On December 3, 2019 within the frame of Keep Georgia Tidy Project Georgian Society of Nature Explorers “Orchis” hosted a Conference on Circular Economy in Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace. The topic of the Conference was the acceleration of transition to the Circular Economy. Among participants of the Conference were representatives of the Government and Parliament of Georgia, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), international financial organizations and European Union; furthermore, representatives of Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia, United Water Supply Company, Georgian Partnership Fund and other organizations also took part in this event.
The Conference was opened by Mr. Solomon Pavliashvili, Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, who spoke about aspects of circular economy and challenges faced in Georgia in this regard. Mrs. Nino Tsilosani, Chairperson of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee of the Parliament, Mrs. Mzia Giorgobiani, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Mrs. Khatuna Zaldastanishvili, Program Manager of SIDA and Mrs. Mariam Kimeridze, Chairperson of Georgian Society of Nature Explorers Orchis made welcome speeches.
A keynote presenter of the Conference was Dr. Dariusz Prasek, member of the United Nations Advisory Board on Circular Economy. Dr. Prasek is an independent consultant in environmental, social and governance areas with an experience in around 4000 investment projects across a number of sectors. Till recently he held a position of the Director of Operations at the Environment and Sustainability Department in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Dr. Prasek was a key contributor to the development and implementation of the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition Strategy which includes the implementation of provisions of Circular Economy in the Bank’s supported projects. He published numerous articles in the fields of solid waste management, circular economy, environmental management and environmental aspects of project financing.
The purpose of the Conference was to raise awareness about circular economy and to provide recommendations to various stakeholder groups, including policy makers, financial institutions and project promoters how to accelerate the adoption of circular economy principles at various levels of economic activity. Particular emphasis was put on recommendations such are to improve financing conditions and removing barriers for circular economy projects as well as to identify main areas where incentives should be provided.
The keynote presentation of the Conference on aspects of circular economy and related challenges in Georgia found a receptive audience. Representatives of the Government and Parliament of Georgia expressed their readiness to engage all level governmental authorities, business sector, innovators, academia, investors and consumers in this process in order to promote systemic changes to accelerate of the transition to the Circular Economy. In addition, representatives of the Government and Parliament of Georgia suggested ways of further and deeper cooperation with Keep Georgia Tidy Project in the area of circular economy program implementation.
“Keep Georgia Tidy” Project is being implemented by a consortium of NGOs: Georgian Society of Nature Explorers “Orchis”, Keep Georgia Tidy and Greens Movement of Georgia/Friends of the Earth-Georgia, through financial support of the Government of Sweden.