South African Initiative on Voluntary Sustainability Standards - Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Sustainable Development and Bio-economy

Event Type
Conference / Stakeholder Meeting

Location / Date
Pretoria, 06.11.2019 until 07.11.2019


MGG Programme of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), South Africa Bureau of Standards (SABS), United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, also referred to as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognizes international trade as an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. Standards that uphold not just the quality of products but considers also the sustainability aspects of the production process can be the key not only for exporters to unlock new markets, but also to enhance competitiveness in the domestic market for example through production efficiency, cost reduction and innovation. In addition, with many countries also committing themselves to the Paris Climate Agreement, government policies are increasingly embedding sustainability standards to achieve emission reduction goals. Such new environmental and social policies are then for example reflected in public procurement.

The SDGs are a universal commitment to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure human well-being. South Africa has embedded the SDGs in terms of national development priorities. In South Africa, the National Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 guide the implementation of the SDGs. A key instrument to implement the SDGs in South Africa is the government’s Bio-economy Strategy, which has the vision for South Africa’s bio-economy to be a significant contributor to the country’s economy by 2030 in terms of the GDP. It is designed to create a world-class biotechnological system of innovation in the country, which is more responsive and more relevant to the needs of South Africans. Within the South African context, bio-economy encompasses, but not limited to, technological and non-technological usage of natural resources such as animals, plant biodiversity, micro-organisms and minerals to improve human health, address food security, enhance energy security and subsequently contribute to economic growth and improved quality of life.

The goals of the event “South African Initiative on Voluntary Sustainability Standards - Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Sustainable Development and Bio-economy” were to promote public awareness in South Africa on the potentials of VSS, engage and empower multiple stakeholders to support the implementation of SDGs as well as to initiate the momentum to establish a National Platform on VSS in South Africa. To achieve these goals, the event provided a platform for exchange among experts from industry, government, academia, and national standards bodies as well as representatives of international organisations, whose works had addressed the benefits and challenges of establishing and implementing VSS.


Während unserer Veranstaltungen werden z.T. Foto- und/oder Filmaufnahmen gemacht, die für Zwecke der Veranstaltungsberichterstattung und allgemeinen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in verschiedenen Medien veröffentlicht werden. Sie haben jederzeit das Recht, die Foto- oder Videograf*innen darauf hinzuweisen, dass Sie nicht aufgenommen werden möchten.

Event information


06.11.2019 until 07.11.2019


Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
643 Corner of Church and Wessels Streets,
Arcadia, 0007 Pretoria
South Africa

Registration to the Conference

Due to limited capacity, registration is on a first come first serve basis. Registration is free of charge. When registering, please indicate whether you also wish to attend the capacity-building training on Sustainability Map and VSS on November 7 at 2PM.  Upon registration, you agree that photographs and video-recordings will be taken.
Please send an Email with your name, affiliation, contact details to register to:

Im Fokus

Cover: Agenda MGG Stakeholder Meeting Pretoria