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11
Nov

Health, Environmental impact and Sustainable Economic Development forum

The Environmental impact and Sustainable Economic Development forum was opened by H.E Dr. Phouth Simmalavong – Minister of Education and Sport, H.E Madame Siv-Leng Chhuor – Ambassador of France and Mme Valérie Verdier – President Director General of the Institute of Research and Development

On November 10th and 11th 2022, the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lao PDR and the Institute of Research and development teamed up to organize a series of regional 2 days event on Health, Environmental impact and Sustainable Economic Development forum.In the wake of the One Health project which advocate for a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach, EuroCham and IRD in Lao PDR had the idea to organize this regional event to try to have 2 worlds collide : the scientific world, and the business world, in an open dialogue on this important question: how to conciliate economic development with curbing environmental impact and sanitary risks in Lao PDR, Vietnam and Cambodia?” said Thiane Khamvongsa, Executive Director of ECCIL in her opening remarks. She further added “Because actions do not lay only on scientific research or on political actions, but also on a volunteer basis from business leaders, we want to encourage our Members and the business community in general to recognizing the importance of creating harmony and balance between economic development and environmental sustainability and integrating environmental considerations into the economic development planning process. We often associate economic development with more pollutant emissions, increased land-use and deforestation, increased waste, and accelerated climate change. But this does not have to be a fatality. By tying environmental performance to economic growth, policy makers and business leaders can realign their countries growth path. So today we discuss the consequence of this? And the possible ways to do thing differently.”

The event welcomed more than 200 participants of the business community and students, and featured a wide range of researchers, scientists, business leaders, EuroCham’s members, academics, from Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam as speakers, panellists, moderators and participants including the World Bank, EU, MoNRE, Swiss Contact, FAO, Wildlife Conservation Society, Centre for Natural Resources and Environment of Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), NUOL, UNIDO, Zero Waste Laos, SilviCarbon, Burapha, Coca-Cola, Eurocham Vietnam, who contributed their experience, research, insights end best practices in their respective domain of expertise.

The forum consisted in 4 panel discussions on various themes. During the 1st panel discussion, “Pollution as a major public health risk”, experts explored the link between economic development and pollution in the region and how could we reduce it. In the 2nd panel “Opportunities for resilient development: Biodiversity, development, conservation and educating green consumers”, panellists discussed innovation in sourcing for rising food and land space demands while minimizing strain on the environment and improving agriculture technologies and shared their views on consumer’s behaviour and how to transition towards more sustainable consumption patterns. In the 3rd panel “Waste Management” participants discussed how commercial and industrial businesses contribute a significant amount of waste disposed of each year and the steps that are being taken to reduce the amount of waste being generated and discarded, and how to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. And finally, in the 4th panel “Financing Green Investment and Policy intervention to promote green and sustainable business – a sustainable recovery path”, donors, private sector and civil society  representatives looked into the monetary terms, opportunities and challenges in involving private sector into the Sustainable Development Path and openly discussed what kind of incentives are needed to achieve both green development and sustainable development.

Xavier Mari IRD representative in Thailand

On the November 11th, 2022, subsequent trainings organized by ECCIL EuroCham welcome over 100 participants with workshops on Practical approaches in circular economy and pollution-related policy development and implementation, a half-day training on Waste Management covering and a half day training on energy efficiency. The specific aim for these trainings is for participants to become aware of the importance of addressing environment and climate change considerations in corporate strategies and practices as well as to realize the benefits and challenges of integrating environment and climate change in development planning and budgetary processes.

More informations :

European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lao PDR

Courriel : contact@eccil.com

Mobile : (+856 20) 94 35 48 60

Miss V. Verdier IRD CEO and H.E Dr. Phouth Simmalavong Minister of Education and Sport
Group photo after the opening speech of the two joint events: (from right to left) Dr. Eric Deharo, IRD representative in Laos, Dr. Valérie Verdier – President and CEO of the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), H.E. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phouth Simmalavong – Lao Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Siv-Leng Chhuor – and other participants.
(from right to left) Dr. Sipha Chanthavong, Mr. Lonkham Atsanavong, Dr. Xavier Mari and Dr. Olivier Évrard listen to questions from the audience.
Souvannasing S.
Vientiane high school students and their teacher observing the Black Carbon exhibition
Souvannasing S.
A student from the Faculty of Architecture of the National University of Laos asks questions to the speakers. Souvannasing S.
Closing words of the debate by the mistresses of ceremony, Oudomphone Insisiengmay (left) and Karine Peyronnie © Souvannasing S.

