What are NCPCs?
After the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio in 1992, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) both set off to pilot preventive environmental strategies in key developing countries. Upon their successful completion, UNIDO and UNEP jointly launched a programme to establish National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs). The first batch of eight NCPCs was established during 1994-1995.
With principal support from the Governments of Switzerland and Austria and contributions from other donors (including Norway, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark and The Netherlands) UNIDO and UNEP have expanded the Programme to 47 developing and transition countries. In each of these countries, national experts have been trained, in plant CP assessments completed and results and experiences disseminated among enterprises, governments, business and professional associations and civil society.
What services do they offer?
- Raise awareness of the benefits and advantages of Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production: In countries where there is little awareness of RECP, awareness-raising is a primary activity for a NCPC, particularly in its early years. NCPCs work on awareness raising and are directed to central and local governments, private sector, academia and national and/or regional financial institutions.
- Demonstrate the environmental, financial and social benefits of RECP through in-plant assessments and demonstration projects: Through in-plant demonstrations, an NCPC can show that the concept of Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production, applicable to any industrial sector, can not only benefit the natural and social environments, but also bring profit to the industry.
- Help obtain financing for Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production investments:NCPCs also support the promotion of RECP investment projects to facilitate the transfer of Environmental Sound Technologies to industries – particularly SMEs – in developing countries. This activity is closely linked to the in-plant assessments which also enable NCPCs help industries identify and formulate RECP investment projects.
- Provide policy advice to national and local governments: Governments play an important role in providing the overall policy and economic framework for a country’s development. NCPCs thus have an important role in helping governments to identify and develop the policy tools and economic instruments suitable to their country’s context which would encourage industries to favour Resource Efficient & Cleaner Production over end-of-pipe treatment.
- Disseminate technical information: One of the key advantages of being part of an established international network, is the greater access to the latest Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production information. NCPCs are thus able to obtain and share Cleaner Production information nationally and internationally.