Rapid economic growth, as envisaged by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), should not be as a result of unsustainable consumption patterns or environmentally damaging production methods. The attainment of sustainable development goals, as laid out in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) requires political commitment to the application of life cycle tools for a systems approach. The application of Life Cycle Assessment is most likely to make a positive impact in Africa if it is incorporated into selected development programs targeting key areas such as energy development, food production, solid waste management, mining and infrastructure. ALCANET is a regional network aiming to support the research process, to provide teaching and training activities, and to foster public understanding of LCA.
Article 1: Establishment
The African LCA Network (henceforth referred to as "the network") is a not-for-profit activity of LCA institutions and practitioners in Africa and Africans in the Diaspora. It is a knowledge network not established under any law.
Article 2: Mission, Rationale, Objectives and Guiding Principles
The mission of the network is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the research and application processes, teaching and training activities and general awareness of LCA in the African region. The network complements the work of other organizations and networks in the area of LCA.
By combining their efforts, network members are able to have a greater impact on decision makers, policy and practice than they would have alone.
- Initiate collaboration among various LCA groups in Africa and abroad;
Encourage the participation of members in initiatives such as the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle
- Initiative, the 10Year Framework for Sustainable Consumption and Production and NEPAD's Science and Technology agenda;
- Raise awareness of policy makers through presentation of local case studies and development of appropriate training material;
- Carry out capacity building activities and develop training curricula at local universities;
- Develop new environmental impact categories and inventories with site-specific data;
Strengthen collaboration with other knowledge networks and institutions, such as the National Cleaner Production Centers (NCPCs), ARSCP and UNEP;
- Promote establishment of new centres of excellence in LCA within existing African institutions.
2.4 Guiding Principles
2.4.1 Network Independence
2.4.2 Network Neutrality
As a loose network of persons and institutions, the network ensures freedom of discussion. No single member, individual or organization, must be able to dominate the development and operations of the network.
2.4.3 Distributed Responsibility
The network does not advocate specific scientific points of view. Documents issued by the net work must be rigorous and adhere to principles of scholarship.
2.4.4 Professional behaviour
Members of the network are responsible for developing and maintaining the network facilities and services. All members are accountable to the network for their network activities.
2.4.5 Accessibility of Network Services and Facilities
Members must interact with mutual respect and present discussion in a scholarly fashion.
The network continuously strives for optimum accessibility of its services and facilities by minimizing financial, political and other barriers that inhibit participation. Information offered by the network is free to access for anyone.
A Network coordinator, nominated by the majority of members, coordinates the day-to-day operations of the Network.
Article 3: Membership
The membership is open to LCA practitioners in Academia, Industry and government. Students can also become members upon recommendation from an academic supervisor who is already a member.
To become a member, the Network Coordinator must be contacted by email who will then inform all other members.
As from 1st January 2005, the network will accept new members only upon recommendation from two existing members.
Article 4: Organization
The organization is to reflect the aim of the network: little centralization, flexible, unbiased, not-for-profit, distributed. Development of the network will be pragmatic and on a step by step basis.
Article 5: Decision Making
5.1. Group decisions must be based on consensus.
5.2. All proposals made by members or groups that affect the network as a whole must be sent for comments to all members.
5.3. Electronic mail shall be the main mode of communication, with occasional physical meetings as opportunity may allow.
Article 6: Amendments
The provisions of this Charter may be amended upon request of any member through the Network Coordinator. Any amendment to this Charter shall be made by consensus of all the members.