Debate on air pollution and its solutions in Lao PDR
Organized by the French Research Institute for Sustainable Development in Laos (Dr. Karine Peyronnie, Dr. Xavier Mari and Dr. Eric Deharo), in collaboration with the Research Institute for Science and Innovation of the Ministry of Education and Sports (Dr. Oudomphone Insisiengmay), and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), this event aims to raise awareness of the challenges of air pollution and contribute to the development of education through mediation and scientific argumentation in the search for solutions. The objective is to illustrate the work being done to understand, monitor and develop technologies and approaches to overcome this major challenge, which is growing in Laos.

This event was attended by about 150 participants from the academic community (120 teachers and students) of the National University of Laos (from the Faculty of Law and Political Science, the Faculty of Architecture, the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Economics and Business Management, and the Faculty of Social Sciences), bilingual classes (13 people) and another class (13 people) from Vientiane High School.

Journalists from the Lao national television came to make a report and interviewed the panelists.

Organized in partnership with the European Chamber of Commerce (ECCIL), the “Debate on Air Pollution and its Solutions in Laos” was opened concurrently with the forum on Environmental Impact and Sustainable Economic Development (ECCIL) by H.E. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phouth Simmalavong – Lao Minister of Education and Sports, H.E. Mrs. Siv-Leng Chhuor – Ambassador of France and Dr. Valérie Verdier – President and CEO of the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). The opening ceremony gathered more than 200 participants.

The debate started with the screening of a part of the documentary “Unbreathable – Cities on the Verge of Asphyxiation?” directed by Delphine Prunault and produced by ARTE France & Scientifilms.

It continued with interventions of four panelists who, in turn, shared their projects, ideas, experiences and thoughts and their concerns in their respective fields of expertise. Dr Xavier Mari (oceanographer, biochemist and representative of IRD in Thailand) intervened on various aspects of the issue of air pollution by fine particles (definition, effects, distribution, history, perspectives and actions) using many didactic explanatory diagrams.
Dr. Olivier Evrard (anthropologist and director of research at IRD) presented the results of his research on the emergence of air pollution as a socio-political problem in Chiang Mai (Thailand), highlighting the reasons for this growing awareness and the devices and narratives related to the causes of the haze and its solutions with a view to drawing “lessons” for Lao PDR.
Dr. Sypha Chanthavong (Lecturer in Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law and Political Science, National University of Laos) presented the current Lao legal framework on air pollution in the context of Lao PDR’s social, economic and green growth development policy.
Mr. Lonkham Atsanavong (Director General of the Natural Resources and Environment Research Institute of the Ministry of National Resources and Environment), presented the method of collecting “air quality” monitoring data and how “air quality” is monitored in Lao PDR, especially PM2.5 and what is planned to improve the devices in the next years.

Then, a lively exchange with the audience was led by Dr. Palikhone Thalongsengchanh, researcher at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI). It focused on the measures to be implemented to improve the accessibility of information available to the population and to reduce air pollution in Laos, based on the situation in Chiang Mai where the situation is more severe and where civil society is mobilizing.

The debate on air pollution and its solutions in Lao PDR ended with the presentation of the exhibition “Black Carbon: the dark side of human activity” on air pollution in the ASEAN region, developed within the framework of an international research network (IRN SOOT SEA: Impact of Black Carbon in South East Asia) and directed by Dr. Xavier Mari, with the contribution of Dr. Olivier Evrard, principal investigator at IRD. The exhibition is an overview of the knowledge on anthropogenic air pollution by fine particles. It presents the health, climatic, environmental and socio-political issues related to this pollution for the whole of Southeast Asia.

Having aroused a lot of interest, the exhibition will be presented at the National University in the coming months.

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