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World Standards Day 2020 – 14 October 2020

Protecting the planet with standards

Each year on 14 October, the members of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) celebrate World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as International Standards. The theme for World Standards Day 2020 is “Protecting the planet with standards”. To commemorate this year’s theme, IEC, ISO and ITU have collaboratively published the following message:

“Earth, a finite vessel of life in the vastness of our solar system. Life on earth depends on energy coming from the sun. However, over the last century human and large-scale industrial activities of our modern civilization have added to earth’s natural greenhouse gases. They negatively impact our climate and with it all forms of life. At the same time rapid population growth and broad urbanization call for the responsible use of limited resources.

To reduce human impact on our planet, we need the political will, concrete action and the right tools. International standards are one such tool. The international standards prepared by IEC, ISO and ITU take into account tried and true solutions to technical challenges. They help share expertise and expert know-how broadly within developed and developing countries alike. Standards cover all aspects of energy savings, water and air quality. They lay down standardized protocols and methods of measurement. Their broad use helps reduce the environmental impact of industrial production and processes, facilitates the reuse of limited resources and improves energy efficiency.”

The Seychelles Bureau of Standard (SBS), the national standard body of Seychelles and member of these International Standardisation bodies, functions primarily in ensuring that the standardisation needs of national industries and businesses are catered for. Consequently, SBS is involved in the promotion and sensitization of Standardisation in the country. The annual event in which Standards are celebrated on a global scale provides a convenient opportunity for SBS to raise awareness on Standards and also propagate the World Standard Day message in the context of Seychelles.

In view of the fact that Seychelles is considered to be a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), the effects of climate change is especially relevant to us and as such our country is significantly active in the participation of international climate change forums. Seeing as our economy is predominantly dependent on Tourism and Fisheries; two activities that can have a negative impact on our environment if left unchecked, the requirement for sustainable practices has never been more imperative. Sustainability is not by any means a new concept in Seychelles. Numerous practices have already been implemented to ensure that we can still partake in tourism and fisheries without depleting our natural resources and disrupting our ecological balance.

As stated in the aforementioned message, Standards can serve as an instrument to reduce if not minimize the effect of climate change on our tropical Archipelago. SBS can provide access to such Standards that can serve as guidelines in preserving our delicate ecosystem. These are namely sustainable standards and standards that can be applied to monitor and reduce our production of greenhouse gases. Moreover there are standards that exist that organizations can adopt to monitor the impacts they have on their environments and also to manage the energy that they use. Renewable energy standards also exist that can give valuable information on the best and latest practices that are available to get the most from renewable energy sources. This will hence allow us to become less dependent on our limited supply of fossil fuels, which are less environmentally friendly when harnessed.

Standards are developed according to the needs that exist to provide information or guidelines on a particular subject. The information provided in these standards have been consolidated by various stakeholders such as regulators, technical experts, producers and consumer representatives. This means that the application of standards will be beneficial to everyone equally.  With regards to this year’s theme of World Standard Day: Protecting the planet with standards, this is quite feasible due to the accessibility of the vast array of Standards that exist that recommend conversant and ideal solution for the different facets of the theme in question.