The Institute of Renewable Energy Promotion (IREP) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and support from the EU and other donors, is working with other Lao Government (GOL) partners to implement a Circular Economy in Lao PDR. The Circular Economy (CE) concept is about developing new economic activities based on the use of renewable resources to build economic, natural, and social capital.  It's based on three principles:

• Design out waste and pollution

• Keep products and materials in use

• Regenerate natural systems

Building on its natural advantages and altering the design of new products and assets, the circular economy concept can help Lao PDR define a development pathway which diversifies the economy, reduces its reliance on imports and inspires private sector growth based on the ‘mining’ of secondary materials, rather than delving ever deeper into natural resources.

As part of the project, stakeholder were invited to a series of three workshops and consultations to develop a common understanding of circular economy opportunities for Lao PDR. The workshops were attended by government agencies, private sector and development agencies.

  • Workshop 1 provided an introduction to Circular economy and helped stakeholders to identify circular economy strategies and discuss concrete opportunities for Lao PDR.

    It builds the capacity of participants to understand the challenges, best practices and approaches in the fields of circular (business) innovation, policy and the mitigation potential of the circular economy. It aims to equip participating industry and government stakeholders to create and make their circular ambitions actionable, and share best practice from Lao PDR, South Asia and further afield.
  • Workshop 2 focused on policy approaches to provide targeted legal and regulatory incentives to private sector to invest in circular economy opportunities.

    This training module includes an introduction to circular economy policies, presenting the current policy package in Lao PDR. It covers options like tax reform (covering topics like environmental taxes and levies, concessions for material extraction and land use, carbon tax, labour tax and social security), waste policies like landfill taxes, circular design and building standards, extended producer responsibility and resource taxes.

  • Workshop 3 elaborated on business opportunities for private sector to engage in the identified circular economy strategies and realize the circular economy opportunities prioritized for Lao PDR.

    This training module targets the private and financial sector. In order to capture the added value in products and to ensure the return of products and materials to the chain, circular business models are characterized by increased chain collaboration and a shift of ownership and responsibilities from consumers to producers.

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