The Taskforce conceived of the event in order to mobilize the local community and businesses to contribute to one of Southern Laos’ main attractions as a visitor destination: its ‘charming’ natural environment. The event was organised by MTF member the Champasak Hotel and Restaurant Association alongside 25 local volunteers from environmental advocacy group ZERO Waste Laos.
The event was chaired and opened by Mr. Soulin Phethanee, Director of DICT Champasak Province and co-chaired by Mr. Thouy Phetsavanh, President of CHRA, with 150 participants including representatives of the Department of Information, Culture and Tourism (DICT); Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE); Urban Development Administrative Authority; Champasak Provincial Association of Travel Agents (CPATA); Champasak Tour Guide Group; Champasak Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) and local businesses including Ford and Dao Hueng Group.
The purpose of the initiative was to draw attention to environment issues and the negative impact poor solid waste management can have on Southern Laos as a visitor destination. During the event, the participants learned about the consequences of using single-use plastic products, improper waste segregation, and littering through presentations and interactive activities facilitated by the CHRA and ZERO Waste Laos. Volunteers from local businesses and residents were then mobilized to clean up the environment around Wat Phou Salao temple, a symbol of Pakse and Southern Laos.
The event was made possible through technical and financial contributions from Swisscontact, and financial support from Norwegian people’s AID, UN Volunteers, Lao Ford Company (Pakse Branch) and Dao Hueng Group. The event also received generous support from ZERO Waste Laos and Wat Phou Salao temple.