On 7 September, 2020, within the frame of Keep Georgia Tidy Project, Georgian Society of Nature Explorers “Orchis” arranged the third Conference on Circular Economy in Rooms Hotel Tbilisi. The Conference was devoted to the role of the business in the acceleration of transition to the Circular Economy. The event was attended by the state authorities of Georgia and business sector, including: representatives of the Parliament of Georgia, the Government of Georgia (the Ministries of Environmental Protection & Agriculture, Economy & Sustainable Development, and Regional Development & Infrastructure), the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden / Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), European Union, international financial institutions, Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia, media, etc.
The Conference was opened by the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia Mr. Solomon Pavliashvili who made a presentation “Aspects of Circular Economy and Challenges Faced by Georgia”. The Program Manager of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden/ Sida Ms. Khatuna Zaldastanishvili and the Chairperson of Georgian Society of Nature Explorers “Orchis” Ms. Mariam Kimeridze made their welcoming 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 provide recommendations to various groups of stakeholder, including policy makers, financial institutions and business sector how to accelerate the implementation 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 and the second conferences that were successfully held respectively in December of the last year and March of the current year and targeted policy makers and regional and municipal authorities, the third Circular Economy Conference was intended for the business community, which is a key enabler of the transition process. The potential economic benefits arising from using less energy and material inputs, combined with the commercial opportunities created by new technologies and emerging business models have attracted business interest in the circular economy worldwide. In this context, there have been a range of business initiatives and partnerships creating a momentum around the circular economy. The role of business in the transition to a circular economy is undisputed.
The keynote presentation of the Conference on the role of the business in the acceleration of transition to the circular economy raised a high interest among participants. Representatives of the Government and Parliament of Georgia expressed their readiness to engage governmental authorities at all levels, 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 of Georgia, the Parliament and businesses proposed ways how to strengthen further cooperation with Keep Georgia Tidy Project for the implementation of the circular economy program.
The third 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, Economy & Sustainable Development, and Education, Science, Culture & Sport, and in cooperation with the Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia and Environmental information & Education Centre.