On March 10, 2020, within the frame of Keep Georgia Tidy Project Georgian Society of Nature Explorers “Orchis” hosted the second Conference on Circular Economy in Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace, which was devoted to the acceleration of transition to the Circular Economy. The Conference was attended by the state, regional and municipal authorities of Georgia, including: representatives of the Government of Georgia (the Ministries of Environment Protection & Agriculture, Economy & Sustainable Development, and Regional Development & Infrastructure), Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden / Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia, United Water Supply Company, Georgian Energy Development Fund, media, etc.
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. Mr. Erik Iles, Head of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency/ Deputy Head of Mission and Ms. Mariam Kimeridze, Chairperson of Georgian Society of Nature Explorers Orchis made their 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. Dr. Prasek has 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 groups of stakeholder, 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. After the first successful conference in December last year, which targeted policy makers, the second Circular Economy Conference was organized specially for representatives of the state, regional and municipal authorities of Georgia taking into account that relatively densely populated areas present in some regions and municipalities of Georgia pose numerous challenges in introducing circular economy principles and at the same time present significant opportunities.
The keynote presentation of the Conference on aspects of circular economy and related challenges in Georgia found a receptive audience. Representatives of the State Government and Parliament of Georgia as well as regional and municipal authorities 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 the transition to the Circular Economy. In addition, representatives of the State Government, Parliament and regional and municipal authorities of Georgia suggested ways for further and deeper cooperation with Keep Georgia Tidy Project in the area of circular economy program implementation.
The second Conference on Circular Economy was arranged in the frames of Keep Georgia Tidy Project by Georgian Society of Nature Explorers “Orchis”. Keep Georgia Tidy Project is being implemented by the NGO Consortium: Georgian Society of Nature Explorers Orchis, Keep Georgia Tidy and Greens Movement of Georgia/Friends of the Earth Georgia through funding of the Government of Sweden, with support of Georgian Ministries of Environmental Protection & Agriculture, Regional Development & Infrastructure, and Education, Science, Culture & Sport, and in cooperation with the Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia and Environmental information & Education Center.