Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your browser.

Capacity Building for Sustainable Public Procurement in Developing Countries

July 2010

Quarterly Newsletter

Issue #03

In this Issue

News from pilot countries

Implementing SPP in Pilot Countries: Mauritius

UN Commission on Sustainable Development: Session 18

• The Marrakech Process and the 10 Year Framework of Programmes
• Learning Centre on Sustainable Public Procurement

Other news

• Inter-American Network for Government Procurers
• Sixth African Round Table on Sustainable Consumption and Production

Upcoming events
• International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference, Malaysia (IGEM2010)
• FA!R PROCURA 2010 Conference - Fair Trade Public Procurement, a tool for sustainable development
• Procura+ 2010: Innovation Through Procurement
• Senior Training Course on the Marrakech Task Force Approach on Sustainable Public Procurement


Dear Reader,

Welcome to the latest issue of UNEP’s Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) newsletter.

The Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement (MTF on SPP) led by Switzerland, has developed an Approach for implementing sustainable public procurement (SPP) in both developed and developing countries, known as the MTF Approach to SPP. In 2008, the Swiss government and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) designed a project to roll out this Approach in up to 14 countries worldwide. This project, entitled Capacity Building for Sustainable Public Procurement in Developing Countries, is supported by the European Commission, Switzerland and the Organization of Francophone countries. It is currently being implemented by UNEP and piloted in Mauritius, Tunisia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile and Lebanon. New Zealand and british local authorities are also rolling out the MTF Approach to SPP with direct support from the MTF on SPP.

The main objective of the project is to support the development and the implementation of national SPP policies in a number of pilot countries through the testing of the MTF Approach to SPP. The ultimate goal is to assist developing countries in addressing environmental, economic and social issues through their procurement activity.

approachThe MTF Approach to SPP works in the following way: first, pilot countries assess their procurement status through an online questionnaire (Status Assessment). Second, a review is undertaken to identify the legislative framework for procurement in the country and to analyze the possibilities for integrating social and environmental criteria into procurement activities. Third, a country-based Market Readiness Analysis is carried out in order to define the existing productive capacities for sustainable products and services and the potential responsiveness of the market to SPP tenders. After successful completion of these three actions, pilot countries develop a country-based SPP policy and implement a capacity building programme for procurement officers. Experts from UNEP as well as the Marrakech Task Force assist each pilot country in implementing the Approach and follow the implementation of its SPP policy during one year.

By 2011, the testing phase of the MTF on SPP Approach will be finished. By then up to 14 countries will have tested and implemented the MTF Approach to SPP. A revised version of the Approach based on the lessons learned during the experimental phase will be developed before July 2011.
The MTF will be active until the 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 19) which will take place in May 2011.  After CSD 19, UNEP will launch a global SPP Initiative based on the revised MTF Approach to SPP and supported through a UNEP hosted expert center which will give guidance to interested countries.

Click here for more information about the SPP project.  For more information on the MTF on SPP click here.

We hope you will enjoy reading this issue of the SPP Newsletter. Don’t hesitate to send in comments and inputs for our future issues.


fy caeo

Programme Officer – SPP Project
United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

Carlos Andres ENMANUEL
Communications Consultant – SPP Project
United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics


News from pilot countries


worldChile submitted its first progress report in March, noting various achievements and showing the progress made in the development of the Market Readiness Analysis, and Legal Review.  Chile is currently in the process of developing its draft National SPP Policy Plan.

Colombia has now officially joined the project, having signed a funding agreement with UNEP in June 2010.

A start-up mission to Lebanon was organized in May 2010 in order to finalize the details of the project, meet key stakeholder and agree on a work plan as well as modalities of implementation

Implementing SPP In pilot countries: the case of Mauritius

The Public Procurement Act was enacted in 2006 and became effective in January 2008. The Act prescribed the establishment of the Procurement Policy Office, which drives public procurement in Mauritius. It is led by Mr P. Beeharry, Director, and is responsible for the implementation of the sustainable public procurement project.

Mr. S. Tahalooa is the Project Manager for the SPP project and also responsible for capacity building, training and research. Since January 2009, in collaboration with the University of Technology of Mauritius, a Certification in Public Procurement is being conducted.  The certification includes a three hour session on SPP. More than 150 public officials have completed this programme.


Submitted by Mr. S Tahalooa, Project Manager, from the Public Procurement Office in Mauritius, National Focal Point, “Capacity Building for Sustainable Public Procurement” Project, June 2010

Sustainable Development is a top priority for the government. A very ambitious project called “Maurice Ile Durable” (Mauritius Sustainable Development) has been initiated. The project consists of a number of sub-projects covering a wide range of issues including Sustainable Public Procurement. This project is being driven by the Procurement Policy Office which falls under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The Government thus eagerly agreed to be one of the pilot countries for the SPP led by UNEP and its partners.

