Empowering the transition towards a Circular Economy in the American continent
Date: August 06, 2019
The Circular Economy Platform of the Americas (CEP-Americas), an initiative of the Americas Sustainable Development Foundation (ASDF), with the mission of empowering the transition towards a Circular Economy in the American continent has recently been involved in two important projects for the region: In the Caribbean, Senior experts of the Platform, Mr. Ken Alston and Mr. Alexandre Gobbo Fernandes, together with colleagues of Factor CO2, Eqo-Nixus, and Inedit, have been supporting the implementation of the project “Defining the elements of Blue and Circular Growth for island sustainability”, a project developed with the financing of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Moreover, a multidisciplinary team of different experts of the Platform, including Mr. Mauricio Centeno, Mrs. Irina Reyes, Mr. Ken Alston, Mr. Alexandre Fernandes, Mrs. Claudia Lorena Garcia and Mr. Kevin de Cuba, together with a team of Factor CO2, are supporting the implementation of the project “Assessment of the current status of the Circular Economy for developing a Roadmap for Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay”, a project financed by the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
These two projects will positively impact the implementation of Circular Economy practices in the Americas, since it is expected to guide policymakers to take concrete actions that will enable a Circular Economy considering local needs.
The project “Defining the elements of Blue and Circular Growth for island sustainability” was launched back in early 2018 and is ongoing with a focus on pursuing sustainability through an innovative approach that applies the principles of the Blue and Circular economy given the common challenges, constraints and opportunities that island territories share, notwithstanding the incorporation of climate change resiliency. The participating project countries include Barbados, The Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The overarching goal of the project is to explore the potential for large developmental spaces from which a new economy can emerge. This new economy based on the Blue and Circular Economy has the potential for islands to become self-sufficient if proper planning and management of the ocean space occurs. Since Rio+20, the Blue Economy has been gaining momentum as coastal and island nations are looking at the ocean as the next frontier for economic development. An ocean-based approach to growth not only offers the opportunity for effective use of marine and coastal resources, but a way to boost growth and tackle some of the key challenges related to high unemployment, food security, poverty and resilience to climate change. Similarly, a Circular Economy allows a shift away from the take, make and dispose linear model to one that is restorative and regenerative by design.
Moreover, the project “Assessment of the current status of the Circular Economy for developing a Roadmap for Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay” is being implemented since July 2019 and aims to deliver a country-specific Circular Economy roadmap for Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay through the development of the following objectives: gather information on key stakeholders and current initiatives; gather data on circular economy value and definition of benefits, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges; review international experiences in successful applications of industry 4.0 in circular economy processes; and identify potential projects that can be prepared and scaled-up as a follow-up of this project. A series of workshops to identify key stakeholders have taken place during the months of August and September 2019 and the work will continue to identify new stakeholders and initiatives that support this project.
The Circular Economy Platform of the Americas is committed to continue promoting a regional Circular Economy agenda that respects the leadership of the regions, complements the efforts that are made in other areas, seeks collaboration between actors and contribute to the development of regional and local capacities. For more information please visit: www.cep-americas.com
Kevin de Cuba
Co-Founder and President
Circular Economy Platform of the Americas