Supporting India on SDG 12 Monitoring and Reporting: A Critical Appraisal
SDG 12 on responsible and sustainable consumption and production is a lesser understood goal among all SDGs. Considering the crucial importance of putting in place a robust indicator framework for monitoring, reporting and implementation of SDG 12, this paper is a critical appraisal of ‘what is’ and 'what can be'.
India has 17 per cent of the world population and is key to global achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs). Given the federal nature of the country, state and local governments play a pivotal role in implementing sustainable development. There has been a focus on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption since Agenda 21, the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which marked the period of norm cascading of sustainable development in the global discourse. The inclusion of responsible consumption and production as a distinct goal under SDGs (SDG 12) provides further impetus to policy action along with monitoring and reporting.
India’s National Environmental Policy (NEP) of 2006 highlighted the fact that unsustainable consumption patterns, particularly in industrialized countries have serious adverse impacts on the environment, both local and global. Along with the principle of the ‘polluter pays’, NEP underscored that efficiency of resource use may also be accomplished by the use of policy instruments that create incentives to minimize wasteful use and consumption of natural resources. This paper compiles and systematizes the findings of a review and critical analysis of the indicator frameworks for SDG 12 at the global and national levels. The knowledge document makes recommendations for the monitoring and reporting of the different nationally defined indicators. Rooted in research and consultative processes, this paper aims to systematize critical appraisal on the National Indicator Framework for SDG 12 to make recommendations for the monitoring and reporting of the different nationally defined indicators while considering aspects such as harmonization with targets, policy cycle, data limitations, and feasibility for sub-national level reporting.