sustainable development and the commitment made in the 2030 Agenda to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.

The resolution recognizes the potential of behavioral changes toward sustainable lifestyles, contributing to achieving the three dimensions of sustainable development. It takes note of the work of the 10-Year Framework Programme, including the One Planet Network Programme on Sustainable Lifestyles and Education and other international, regional, and national initiatives, and notes that successful national initiatives can serve as a model to be replicated. It recognizes further and underscores the role of the private sector and industry, local authorities, local communities, and Indigenous Peoples in supporting more sustainable lifestyles and emphasizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, leaving no one behind.

The resolution on promoting sustainable lifestyles recognizes that adequate individual education and skills can further accelerate collective efforts for sustainable consumption and production and promote more sustainable lifestyles. The resolution recognizes that each country is best positioned to understand its national circumstances and priorities to encourage more sustainable lifestyles.

The resolution encourages Member States and invites other stakeholders and international organizations to create the necessary evidence-based enabling conditions, foster public and private collaboration, pursue education at all levels and awareness-raising initiatives in support of empowering citizens to make informed choices about sustainable lifestyles as referenced in SDG 4.7 Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship.
The resolution invites Member States, inter governmental, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and other stakeholders to promote and enhance cooperation by sharing information and best practices, research, and literature, as appropriate.

The resolution requests the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), including through the One Planet Network Programme on Sustainable Lifestyles and Education and the Green Jobs for Youth Pact, subject to available resources, to support Member States, at their request, in the development and implementation of national or regional action plans for promoting sustainable lifestyles, or the integration of sustainable lifestyles in existing actions plans; and facilitate, upon request, the sharing of information, best practice, and research on sustainable lifestyles, including sustainable living.

The resolution also requests the UNEP Executive Director, in partnership with UN Regional Commissions, to undertake Regional Dialogues, to discuss sustainable lifestyle practices in the context of, inter alia, the diversity of nature’s values and approaches, including, as appropriate, ecocentric approaches, of individuals and communities including that of Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, for living in harmony with Nature, or Mother Earth, as recognised by some countries and regions to enable sustainable lifestyles, and request to submit a report to inform UNEA seventh on these dialogues and on the progress of the present resolution. The resolution on promoting sustainable lifestyles submitted by India was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and Bolivia.


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