The prosperity of Palestine is inseparably connected to the performance of the socio-economic and the preservation of its environment and natural resources. The current adverse economic performance is an extension of the effects caused by Israeli government measures, the shortfall in foreign investments, and the global recorded inflation. The economic situation in turn adversely impacts the social fabric. Such a situation has further restricted proper access to needed resources and needed economic recovery. In addition, it has added pressure on the different national business sectors to reduce costs while maintaining their quality and competitiveness in the already heavily restricted export market. Power supply interruptions and dependency on expensive and carbon-intensive fossil fuels for energy, instigating high energy prices, are among the reason’s energy efficiency and a switch to renewable sources are top priorities for the national industries. In common with the energy situation, water also continues to face distribution problems in Palestine. As accessibility to national water resources is still restricted by the Israeli occupation, water will remain a scarce resource both for the industry and for the community.
Apart from the challenges in water and energy, Palestinian industries must also cope with high transportation costs and impeding import/export restrictions, which coupled with increasing prices for raw materials and the aforementioned socio-economic challenges, underpin the necessity for resource efficiency. Thus, a more resource-efficient industry would improve businesses’ economic situation and contribute to ensuring resource availability to other sectors.
In that respect, the Center for Cleaner Production (PCCP) functions as a platform for developing the knowledge and the technical capacities of the Palestinian industrial sector on the circular economy (CE) and its sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and associated Resource Efficiency in Cleaner Production (RECP) tools. Both SCP and RECP concepts have become effective pathways for sustainable development worldwide, and their specific tools have been identified either as the booster of the CE or as supporters of the achievement of sustainable development goals. SDG 12 recognizes production and consumption habits at the root of the planet’s sustainability problems and places them at the center of the sustainable development agenda. By implementing both concepts, 12 overall development plans will be achieved, including reducing future economic, environmental, and social costs, strengthening economic competitiveness, and reducing poverty.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) suggested the establishment of a cleaner production center to collaborate directly with the global network of cleaner production centers; the RECPnet. The primary objective of RECPnet is to contribute to the effective development, application, adaptation, scaling up, and mainstreaming of SCP and RECP concepts, methods, policies, practices, and technologies in developing and transition economies. It also aims to facilitate North-South, South-South, and South-North-South collaboration, including the transfer of RECP-relevant knowledge, experiences, and technologies.
The PCCP and activating its role nationally and globally enable capturing and promoting best practices of RECP information and knowledge to use for the benefit of national industrial and business enterprises. Another important added value of the CPS as part of the global network is its potential role in sharing and transferring knowledge and innovations, building proper capacities, raising awareness and advocacy, and quality assurance and branding.