The Inaugural APO World Conference on Green Productivity

The APO in collaboration with the Development Academy of the Philippines, organized the inaugural World Conference on Green Productivity in Manila, the Philippines from 4–6 December 1996 which adopted the Manila Declaration.

The Manila Declaration

Convinced that Green Productivity, being a concept of integrating socio-economic aspirations and a means to harmonize environmental protection and economic development, is the key to sustainable development for enhancing people’s quality of life, the Asian Productivity Organization, in collaboration with the Development Academy of the Philippines, organized this APO World Conference on Green Productivity in Manila, the Philippines from, 4 to 6 December 1996. The participants deliberated on the concept and current status of Green Productivity practices, discussed related issues and problems and adopted strategies for promoting the Green Productivity Movement in the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide.

SUBSCRIBING to the principles adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 that sustainability must be the basic consideration for overall socio-economic development of the world and the consensus reached at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in l995 that equity and justice in all respects must be the primary goal of our society;

REALIZING that the Asia-Pacific region is home to over half the global population and that, while the remarkable economic development in the region in recent years has been facilitating the improvement of living conditions of the majority of its vast population, it has also been causing deterioration of natural environment and depletion of non-renewable resources;

REALIZING that promotion of sustainable economic development with concrete measures for the Asia-Pacific countries will not only contribute to achieving greater employment opportunities and steady improvement of people’s life in the region and to forestalling global environmental degradation, but will also serve as an important model for the other countries in the world; and

NOTING that concerted efforts for balanced and equitable socio-economic development require fundamental changes in people’s attitudes, perspectives, and lifestyles as well as re-orientation of ways to produce goods, render services and use natural resources;

This Conference resolves that:
  • Industrial development should be pursued more vigorously by promoting technology development and availing of technological advancement, with emphasis on building indigenous capacity for development and adoption of green products and green production processes to conserve natural resources;
  • Service industries should ensure that the provision of service to society is bereft of damage to environment and is in consonance with environmental conservation concepts;
  • Agricultural development should be re-oriented towards applying environment-friendly methods and practices to ensure sustainable food and nutrition security for the growing population and improve employment opportunities as well as welfare and amenities in the rural areas;
  • Due heed should be given to the need for ISO 14000 standards to be effectively applied to all levels of economic activities especially in the industry sector, as such standards will have a significant bearing on the promotion of Green Productivity practices;
  • Comprehensive market-based instruments should be instituted to enhance regulatory approaches in order to accelerate the shift to Green Productivity;
  • Key industries having substantial contribution to national income and employment generation should provide the lead in demonstrating efficient implementation of Green Productivity concepts and practices;
  • In order to realize sustainable and equitable socio-economic development as a whole, priority should be given to the needs and requirements of developing countries and their small and medium enterprises, in particular. For successful implementation of Green Productivity practices in small and medium enterprises, consideration should be given to introducing, at the initial stage, low-cost improvement measures before taking up sophisticated technologies. Good house-keeping and good engineering practices can be the starting point for pollution prevention, as such measures could bring about substantial savings of resources and reduction in wastes; and
  • Cooperative labor-management relations should be forged for introducing and operating cleaner technologies.
To realize these resolutions, therefore, this Conference urges:

GOVERNMENTS to institute macro-level frameworks and systems such as national development policies, legislation, regulations and economic measures and implement them effectively along with complementary micro-level systems to promote Green Productivity and encourage creation of green product alternatives through various measures including taxation, financing and human resource development;

AGRICULTURE, INDUSTRY AND SERVICE SECTORS to adopt and implement Green Productivity policies and practices, particularly environmental management systems, cleaner production and, as a supplementary measure, the use of end-of-pipe treatment;

INTERNATIONAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS to collaborate with relevant agencies, support the concept of Green Productivity and have it reflected in all their development activities, provide special supporting funds for projects having significant components of Green Productivity, and make constant efforts to create favorable environment towards Green Productivity enhancement;

THE ASIAN PRODUCTIVITY ORGANIZATION, as a regional productivity organization spearheading productivity promotion efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, to embrace the concept of Green Productivity, integrate it in all its program of activities on human resources development, technical assistance and information dissemination and continue extending its activities aiming at SMEs to help them apply cleaner production systems, upgrade their absorptive capabilities for ISO 14000 standards and take steps to set up networks for the effective promotion of the transfer of technology and south-south cooperative activities;

THE NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY ORGANIZATIONS to place a high priority on Green Productivity in all of their activities such as surveys, fora; seminars, training and consultancy services, and information exchanges and act as Green Productivity promotion centres in order to promote and coordinate all the Green Productivity-related activities at the national level;

NGOs AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS to propagate ideas and techniques of Green Productivity, particularly at the grass-roots level, encourage people’s participation in community development projects and render extension services to raise social awareness and promote income generating activities;

ACADEMIA to lay special emphasis on research and education in Green Productivity which should also be included as an essential element of all environment-related education and training;

MASS MEDIA to focus on Green Productivity in order to increase public awareness of environmental issues and establish fora for free exchange of views and ideas on all matters related to Green Productivity, particularly in publishing successful Green Productivity showcases;

TRADE AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS to strengthen their functions as clearing houses of information in order to bring home to their members the clear message that they have a social responsibility to adopt Green Productivity practices in their operations and that such practices will enhance their own productivity; and

ALL STAKEHOLDERS to promote awareness and mutual cooperation in Green Productivity by actively participating in networking of complementary activities, exchanging of ideas and experiences, disseminating information, and encouraging the involvement of everyone in the Green Productivity Movement as the strategy for better quality of life for all.


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