8 December 2020, Vientiane- The first introductory workshop on Circular Economy was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel with more than 50 participants from government agencies, private sector and development agencies, as well as a number of participants who joined the meeting online. The workshop was chaired by Mr. Chantho Milatanapheng, Director General, Institute of Renewable Energy Promotion (IREP) and co-chaired by Ms. Ricarda Rieger, Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lao PDR.
IREP, Ministry of Energy and Mines, in collaboration with UNDP and support from the European Union (EU) and other donors, is working with Ministries and the Private Sector partners to accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy in Lao PDR.
As one of the frontrunners in the region on circular economy, the Lao government has already prepared an initial options assessment in 2016-17 under a UNDP-supported project. This project will support Lao PDR (i) to develop robust circular economy strategies in which the government and businesses cooperate to achieve the countries' development objectives as described in its 9th 5-year plan, (ii) to enhance the country’s greenhouse gas mitigation ambition under the Paris Agreement by including also the emission potential from circular economy interventions and (iii) develop a Long Term Low Carbon Development Strategy, building on the circular economy opportunities identified.
The Circular Economy (CE) concept is based on three principles- to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and to regenerate natural systems.
Ms. Rieger remarked, “When the world is encountering the zoonotic diseases because humans encroach on the living space of animals and our landfills are getting bigger, we need to change our behaviors and economy model”. Mr. Milatanapheng also affirmed that, “this is relevant to the national, sectorial economic development priorities of the government of Lao PDR to support on “green growths and sustainable direction”.
Key initial activities include:
- A series of workshops to introduce the CE concept (including circular business models and finance opportunities) and seek inputs from key stakeholders about CE development in Lao PDR;
- Targeted consultations to further assess the current status and identify future opportunities for CE in Lao PDR;
- The establishment of a targeted stakeholder interest group (Community of Practice) with local and international public and private stakeholders to jointly help advance the practical implementation of a selected circular economy opportunity for Lao PDR
Two additional workshops specifically targeting the policy and business opportunities of the circular economy in Lao PDR are planned in the near future.
The project, which contributes to the NDC Partnership is supported through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) NDC Support Programme and generously supported by the German Federal Ministery for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union and the Government of Spain. The Institute for Renewable Energy Promotion (IREP), the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) are Implementing Partner of the project.
Technical Support: Shifting Paradigms (the Netherlands), Earth Systems (Lao PDR), Rebel Group (Netherlands), Circle Economy (Netherlands).
Ms. Aksonethip Somvorachit, Communications Analyst
Tel: 020 5502 1550