Swisscontact’s Waste to Value project Celebrated National and World Environment Days with Focus on Land Restoration and Sustainability 

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Vientiane, June 01st, 2024 – Swisscontact’s Waste to Value project joins the event to support the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), marking the celebration of the 25th National Environment Day and the 51st World Environment Day with a grand event at the Friendship Arboretum in Nasone village, Paknguem district, Vientiane Capital. Themed "Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience," the event highlighted pressing environmental issues and showcased the nation's commitment to sustainability.

The celebrations were inaugurated by Ph.D. Bounkham Vorachit, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, with significant remarks from Ph.D. Artsaphangthong Siphandone, Mayor of Vientiane Capital, and Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, the UN Resident Coordinator in Lao PDR. The opening ceremony featured a ribbon-cutting event, symbolizing the official start of the day's activities.

Ribbon-cutting for opening the National and World Environment Days

Approximately 500 attendees, including representatives from various organizations, government sectors, and private companies, gathered under the shared mission of “We are Generation Restoration.” The celebration featured a booth for the Waste to Value project, promoting the use of water refills and sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics. This initiative highlighted practical solutions for reducing plastic waste and encouraging environmentally friendly behaviors.  During the event, the W2V project showcased the "Plastic-Free Lifestyle" video to increase public awareness of sustainable consumption habits and reduce plastic use in daily life. Additionally, there was a Q&A session where participants could share tips on waste reduction to receive eco-friendly bags and tumblers from the W2V project.

Some photos of participants visiting Swisscontact's booth and sharing tips 
on waste reduction

Participants actively engaged in planting around 100 trees at the arboretum, contributing to the restoration and greening efforts of the area. The planting activity emphasized community involvement in enhancing drought resilience. The event also recognized and rewarded efforts in environmental advocacy and sustainable practices. The Department of Environment, MoNRE, awarded prizes to the winners of the video competition themed “The Green Future That I Want.” Additionally, certificates were handed out to SMEs and hotels that participated in the Plastic Free Laos initiative which supported by the W2V project and demonstrated exemplary ecological practices.

Students from Nasone high school and Provincial Health Officers planting tree to the restoration and greening efforts of the area

The event not only commemorated significant milestones in environmental protection but also reinforced the importance of collective action and sustainable practices for a healthier planet.

This project is financed by the Canton Basel-City, City of Zurich and Däster-Schild Foundation, among other donors. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

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Waste to Value
Swisscontact's Waste to Value project strengthens the environmental performance in service sector SMEs (hotels, restaurants, cafés and mini-marts) by improving their waste management practices and access to green products. The project further strengthens business operations and improves workplace safety for informal waste pickers increasing their income and quality of livelihood. This is complemented with awareness raising among service sector SMEs and the wider population along with encouraging public-private consultation meetings in the Lao PDR in line with national and municipal government strategies.