Mauritius is following the MTF Approach to SPP. A steering committee under the chairmanship of the Director of Procurement Policy Office has been established, comprised of all major stakeholders. The country’s status assessment has already been completed. Our procurement legislation does not represent any major barrier for the implementation of SPP and a comprehensive legal study is being carried out which would recommend the clauses that would be included in the procurement law and regulations. The Market Readiness Analysis has already been completed and it concludes that the productive sector of the island is ready to provide sustainable products.

Most stakeholders agree that SPP should be implemented in a gradual manner. A priority list for the products and services for SPP has also been identified. The Steering Committee has established a Task Force comprising of some 20 members (Finance, Environment, Utilities, Business Chamber, Maurice Ile Durable, Local Authorities, Researcher, Mauritius Standard Bureau, UNDP, etc.) to develop a SPP policy and action plan. It is expected that this activity would be completed by September 2010.

The Procurement Policy Office
Its main purpose is to provide a mechanism for conducting oversight and monitoring of the performance and progress of the procurement system in Mauritius, and to guide and promote its continuing development and improvement.
For more information: http://www.gov.mu/

Major public procurement reform started a few years ago. Procurement officers were not considered of strategic importance. A capacity building programme has now been initiated but lots remained to be done. The development level of procurement officers is critical to the successful implementation of SPP. Furthermore, although the MRA report concluded that suppliers are ready for SPP, lots of training needs to be carried out for bidders and suppliers. The implementation of SPP requires a new mindset and effective change management is key to success.

Lessons Learned
Implementing SPP requires a gradual change process. Strong leadership, the involvement of all key stakeholders and high level commitment are of paramount importance.

Future Expectations
Since the concept of SPP is fairly recent in the country and there is no SPP expert in the country, continued assistance from UNEP and its other partners is still needed for the project.

Commission on Sustainable Development Session 18 – CSD 18

unLearning Centre on Sustainable Public Procurement
UNEP and the Institut de l'Energie et de l'Environnement de la Francophonie (IEPF) organized a “Learning Centre” on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) during the 18th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18). The session was attended by 22 francophone participants, the majority from Africa, and took place on the 3rd of May 2010 in New York.

The session was opened by Ms. Khalida Bouzar (UNEP DTIE’s Deputy Director), Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier (UNDESA, Sustainable Development Officer) and Mr. Tounao Kiri (IEPF).

Mr. Daniel Ziegerer from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment presented the activities of the Swiss-led Marrakech Task Force on SPP and in particular the Methodology developed by this Task Force to promote SPP. The main trainer of the session, Farid Yaker from UNEP, presented the benefits as well as constraints of SPP and experiences in implementation over the world including UNEP’s capacity building project, which targets seven countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
At the end of the session the Senegalese representatives confirmed their intention to join the pool of pilot countries of the MTF on SPP.

For further information on the Task Force on Sustainable Public procurement visit this site

mpMarrakech Process and 10-Year Framework of Programmes
Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and the 10 Year Framework of Programmes (10 YFP) on SCP is one the of the five main themes of the current implementation cycle (2010-2011) of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, held from 3 to 14 May 2010, alongside Transport, Mining, Waste Management and Chemicals.

The Marrakech Process was acknowledged by a number of countries and groups - including the European Union and G77 - as an important forum for dialogue on SCP, and there was a call to create a 10 YFP building on recent work on the national, sub-regional and regional strategies of the Marrakech Process

From the Chair’s summary – Quotes on SPP:

“A number of countries reported successful implementation of regulatory instruments to foster sustainable consumption and production, including standards for energy-using products; energy performance standards; material, carbon and energy targets; and sustainable public procurement. Some countries raised concerns that these procurement policies might disadvantage small-scale producers, especially in developing countries”
“A 10YFP should provide incentives and support countries and actors in using a diverse set of tools and approaches that have proven their usefulness in advancing SCP”

In order to further develop the 10 YFP between now and CSD 19, programmes could be organized around sectors, and in some cases would build on the work of the Marrakech Process in sustainable tourism, building and construction and education, etc.

Sustainable Public Procurement was considered as one of the important tools and approaches of a 10 Year Framework of Programmes.

Other SPP related news

ricgInter-American Network for Government Procurement (Red Interamericana de Compras Gubernamentales)
http://www.ricg.org/ - The Inter-American Network for Government Procurement is composed by government institutions of American Countries in charge of the issues of regulation, management, and modernization of public procurement in their respective countries.  The network met in Costa Rica on June 2010 and invited UNEP and Ms. Barbara Morton, MTF expert, to deliver a presentation on the international context of SPP, the Marrakech Process, the definition of SPP, the existing international experiences, the Marrakech Task Force Approach to SPP, and UNEP’s SPP project. The presentation stimulated a discussion with the representatives of the international network, who confirmed their interest in SPP.

