On November 10th, the Environmental impact and Sustainable Economic Development forum was opened by Thiane Khamvongsa, Executive Director of the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lao PDR, and welcomed prestigious guests to give its opening remarks :
H.E Dr. Phouth Simmalavong – Minister of Education and Sport from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Lao PDR, H.E Madame Siv-Leng Chhuor – Ambassador of France from the Ambassade de France au Laos / ສະຖານທູດຝຣັ່ງ ປະຈຳ ສປປ ລາວ and Mme Valérie Verdier – President Director General of the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD).
The events welcomed more than 300 participants of the business community and students, over 2 days, and featured a wide range of researchers, scientists, business leaders, EuroCham’s members, academics, from Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam as speakers, panellists, moderators and participants including the World Bank Laos – ທະນາຄານໂລກ, European Union in Laos, the Ministry Of Natural Resources And Environment, Swisscontact Lao PDR, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Wildlife Conservation Society, Centre for Natural Resources and Environment of Cambodia with Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), National University of Laos ມະຫາວິທະຍາໄລແຫ່ງຊາດ, UNIDO – United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Zero Waste Laos, Burapha Agroforestry Co., Ltd, Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,Ltd, EuroCham Vietnam, and SilviCarbon Agroforestry, who contributed their experience, research, insights end best practices in their respective domain of expertise.
The forum consisted in 4 panel discussions on various themes.
During the 1st panel discussion, “Pollution as a major public health risk”, experts explored the link between economic development and pollution in the region and how could we reduce it.
In the 2nd panel “Opportunities for resilient development: Biodiversity, development, conservation and educating green consumers”, panellists discussed innovation in sourcing for rising food and land space demands while minimizing strain on the environment and improving agriculture technologies and shared their views on consumer’s behaviour and how to transition towards more sustainable consumption patterns.
In the 3rd panel “Waste Management” participants discussed how commercial and industrial businesses contribute a significant amount of waste disposed of each year and the steps that are being taken to reduce the amount of waste being generated and discarded, and how to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
And finally, in the 4th panel “Financing Green Investment and Policy intervention to promote green and sustainable business – a sustainable recovery path”, donors, private sector and civil society representatives looked into the monetary terms, opportunities and challenges in involving private sector into the Sustainable Development Path and openly discussed what kind of incentives are needed to achieve both green development and sustainable development.
On the November 11th, 2022, subsequent trainings organized by ECCIL EuroCham welcome over 120 participants with workshops on ‘Practical Approaches in Circular Economy and Pollution-Related Policy Development and Implementation’ with Dr. Vatthanmixay Chansomphou with NUOL, a half-day training on ‘Waste Management’ with Dyan Barutzki, with the Waste to Value Project, covering and a half day training on ‘Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’ by Matthieu de Peyrelongue with the Cricket Lao Farm Project. The specific aim for these trainings is for participants to become aware of the importance of addressing environment and climate change considerations in corporate strategies and practices as well as to realize the benefits and challenges of integrating environment and climate change in development planning and budgetary processes.