SEED shares insights at Eco MedaGreen Summit 2017 in Barcelona
From 22nd to 24th November, the eleventh Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders (MedaWeek Barcelona) brought together participants from all corners of the world including entrepreneurs and representatives of the private sector, business support organisations such as chambers of commerce and promotion agencies, political authorities, and international coverage from a number of local and foreign media agencies in Barcelona to foster diversity as the driver for regional growth and integration.
How to replicate eco-inclusive enterprise solutions in the waste management sector in cities for a circular economy?
Within the framework of the MedaWeek Barcelona, the Eco MedaGreen Summit, held on November 23 and co-organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), together with relevant international entities such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), merged the interests of the Mediterranean private sector with environmental values, by creating greater awareness and finding synergies between the two and in particular, explored the region’s most profitable and pronounced environmental sectors, including Renewable Energy, Water Industry and Technology and Green Cities.
SEED was invited to participate in the Mediterranean Cities Economic Forum to share lessons learned from its SWITCH-Africa Green project “Promoting Eco-Entrepreneurship in Africa” during a session on “Waste Management and Recycling in the Realm of Circular Economy”.
SEED’s Head of Programmes, Jona Liebl, shared insights in the panel discussion about lessons learned from the work of SEED in the waste management sector, which has been catalysed through SEED Award Winners – in fact, a third of all SEED Winners are active in the Waste & Sanitation sector. In contrast to circular economy approaches as promoted in industrialised countries, where a focus has to and can be put on the design thinking part of product development, i.e. to integrate resource efficiency into products from the outset, in developing countries and emerging economies realities are often still far from such endeavor. Recycling and innovative upcycling mechanisms thus provide promising business cases in countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, which could also be replicated in the MENA region with a focus on countries like Lebanon, Tunisia or Egypt. During the panel discussion, Jona Liebl showcased examples of best-practices, by SEED Winners greenABLE in South Africa and EcoPost in Kenya, who manage to put a new value to plastic waste, reducing pollution while also creating jobs.
Furthermore, SEED presented its SWITCH-Africa Green project “Promoting Eco-Entrepreneurship in Africa” addressing the importance of the multiple levels of intervention through sound partnerships including national project partnership to potentiate and accelerate a green and inclusive economy and foster an enabling environment for eco-entrepreneurship and sustainable consumption and production. An important pillar of that project is the SEED Replicator programme, which was presented as the perfect vehicle for bringing successful approaches like these of EcoPost or greenABLE to the Mediterranean region in order to allow more people to replicate the tested and successful business models in cities like Beirut or Tunis.