The Interamerican Network agreed on the establishment of a working group on Sustainable Public Procurement, with the participation of the following countries: Nicaragua, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay. UNEP was invited to join the working group.x

To find out more about the Inter-American Network’s activities in the field of SPP, please visit this site

oecd The first joint workshop between the Network on Environment and Development Co-operation (ENVIRONET) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), and UNEP on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) took place on 10 - 11 June 2010 in Paris. Participants welcomed this effort of OECD and UNEP to find synergies between existing work streams under the broad title of “SCP for development” and noted the progress that had been made in advancing the discussions on SCP in fora such as the UN Commission for Sustainable Development, the Marrakech Process, and in the preparations for Rio +20.

The workshop objectives were:

  • building cooperation and exploring synergies between sustainable consumption and production (SCP) capacity building activities and policies and development cooperation programmes;
  • exploring ways to facilitate and mainstream the implementation of SCP/resource efficiency activities in development cooperation activities and support for policy making at country level;
  • highlighting SCP contributions to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including through green jobs initiatives, which contribute to poverty alleviation and the construction of a resource efficient, low carbon economy;
  • exploring the linkages between SCP and green economy/green growth as well as between SCP and climate change in a development context.

To find out more please visit this site

Sixth African Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ARSCP)africa
The Sixth African Round Table on Sustainable Consumption and Production took place in Cairo on 14-16 June 2010. Farid Yaker presented the MTF on SPP and UNEP’s SPP project in plenary and facilitated a parallel session on SPP. He mentioned that the SPP Approach followed by UNEP was not “a one size fits all” approach and that SPP was a tool which could be used by countries according to their sustainable development priorities. The need to adapt SPP to the context of African countries was highlighted. In this respect, SPP should contribute to the alleviation of poverty, to the promotion of labor intensive processes, to a better adaptation to global warming and to other key priorities of African countries.

Participants recommended making use of the Regional Economic Commissions and the Secretariat of the African Round Table on SCP in the promotion of SPP. UNEP is envisaging the organization of a regional High level Forum in Eastern Africa in the coming months with the support of ARSCP, aimed at raising awareness on SPP and presenting UNEP’s future SPP Initiative and the SPP Tools developed by the Marrakech Task Force on SPP.

Upcoming Events

International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM2010) igem
IGEM2010 aims to provide a platform to feature innovative eco-products, green technologies and services. The event will take place from 14-17 October 2010, in the Kuala Lumpur convention center, Malaysia.

This four-day event is expected to draw on more than 500 companies / organizations from around the world and over 120,000 visitors. A parallel session will be held on Sustainable Public Procurement, particularly on Green Purchasing and Eco-labels on Saturday 16 October.

For more information please visit http://www.igem.com.my/

FA!R PROCURA 2010 Conference - Fair Trade Public Procurement (FTPP), a tool for sustainable development
The FA!R PROCURA 2010 Conference will emphasize how Fair Trade procurement can help public authorities to support sustainable development and make a change for marginalized producers and workers from developing countries.

There will be high level speakers on FTPP from all over Europe, workshops focusing on specific aspects of FTPP such as food (catering, canteens etc.), textiles (clothing, uniforms, etc.) and legal issues (do’s and don’ts) as well as a session dedicated to the particular FTPP issues in the member states where Fair Trade awareness is low.

For more information visit this site

Procura+ 2010: Innovation through procurementiclei
The aim of the seminar is to exchange ideas, concepts, opinions and experiences on how sustainable procurement can contribute to innovation in the areas of sustainable construction, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and supplier engagement.

In order to maximize input and discussion, the programme will feature a mix of interactive plenary and break-out sessions, where successful strategies and practical tools for public administrations will be presented.

Participation in the seminar is free of charge, however prior registration is essential to ensure a place. The seminar will be held in Helsinki (11-12 November 2010), and is organized by the City of Helsinki and the European Secretariat of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).

For more information visit this site.

Senior Training Course on the Marrakech Task Force Approach to Sustainable Public Procurementspptraining
UNEP and the MTF on SPP will co-organize a Senior SPP training course in December 2010, in cooperation with the International Training Center of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO), on the MTF Approach on SPP (for more information please visit our site).

The course will be composed of two modules: distance learning and face-to-face. The distance learning module will be carried-out online and will last three weeks. The face-to-face module of the course will consist of a week of face-to-face training at the ITC-ILO campus in Torino, Italy.

Interested SPP experts willing to assist in the implementation of the MTF Approach to SPP can pre-register here.

To find out more, please visit our website or contact:
Farid Yaker
Programme Officer - Sustainable public procurement


Please visit our website http://www.unep.fr/scp/procurement/ for more information on Sustainable Public Procurement and recent events.